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In preparation for my visit of the Hannover Messe on 31.05.2022, I contacted KUNBUS1 regarding their new Revolution Pi S/SE-series2, with a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4S as its base.
Ekkehard Krebs (Head of Marketing) was kind enough to answer some short questions about the development and current situation of the CM4S and their future product, the RevolutionPi 43, which will use a standard Compute Module 4.
How does it come, that only KUNBUS revealed the CM4S in the beginning of April 2022?
We actually don’t know, why we are the only one, who announced it. Although, as far as we know, there is only a limited customer group who is able to purchase the CM4S right now, it’s definitely not an Revolution Pi exclusive Compute Module.
Did KUNBUS passed on the need of a CM4S to the Raspberry Pi Foundation?
Not directly, but we are in close contact with the Foundation and they knew that we are not getting enough Compute modules to satisfy our customer‘s demand since months.
With the CM4S, the Foundation wants to take a little pressure off the tense supply situation, since we are probably not the only company who is desparately waiting of getting enough CM3/CM3+ modules.
We really appreciate that the Foundation came up with the idea of a CM4S which gives us a good alternative to the CM3/CM3+.
When did the development of the CM4S started?
We do not know when the Raspberry Pi Foundation started developing the CM4S. We were first informed about the CM4S in fall of 2021. From that point on, our development started to adapt our software image to the new CM4S.
Why should the CM4S have a better availability over the CM3+?
The delivery problems of the CM3+ are mainly due to the BCM2837B0. The BCM2711 installed on the CM4S is apparently better available at the moment.
Will there be any other CM4S-models in terms of RAM (2/4/8 GB) or WLAN, like the other CM4-models?
Not to our present knowledge.
Is the CM4S a (timely) exclusive product for KUNBUS, or will there be a public launch later on?
As far as we know, the CM4S is currently only offered to several commercial customers who already use the CM3/CM3+ in their devices.
How many companies this is and whether the CM4S will eventually be offered for regular sale, we do not know.
What about the current availability of the S/SE-series?
At the moment we also receive only a limited number of CM4S modules, which is still not enough to serve all our customers, i.e. we are still in an allocation phase.
That’s why we currently only offer the S/SE series as an alternative to our customers who have already ordered CM3/CM3+ based devices.
When will the sale of the S/SE-series start? Please divide the question into direct-sale (your own webshop) and official resellers (e.g. Reichelt).
As mentioned before, we first provide the S/SE-series as an alternative to customers with existing orders. Once this backlog has been processed, we will also supply new customers.
During the allocation phase, our webshop will stay closed. We’ll plan to supply our distributos (incl. E-commerce resellers like Reichelt or RS Components) first, before we open up our on webshop again.
Of course, customers can also contact our sales team directly to place an order or to get newest update regarding delivery times.
Can you give us a current schedule for the release of the RevPi 4?
Currently we hope to release a small batch of RevPi 4 by the end of the year. Again, component availability (not only from the CM4) is the reason why the release is delayed. We plan to increase the production of the RevPi 4 in Q1 2023.
Of course, these dates still depend on the extent to which the global chip crisis improves or worsens.
A few words
Thanks to Ekkehard for answering my questions. Since the Raspberry Pi Foundation is not that talkative about the CM4S, information beside technical data only comes from the industrial customers.
I keep my fingers crossed, that the chip crisis will not last too much longer. If the shortage keeps on, the retail market won’t get CM4S, in order to supply the industry.
To conclude, I will try to get more information the new Compute Module. With the CM2 in mind, which was revealed only a few days ago, these are interesting times.
As always, I’ll keep you updated.