Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 on a Linux Virtual Machine

20th April 2017
Barney Scott

From 16th January 2017, you can get your hands on the latest and greatest version of the Compute Module from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. So, what can you expect from this next generation Compute Module? Well, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) is the latest product to be launched by Raspberry Pi. It’s a small form factor SODIMM Module and, as such, targets embedded systems designers developing industrial-type applications.

Article contributed by RS Components (click for original).

The product allows embedded customers to integrate the power of Pi 3 into their design and develop their own profile and I/O connections. Read the full blog to find out how…

Standard and Lite options

First things first. Compute Module 3 (CM3) comes in two variants: Standard and Lite. The Raspberry Pi Compute Module is essentially an embedded version of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B board.

In the Standard module, you will find the same 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837 (64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU with VideoCore IV GPU) as found in the latest Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. It features 4GBytes eMMC flash memory as well as 1GByte LPDDR2 RAM and is pin-compatible with the current Compute Module.

In the Lite module, the eMMC memory is dispensed with; instead, users can connect their own eMMC devices or SD card through the SD/eMMC interface routed to previously unused edge connector pins.

In addition to CM3, there is also an updated version of the Compute Module I/O board – CMIO V3. This version is the same as the original CMIO break-out board with one exception – CMIO V3 has an SD card socket to support the Lite version of CM3.

Hands-on with CM3 Standard Module

To take advantage of all that lovely Pi processing power, we first need to flash an OS onto the eMMC memory. This could easily be done with a spare Raspberry Pi, but for the purposes of this demo, we thought it might be more interesting to install Linux on a virtual machine, which is running on a standard Windows 10 laptop, and flash the Compute Module using the virtual machine. We’re keeping Linux familiar to Raspian users for this project by using Raspian’s ‘granddaddy’, the Debian distro.

The full, step-by-step blog takes you through each and every configuration step required to set up a 64-bit virtual machine using Oracle’s VM software, VirtualBox, and install Debian onto it.

It also guides you through flashing the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, adding the bootloader in order to use USB, enabling Wi-Fi and finally, adding remote login facilities to CM3 to make it more easily accessible.

Want to know more? Get the full instructions, complete with step-by-step screenshots, at DesignSpark:

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