The Compute Module 3 is 10 to 12 times more powerful than its predecessor -- but at peak performance, it draws a lot more power.
"If you really push the processors hard you can pull 4 watts," Upton said. Buyers looking for that kind of performance will need to pay more attention to thermal design, he warned. "If you don't do that right, the temperature runs up and we pull the down the clock speed to manage that."
This is not a module for building battery-powered always-on devices: Even with the multimedia core turned off and the ARM processor cores asleep to save energy, power consumption will still be around 100mW, Upton said.
The Compute Module 3 is available from RS Components and Allied Electronics. It costs around US$30, or $25 for the Lite version with no on-board flash memory. (That can be connected via the flash memory pin-outs on the edge-connector, a new addition in the latest model.) A standard Raspberry Pi 3 costs $35.
RS will also be manufacturing the Compute Module 3. While it ships with an empty flash memory chip as standard, leaving buyers to load their own operating system, Maycroft said RS could preprogram it on demand. Such a service typically involves a large order, a fee, or both.
To begin using the Compute Module 3, buyers will need a circuit board with a SODIMM socket to hold the module and provide power and other connections. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is offering its own board design, the Compute Module IO Board, under an open license to make it easier for others to incorporate the module into their product designs. It has been revised to accommodate the additional flash memory IO lines of the Compute Module 3.
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