Raspberry Pi Compute Module 5 is in Development, CEO Eben Upton Confirms

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 5 mockup
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Raspberry Pi YouTuber Jeff Geerling had the chance to interview Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton at CES. During the interview we hear Upton confirming that Raspberry Pi 5 production is ramping up, and inadvertently we also get first confirmation that the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 5 is an upcoming product.

At the three minute mark we hear Geerling ask Upton about the Compute Module 5 and Upton replies "Yeah. No, it's happening. I think we've committed CM5 (Compute Module 5) is happening". 

Geerling then talks about a forum post from a Raspberry Pi engineer which alludes to a possible release date of the first half of 2024. Upton's unintentionally enigmatic response does not confirm when we will see a CM5. All we get is a simple "Yeah" followed by highlighting that Raspberry Pi has released guidance for those wishing to design products based around the future board. The guidance is not for general distribution, requiring a lengthy sign-up and verification process in order to use the guide.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

What we can confirm though is that the Compute Module 5 will share the same dual connectors as the Compute Module 4. Previous Compute Modules used a SODIMM interface for power and data. With the CM4 we saw dual edge connectors introduced. One of which served power and low-speed interfaces, the other for higher-speed interfaces.

Retaining the dual connector should mean that boards designed around the CM4 should work with the CM5. The assumption being that the 55 x 40 MM form factor remains the same.

The forward guidance documentation will help to ensure that third-party CM4 boards will have the best chance of compatibility with the Compute Module 5.

Compute Module 5 Wish-list

The Compute Module 4 also introduced a plethora of configuration options. With modules ranging in RAM from 1 to 8GB, flash storage from 8 to 32GB and modules with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. 

The Raspberry Pi 5, like the Raspberry Pi 4 before it, also has multiple RAM options. On release we have 4 and 8GB models on offer, with 1 and 2GB to come in the near future. Logically, the Compute Module 5 should also provide the same RAM, flash storage and Wi-Fi options.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Specifications
 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU.
 VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x with 4Kp60 hardware decode of H.265 (HEVC) video.
 1080p60 hardware decode, and 1080p30 hardware encode of H.264 (AVC) video
Flash StorageOptional 8GB, 16GB or 32GB eMMC Flash storage
GPIO40 GPIO pins, with up to 6 × UART, 6 × I2C and 5 × SPI
ConnectivitySingle-lane PCI Express 2.0 interface.
 Gigabit Ethernet PHY with IEEE 1588 support.
 2 x USB 2.0 ports
 Dual HDMI interfaces, at resolutions up to 4K.
 Dual MIPI DSI display, and dual MIPI CSI-2 camera interfaces.
 Optional 2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 5.0

Compute Module 4

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Compute Module 4, just like the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, hasn't had the best chance of success. Released in late 2022, the Compute Module 4 packs the power of the Raspberry Pi 4 into a smaller form factor. That was great news for all of us eager to pack more power into a project, but it was also released at the tail-end of a pandemic and in the midst of a global chip shortage. For a time, the CM4 and the Zero 2 W were virtually unobtainable. Happily they are now in a more plentiful supply. 

Does the impending CM5 mean that the CM4 is dead and buried? Far from it. According to Raspberry Pi's CM4 Product Brief [PDF], the board will be in production until 2031. Don't worry, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W will also remain in production until January 2028 [PDF].

When can we expect the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 5?

With no fixed date, just a vague conversation on a forum as source, we can only speculate that the Compute Module 5 will be with us within a year. But we can confirm that once they are available, there will be a full review on Tom's Hardware.

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".