MirkoPC is a Hackaday.io project developed by Mirek, a Polish developer. It is a Raspberry Pi desktop computer based on Compute Module 4 (CM4). Further, the developer is branding the MirkoPC board under Mirko Electronics. However, being an open-spec board, anyone can make their own. Besides, one can use MirkoPC as a springboard for new creations. “Raspberry Pi computer desktop MirkoPC motherboard was designed and dedicated for two different purposes. Firstly, as a development board (carrier board) for CM4 modules (open frame). Secondly, as a microcomputer (micro-PC) with a dedicated 3D printed case (enclosure).”
Peripherals of MirkoPC
The MirkoPC features M.2224/2280 M-key socket (PCIe x1 Gen2 5Gbps) which is about 22mm x 60mm in size. This allows Pi to boot from reliable and fast NVMe SSD storage. The M.2 slot is not available on CM4 or Raspberry Pi 4. Therefore, this feature has highlighted the board. The board comes with a Micro SD card slot making it compatible with modules without eMMC. This offers storage space for devices without flash memory. Moreover, there are 28 pin GPIO header and two HDMI outputs. These make the board suitable for interfacing with Pi HATs and other multimedia devices.
Apart from these, the four onboard USB 2.0 ports can be utilized to connect a broad range of devices. The board has one Gbps ethernet port that can help to create ethernet connections. Also, there are two of each camera and display interfaces available on the board. In addition, the board includes a high-quality HiFi audio output for connecting stereo (32-bit/384 kHz) or the Twitterheadphones (128mW).
The power management involves an input of 5V and 3A. A USB-C (3A) connector or 2-pin terminal block (5A) power supply that can be used for power or boot mode. The board also includes a temperature sensor, IR receiver, a 5V fan header and a 3kHz buzzer. Also, there’s a RESET Switch and RTC clock with battery backup (CR1220). Finally, the board is compatible with the 32- and 64-bit Linux-based OS (e.g., Raspbian, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Manjaro).
Compute Module 4
Compute Module 4 was launched in October 2020. “Raspberry Pi computer desktop MirkoPC features this compute module 4 IO board which is characterized by a built-in PCIe slot, which exposes the BCM2711 Gen 2 x1 PCI Express lane directly.” The BCM2711 SoC is made of four 1.5GHz Cortex A72 cores. Further, there are a PWM fan controller and 4 pin fan connectors on the module. The board also includes 2 to 8GB LPDDR4-3200 RAM and 0 to 32 GB eMMC. Besides, there is a possibility of optional Wi-fi or Bluetooth available.
Updates and applications
MirkoPC targets a variety of applications. Firstly, the machine learning platform and the cloud computing applications. Secondly, the Network-attached storage (NAS) and small server-based implementations. Further, it also aims at home automation controller, smart controller, Hifi media player and various more applications.
The 100 x 100 mm MikroPC board will be sold commercially. The enclosure of the board is under development. Further, the updates on the future development of the board are available on the Mirko electronics Twitter page. The CM4 product site and MirkoPC Hackaday.io page are the sources for all pictures and technical details.
Sanskriti Sawant is a student of Electronics and Telecommunication engineering. She is passionate about Computer architecture, VLSI and plans to major in them. She is working on HDL languages and FPGA’s.
This is indeed a great carrier board with lots of features. One thing I did not like is they opted to have connectors on 3 sides :).
I have created a list all available carrier boards for CM4, might be useful for someone. https://pallavaggarwal.in/raspberry-pi-compute-module-4-carrier-boards/