Retro Computing On the Go With DevTerm

(Image credit: clockworkPi)

DevTerm is a series of portable computer kits from ClockworkPi that resembles the RadioShack / Tandy TRS-80 Model 100 portable computers of the 1980s. With big chunky keys, a wide, yet short, display and a thermal printer, these kits start from $219 for a model powered by the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 with a further four models using custom "core modules" providing more powerful Arm processors.

DevTerm may look retro, but under the hood we have 21st century technology. With a ClockworkPi v3.14 mainboard designed to use SO-DIMM Computer on Module (CoM) boards, such as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module or other CoM boards, right now there are five supported CoMs. 

Could the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 be used with an adaptor such as those from Gumstix? We do hope so. At this time, the choice of CoM includes boards from the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 1GB RAM and a quad-core Arm Cortex A53 CPU running at  a1.2 GHz clock speed to a 1.8 GHz hexa-core chip with 4GB of RAM. The model featuring the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 is the lowest priced option.


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ModelCPU MicroarchitectureCPU SpeedCoresGPURAM
A-0401ARM64-bit Quad-core Cortex-A531.8 GHz4Mali-T7201GB LPDDR3
A-0402ARM64-bit Quad-core Cortex-A531.8 GHZ4Mali-T7202GB LPDDR3
A-0602ARM64-bit Dual-core Cortex-A72 ARM64-bit Quad-core Cortex-A531.8 GHz 1.4 GHz6Mali-T8642GB LPDDR3
A-0604ARM64-bit Dual-core Cortex-A72 ARM64-bit Quad-core Cortex-A531.8 GHz 1.4 GHz6Mali-T8644GB LPDDR3
RPI-CM3ARM64-bit Quad-Core Cortex-A53 (Raspberry PI CM3+ LITE)1.2 GHz4VideoCore 41GB LPDDR2
  • CPI v3.14 mainboard uses a compact design, the size is reduced to 3.7 x 3 inches (95x77mm)
  • PMU chip that supports reliable and complete lithium battery charge and discharge management
  • Integrated 5G-WIFI (802.11ac), plus Bluetooth 5.0
  • High-gain antenna
  • 3x USB-A 2.0 interface and an internal contact interface for the Keyboard module
  • USB-C charging port
  • TF card (MicroSD card) slot
  • 40 Pins MIPI screen interface
  • MicroHDMI interface
  • 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack
  • Onboard stereo audio power amplifier chip
  • 40 Pins GPIOs expansion interface (using standard 0.5mm FPC connector)
  • 52 Pins extension module interface (using standard Mini PCI-E connector) for the “EXT. module"
  • Standard DDR2-SODIMM 200 Pins interface: connects CPI v3.14 to the "Core module"

The mainboard features USB-A and USB-C ports, microHDMI and modular connections for the keyboard, screen and battery. A slot to the left of the mainboard, which is a mini PCIe connector, is used with an "EXT module" to provide a cooling fan, camera interface, GPIO interface and additional USB ports.

Shipping is expected to start in April 2021.

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".