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Seeed Offers PCB Assembly Discounts for RPi CM4 Boards and Teases CM4 Carrier

Written by Eric Brown

Seeed is offering $500 off its Seeed Fusion PCB Assembly Service for Raspberry Pi CM4-based commercial products and five free boards for open source developers. Seeed also teased its own upcoming CM4 carrier.

Seeed has announced a sponsorship promotion for its Seeed Fusion PCB assembly service for customers developing boards built around the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. Commercial developers with CM4-based boards can receive up to $500 off Seeed’s PCM assembly and manufacturing service. Individuals with open source boards based on the CM4 can get five boards produced for free.

Render of Seeed’s Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier board
(click image to enlarge)

Seeed informs us that the CM4 sponsorship is not a contest — most submitted product designs should meet the sponsorship requirements. “The pass rate would be very high,” said a Seeed spokesperson. For the commercial sponsorship, designs do not need to be open-sourced. Seeed is even willing to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

The individual sponsorships require open source designs. Here, two of the five free boards will be sent to the designer, and other three boards will be placed on Seeed’s Marketplace, with profits from sales returned to the designers.

Seeed Fusion offers a full-service, turnkey PCB Assembly (PCBA) and manufacturing service, complete with parts procurement and engineering services. Unlike most OEMs and larger manufacturing services, Seeed Fusion supports smaller production runs for prototyping and custom projects, as described in this 2016 report about creating a 96Boards Mezzanine. Seeed can also help customers sell the board on its Seeed Marketplace.

The Geppetto online design-to-order board prototyping service from Altium-owned Gumstix also offers small-run manufacturing. It differs from Seeed Fusion, however, in that it offers customers drag-and-drop custom prototyping services on the front end via a browser interface. In conjunction with the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi CM4, Gumstix unveiled six CM4 carrier boards and announced it was waiving the $1,999 manufacturing fee for CM4-based designs. Customers pay only the cost of board and quantity ordered plus tax and shipping.

Raspberry Pi CM4, front (top) and back
(click images to enlarge)

The Linux-powered, $25 to $90 Raspberry Pi CM4 module has the same Broadcom BCM2711 SoC with 4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores that is used on the Raspberry Pi 4. The module ships with 2GB to 8GB LPDDR4-3200 RAM and 0GB to 32GB eMMC. There is a GbE controller with PoE support, optional 802.11ac with BT 5.0, and new support for dual 4K HDMI ports and PCIe 2.0. Other features include 2x and 4x MIPI-DSI and -CSI interfaces.

The CM4 switches from the SODIMM connector of the RPi CM3+ and CM3 to dual (low speed and high speed) 100-pin, perpendicular Hirose DF40 connectors. This enables a smaller 55 x 40 x 4.7mm footprint compared to the earlier 67.6 x 31mm but prohibits backward compatibility to earlier carriers.

Further information

The Seeed Fusion sponsorship for Raspberry Pi CM4 assembly is available now. More information may be found in Seeed’s announcement and Seeed Fusion page.

This article originally appeared on on October 25, 2020.

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Seeed Offers PCB Assembly Discounts for RPi CM4 Boards and Teases…

by Eric Brown time to read: 2 min