Raspberry Pi Carrier Board Includes Touchscreen

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

Raspberry Pi’s Compute Module 4 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), goes a step further by having a built-in five-inch touchscreen. 

Known as the Raspberry Pad 5 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.