The Raspberry Pi already has a good number of generations behind it. It was originally launched as a project launched by a charitable foundation with the aim of promote computer science education with a cheap and accessible product. The idea of the Raspberry Pi Foundation was that children around the world, especially those who live in underdeveloped economies, they had the possibility to learn to use computers, create code and control robots. But the Pi have shown that they have no limits, to the point that it is already possible to transform one of these models into a computer in mini ITX format with medium for cards PCI Express.
A PC for emerging economies turned into an industry standard
Raspberry Pi has shown in these 9 years of life that has no horizons. Its low price fell in love with all those computer-minded. In a very short time, the raspi became the brain of all kinds of robotics projects, home automation, modding of consoles and endless applications that surprise us every week.
Thanks to this, the Pi Foundation has created new integrated circuits for all kinds of applications. In addition to the famous 4th generation Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. This is the Raspberry Pi format that the foundation launches for industrial environments and creators. These boards have a somewhat different design compared to the original model, since both the space and the arrangement of the input and output connectors of the device are prioritized.
Seaberry transforms the Raspberry Pi into a computer
For this audience is intended Seaberry, a motherboard in mini ITX format in which we can connect a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and transform it into a computer to use. Count with one Broadcom coprocessor integrated into the plate, dedicated to managing PCI Express lanes. Thanks to this helper, the Raspberry Pi CM4 can handle up to 16 PCI Express lanes using a single line of the four supported by the original CM4 SoC.
A solution for professionals
Seaberry comes to sort out some of the complaints that many professionals have made the CM4 due to its lack of connectivity. The ITX board allows you to connect a total of 20 devices to the Raspberry and use them simultaneously.
In a video posted by Jeff geerling, an expert in the world of pocket computers, the youtuber purposely saturates the PCI Express lanes of the set by placing all kinds of expansion cards like M.2 SSD drives, SATA drives, Wi-Fi cards, or even a new card for your computer to support USB 3.0. And oddly enough, the team passes the stress test with flying colors.
Price and availability
Unfortunately, the Seaberry Pi CM4 Carrier Board It is not a product for all audiences. Its price is very high, some $ 435 Americans, though that hasn’t stopped the plate from being sold out from Tindie’s store in a matter of minutes. Geerling himself comments that although this hardware is plug & play, the usual thing in this type of impossible chimeras is having to touch internal code and have a lot of computer knowledge for this type of machines to work correctly. Therefore, is a solution for professionals which is very far from the mass public. Still, this product teaches us once again that the RISC computational architecture (what we know as ARM) is capable of much more than we imagine with the naked eye.