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Clockwork's DevTerm Teases Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Compatibility (Updated)

The CM4 adapter from Clockwork Pi
(Image credit: Clockwork Pi)

Update 6/21 02:18

The adapter has now gone on sale for $19 direct from Clockwork. The kit includes an ultra-thin heat sink and a Wi-Fi gain antenna. In a series of tweets, @Hal_clockwork has been testing the Compute Module 4 via Blender and Minecraft alternative Minetest. This upgrade could now be the ultimate portable Raspberry Pi 4 setup.

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Original Article:

The DevTerm modular computer from Clockwork has a hint of a significant upgrade, after its creator posted on Twitter to show an adapter to fit a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 board into the slot previously occupied by a Compute Module 3. 

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 As you’ll already know, the Compute Module 3 came in a SO-DIMM form factor, with an edge connector that could click into place if a suitable slot was provided. The Compute Module 4 (opens in new tab) eschewed this, instead being provided as a PCB the size and shape of a credit card, lacking the all-important edge connector and thus compatibility with earlier modules. This means it wasn’t the drop-in upgrade for Compute Module 3 projects it could have been. Although Raspberry Pi have created the Compute Module 4S. A Compute Module 4 in a Compute Module 3 form factor. A version that is not for general release, sadly.

With a suitable adapter, however, the two rows of connectors on the base of the Compute Module 4 can be wrangled into talking to a host via an edge connector, and that’s precisely what Clockwork Pi’s founder Hal has shown. The adapter has Clockwork branding on it, suggesting it’s a soon-to-be available product rather than a one-off experiment.

The DevTerm is an A5-size notebook PC with a retro aesthetic, including a 6.8in ultrawide screen, full QWERTY keyboard, mini trackball, and 58mm thermal printer attachment. Inside, however, it’s all modern, with a choice of ARM or RISC-V (opens in new tab) SoC modules depending on the level of power required. The Compute Module 3 was soundly beaten in spec by two six-core options available, but the Compute Module 4 will closely match those, while allowing for 8GB of RAM to be available to the machine, which previously topped out at 4GB.

The Twitter account (opens in new tab) gave no further details, at the time of writing, about when the adapter board would be available, or how much it would cost.

Ian Evenden
Ian Evenden

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.