Raspberry Pi Carrier Board Includes Touchscreen

Bigtreetech's Raspberry Pad 5
(Image credit: Bigtreetech)

Raspberry Pi’s Compute Module 4 looks like a credit card with chips soldered to it, but is lacking in ports, which have to be provided by a carrier board tailored to the job you want the pairing to carry out. This usually involves a couple of HDMI ports, some USB connections, or even a PCIe slot, but a new carrier from Bigtreetech, brought to our attention by Liliputing, goes a step further by having a built-in five-inch touchscreen. 

Known as the Raspberry Pad 5, the result is a sort of Linux-powered iPad very-mini, or the smallest Android tablet you ever saw that doesn’t have its own battery. The IPS touchscreen has a resolution of 800x480 pixels and uses the Compute Module’s CSI video connector. Around its edges, you’ll find an HDMI connector, a USB-C for power and flashing the onboard e-MMC storage, three USB Type-A ports, an Ethernet socket, a micro-SD card reader, and the Raspberry Pi’s signature 40-pin GPIO interface. The whole board measures just 121 x 76mm (4.8 x 3in).

A Compute Module isn’t included in the package, which may be a problem given recent stock shortages, and nor is any sort of base for the board. A screw riser is helpfully placed at each corner, meaning the board can be directly placed on the outside of something to control it or have a base 3D printed for it if you intend it to be portable. Extra features include a switch that toggles between flash mode and the CAN bus, and an onboard RTC powered by a coin cell.

One use-case posited by Bigtreetech is as an external control box for a 3D printer motherboard, with a Raspberry Pi Pico acting as an intermediary. It can act as a smart mirror, digital photo frame, door controller, or even as a small portable computer if you can solve the power supply issue.

Raspberry Pad 5s are available now from the Biqu store for $99, a discount from the usual price of $129, without a CM4. Add a Pi, and prices naturally rise, though only CM4 models with 2GB of RAM (including the new Lite model) appear to be available.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.