Compute Module 4 for Slice in the near future?

  • Firstly thanks to all Team for keeping LibreElec so upto date, massively benefiting the Slice, brilliant work!

    Having just spent an evening updating the couple of Slices we still use around the house (CM3 upgraded from the original CM1 - to great effect) to the latest LibreELEC, I thought I would have a quick look to see if there is any chatter regarding a potential CM4 in the future.

    There are a few articles, mostly from the IoT community.

    The specs being bandied about read like this:

    • Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 @ 1.5GHz will highly plausible replace previous Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 64-bit SoC @ 1.2GHz,
    • 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM will become a standard options, instead of fixed 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM,
    • Current flash memory (eMMC) options: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB from CM3+ will probably stay the same,
    • H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode) might replace outdated H.264 (1080p30)
    • and OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics will replace 1.1, 2.0 versions,
    • form and factor will stay the same, to provide a possibility to upgrade current IoT applications of CM3 and CM3+

    This would be useful, especially the onboard H.265 :)

    I would assume zippier menus and library updates (and cleansing)

    The game emulators would be pretty decent? (not that I have ever ventured there yet!)

    Chewitt usually has a good insider track with the Pi gang, any hints?

    • H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode) might replace outdated H.264 (1080p30)

    Just one thing - the Pi Zero to Pi 3B+ all decode h.264 1080p50 at high bitrates with no major issues in my experience. Whilst 1080p30 decode is the formal limit in the spec, the reality seems to be a bit different.

    I've remastered a lot of 1080i25 4:2:2 high bitrate masters to 1080p50 4:2:0 h.264 at around 40Mbs and they've played back on every Pi I've thrown them at (including a Pi Zero). I've not tried 1080p60 though..

  • Would've thought the Slice's HDMI chip couldnt be upgraded so 4K would never be an option for the slice. If a CM4 did work and offered some feature updates I would still consider an upgrade.

    Still use my slice several times each week, and i think its great - just wish it had a power switch. Thanks for looking after it LibreElec team!

  • I wonder if it would be possible to have an adapter to convert the the new connector(s) type to to old one, is that a blasphemy?

    • Official Post

    davo22 indeed blasphemy is possible Gumstix Introduces CM4 to CM3 Adapter, Carrier Boards for Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 .. but add $30 to the cost of the CM4 module and things are starting to get expensive, and you're still misssing proper Ethernet and other things that IMHO make an RPi4 more long-term attractive. Slice also needs drivers/hardware support that means it's not quite the simple swap that you'd want.

  • The Gumstix CM4 to CM3 converter form factor is also a bit bigger than the CM1 and 3/3+ isn't it - it's significantly deeper. Would it even fit in a slice?

  • If you’re willing to lose the 2.5” drive you could get a pretty comparable product by pairing the standard RPi4 with an Argon One case.

  • Wait for Desk Pi Pro

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  • Alternatively - if an M2 SSD is a suitable replacement - then Argon have a Pi4B case with integrated M2 slot coming (if not here yet)

  • nice, the Desk Pi Pro really looks like a Slice successor. Only bad thing that can happen is if next raspberry pi version changes some ports ;).

  • None of these after market cases really come close to looking as well designed as the Slice though :( - though the Argon cases are some of the nicest looking out there at the moment IMO.

    I think the Slice was very much a passion project from the developers - the fact it didn't evolve and continue to be manufactured suggests it didn't make that much money (and it was very much a premium product).