First Compute Module Host w HiFi Output

Anyone interested in possible future Zynthian designs incorporating the Compute Module 4, should bookmark Jeff Geerling 's blog and youtube page.

He has been tracking and reporting on CM4 host board developments.

The MirkoPC is a fairly well balanced host providing mini PC capabilities, designed by a one man team in Poland, doing a job on par with some pro manufacturers.
The MirkoPC has 32-bit/384 kHz stereo line out using a hifiberry-dac driver. It also has a PCIe x1 (single lane) socket that accommodates PCIe x1 drives.

Geerling’s tests find the initial 7 seconds boot time is much the same for NVME drives and SD cards, while application load times with NVMe storage is 44% faster than microSD

A commercially available minimal host board for those who just have to try a compute module, that’s the size of a standard Pi, (with fewer USB connectors) but sufficient to built a Zynythian, is available from Waveshare (the display people) for $36.99.

They also have a more elaborate board for $10 more with more connectors and power over Eithernet.

There’s also a single purpose high fidelity audio output box with multiple connections, the Mercury Streamer which accommodates the CM4.

It might fit into a pro studio but is not the makings of a Zynthinan. This furure product seems to have the same capability of their Pro Audio Shield for the Pi 4 , the Pi2AES available for order now. ( 4-6 week lead time, requires a 24V power supply)


MirkoPC is quiet exciting. I hope some schematics and other design files will be able soon.
If they are some really good points, they are other that I don’t like:

  • The good: PCIE NVMe ssd drive, lots of interfaces, compact size, built in audio DAC with headphone amplifier
  • the bad: power supply seems to be weak, 15W, this shouldn’t be sufficient under heavy processor load+PCIe SSD+ USB powered MIDI devices. And I can’t understand why, as on official RBPi foundation CM4-IO board, they use a 22pins FPC connector for the DSI interface while it’s only 15pins on the RBPi (and on most of the DSI compatible displays). Just for the pleasure of adding an adapter board :thinking: ?

There’s another nice CM4 expansion board: Tofu by Oratek:

wich do the same mistake (imho) on the DSI connector. But power supply seems better designed (and the schematic is available).
But it’s 108$ …

PIzza Raspberry Pi CM4 Micro Server offered by Seeedstudio

This Compute Module 4 based box, initially available with 1 Gig and 4 Gig ram versions, (WiFi on 4Gig only) has the expected connectors, additionally there’s a second Ethernet connector, it has internal mini PCIe, M.2 NVME Socket for SSD, 40 pin GPIO available through adapter.
(I estimate the box is 9.8cm square by 3.85 cm tall.)
Selling for $109 & $159.

PIzza Raspberry Pi CM4 Micro Server-side
PIzza Raspberry Pi CM4 Micro Server - top

1 Like

I like it a lot. Seed Studio produce these days some really nice products like this kind of NAS with Gpio’s !.