Design of carrier board for raspberry pi COM4

Hi, all

As the new COM4 is about to be available, and it will finally have a PCIe x1 available on the compute module, Seeed is planning to design a carrier board for COM4 to utilize its new features. The rough design is shown below for discussion. What features do you want for the new carrier board? Please leave a reply and let us know. Any suggestion or advice will be appreciated.

current features:
Dual CSI
USB Type C OTG
12v Barrel Jack
M.2 connector(PCIe x1)

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I would add

  • an RTC with a battery coin cell holder, and
  • a DPI connector for display.

The compact form-factor of the carrier board makes it great for portable computing, hence the DPI connector to add a screen.

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@reivilo Thanks very much for your advice. We will take your suggestion into consideration.

@binbin.yu You’re welcome!

I hope Seeed will either develop or select a nice case for the Raspberry Pi CM4 together with the carrier board.

One last question: Could the USB-C port of the carrier board send video to a screen?

For example, the USB-C input of this 15.6 Inch 1920*1080 Full HD IPS Touch Screen Portable Monitor already listed by Seeed is said to be full-featured.

The idea is to have one single cable for power, display and touch. I have one similar screen and its works that way connected to a laptop running on Windows.

Thank you!

@reivilo We’ll think about it. Thanks for your kind advice!

@binbin.yu PoE as same the RPi 4 footprint will be a nice addition since the chipset support it. also, a power switch or header pin’s that can turn on/off the power will be useful.

Hi, Salman
Actually there is a small tactile switch on the front to power on/off the board. I’ll consider PoE.
Thanks for the reply

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@binbin.yu Oh great, I didn’t notice that, Thanks. also if possible please release the STEP or CAD File, it comes handy when designing products with that.

Real-time clock with battery, on-off switch with way to notify Pi of shutdown, battery backup connection and related protection components.

With the official Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 IO Board priced at USD35, which price are you targeting for the Seeed carrier board?

@reivilo We plan to price the board between $19.9 - $24.9

I would add support for power via PoE. Also, I would add a small 3-port gigabit switch, with 1 port internal for the CM4 board and the two others as external ports. PoE in on one port and PoE out on the second. Get rid of the SD card reader and use CM4 with eMMC.

That’s how I would do it :slight_smile:

This looks pretty close to what I’m looking for, so hopefully it’s still under development!

If i was doing the component layout I would do it like this.

  • M.2 mount on the bottom
  • all the standard I/O (usb, power, ethernet, hdmi, micro SD) all on one of the long edges, even if that means making the pcb slightly larger or mounting components on both sides. Maybe even making all the usb ports usb-c to save space.
  • GPIO on the other long edge
  • Both csi connectors that can be used for camera modules on one short edge, and spaced out properly so that HQ camera modules can be mounted side by side with the short 38mm ribbons without issues. (edge mount connectors)

with an m.2 and all the the standard I/0 on a long edge, people can finally make a nice looking mini desktop, or development server, without using the kludgy usb 3.0 C shaped adapter.

with the GPIO on the other side, people will have easy access to the pins if needed. It would also probably go a long way towards having an engineering session finish without cable spaghetti all over workbench/desk. Just having holes for GPIO pins might be a good option as well, as I see a lot of people either not using them or at all, or swapping out for a right angle connector like on the 400.

The properly spaced csi ports means people should be able to make nice compact computer vision projects.