One brand dominates the single-board computer world and that’s Raspberry Pi.
Over a decade and a bit, Raspberry Pi has built a community and a reputation for producing a great general-purpose computer.
In fact, industrial users love it too, and have used it extensively.
One of the boards that everyone wants today is the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 which provides a great starting point for industrial projects.
Let’s examine why.
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4
This board is small, slim, and excellent for industrial projects because this board represents the summation of Raspberry Pi’s expertise.
The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 comes with the most important part that allows solution architects to build the perfect system while minimizing the risk, cost overheads, and compliance requirements.
You only pay for the components you need
There are 32 variations of the Compute Module 4 varying between RAM size, wireless availability, and eMMC storage and prices range from $30 to $95.
With these many variants, a hardware engineer can build the perfect machine that has the perfect amount of RAM, storage quantity, and wireless capability.
Reducing the number of variables in a design reduces cost, error propensity, and complexity.
Unlike all other Raspberry Pi boards, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is the only board that offers on-board storage with its eMMC chip of 8, 16, 32GB capacities.
With the other Raspberry Pi boards, you have the option of using the MicroSD slot, a USB hard drive, or network boot.
However, an eMMC chip that’s soldered onto the single-board computer (SBC) has the advantage of being fast, reliable, and secure.
Dynamic and malleable to your use case
The Raspberry Pi 4 represents a canvas for “blue-sky thinking” or creative brainstorming.
It imposes a minimal payload on you by not imposing components that you don’t need.
Thus, it’s up to the engineer to decide how to pair it. If you want to build a project for IoT, you’d pair it with a different set of ports and wireless modules. In the same way, if your end goal is to build a project for AI/ML or automation, you’d pair the Compute Module with different accessories and components.
The Compute Module is your oyster!
Raspberry Pi has done a lot of the compliance legwork for you and that saves industrial customers a lot of money.
But there’s a shortage of Raspberry Pi boards
The Compute Module 4 is an excellent board on paper.
But hold on a second!
You can’t buy one today.
At least, not easily.
This is a problem that started in late 2021 and is starting to bleed into 2023.
Raspberry Pi’s response to Compute Module shortage
Raspberry Pi has responded to the shortage of Compute Modules by prioritizing its long-term customers.
Credit to them – they won’t leave you in the lurch if you have been with them for a long time and your product depends on the supply of the Compute Module 4.
However, if you are a new entrant, you might not get such treatment.
What does it look like to get one CM4 board?
Assuming you want to buy a Compute Module 4 board today so that you can build an MVP of your industrial product. How hard will it be?
For one, the stock is extremely scarce.
One reason is that a shortage of Raspberry Pis has created a market for scalpers who buy the boards at their official price and sell it for multiple times their price.
This means that in order for you to get your first board to build your prototype, you will either have to wait a long time and hope for the best or pay a really inflated price that won’t be sustainable at scale.
People are seeking Pi alternatives
As a result of the shortages, a big topic that has engulfed the Raspberry Pi community involves seeking out an alternative.
There are tons of alternatives out there, but what are the biggest challenges facing an engineer?
- Lack of knowledge of available alternatives
- Unsure about the professionalism of other manufacturers
- Trust and familiarity with Pi
First off, let us say that we focus on IoT devices and that’s our speciality.
We are an IoT hardware supplier and an end-to-end solution provider with programmable gateways, and IoT app gateways and we manufacture our own single-board computers.
And as a result, we create boards that are more suited to IoT engineers with virtually unlimited availability and excellent support to take you through the intricacies of integrating your idea with our product.
Dusun Pi 4: a viable alternative for IoT
If you know you are building an IoT project and are looking for a board to help you achieve it, then consider the Dusun Pi 4.
Just like the Raspberry Pi 4, our Dusun Pi 4 has the following similarities compared to the Compute Module 4.
|CM4||Dusun Pi 4|
|CPU||Quad core Cortex-A72||Quad-core Cortex-A55|
|RAM||Up to 8GB||Up to 8GB|
|Storage||Up to 32GB eMMC||Up to 128GB eMMC|
|Wireless||2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz|
802.11 b/g/n/ac wireless
Bluetooth 5.0, BLE
|SDIO interface for expansion|
2.4GHz / 5GHz
|Interfaces||Up to 5 × UARTUp to 5 × I2CUp to 5 × SPI1 × SDIO interface1 × DPI (parallel RGB display)1 × PCMUp to 2× PWM Channels Up to 3× GPCLK outputs||3 × SDMMC，3 × SPI， 10 × UART， 6 × I2C x 62 × I2S/PCM(2ch)/TDM(8ch)16×PWM ，7 × ADC， 3 × CAN， 130 × GPIO|
However, as noted above, the CM4 is not a complete package. You will have to buy a supplementary carrier board or design one yourself to give it the connections, features, and interfaces that you want.
Let’s compare the Dusun Pi 4 with the Raspberry Pi 4 – a complete package similar to the CM4. With the exception of voltages, interfaces, and PCI-E, the rest of the details above apply to the Raspberry Pi 4.
|Raspberry Pi 4||Dusun Pi 4|
|Ethernet||Gigabit||2 x Gigabit|
|USB||2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2||2 x USB 3|
|HDMI||2 x micro HDMI||1 x micro HDMI|
|SD card||Yes, microSD||Yes, microSD|
|Debug port||No||Yes, 1 x debug serial port|
Compared to the Raspberry Pi 4, the Dusun Pi 4 has the added advantage of having a built-in IoT wireless module that includes:
These are in addition to WiFi and Bluetooth which both boards feature.
We’re IoT specialists
We’re IoT specialists with a coherent set of boards, smart devices, and software expertise that can help you get a project together in a much shorter timeline and cost.
Here’s how we ensure your project comes to life effectively and efficiently.
In addition to our boards, we also have smart devices like smart hubs, locks, sensors, and detectors that you can integrate into your project to achieve your project’s requirements much more efficiently.
Our industrial devices include smart building devices like a leak, smoke, and light sensors, to devices that automate certain tasks like lighting in a building.
We also have devices for retail, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, and smart wearables that give you better feedback. Here’s a full list.
One of the biggest challenges people face when buying a general-purpose board involves the lack of support. You buy it and you’re on your own to draft a solution and hope your blindspots aren’t too large.
We understand that and we want to provide you with value-added support on both hardware and software.
One customer bought a gateway from us but couldn’t use the BLE function. They contacted us and we built an add-on for them. Here’s what Luqman Hussain from Economic Group Holdings had to say about our service,
“We bought the DSGW-210-HA gateway, and it looks good, during the testing, we can’t use the BLE function, Dusun developed an add-on-BG96 for us, then we can use it perfectly.”
Our products are based around our app or you can integrate it into a cloud platform like Azure, AWS, Google, Tuya, Homekit, Ayla, and more.
We can also help you with certification according to these standards: UL, CE, FCC, ROHS, ETL, PTCRB, KC.
We’re here to help. Feel free to call us at 0086-571-86796578 or email us at [email protected] for consultation.
Could we solve your Raspberry Pi stock bottleneck?
The stock of Raspberry Pi boards will remain an issue for a while and it can become a bottleneck for your business.
Rather than crossing your fingers and waiting, we have solutions for your IoT needs that are ready to be dispatched.
Our products are trusted by many partners from around the world including Noventa, Vodafone India, Türk Telekom and more.