With the new Raspberry pi Compute module on the market, It might be interesting if Friendly ELEC came out with there own alternative. Mainly because the RPI CM3 Has a massive price tag, and it also has a limited print run.

Some of the community is already creating cluster Computers with groups of single board computers. However the biggest challenges for these setups is integration and cooling. I had this problem when I built my 15 Node NanoPi-Neo(NPN) Cluster; power delivery, Compacting and integration was a pain, Sacrifices had to be made. In the end, I had to group NPN's in groups of 5, and run dozens of hand made cables to each of them. Then each group is mounted to a water block. It works, but it was a massive undertaking.


But there in lies the problem. Paralellas are expensive. Only a few people can sit down and try to make something like this. In the end, yes it can be done but with the parts available it becomes hard.

The only solution I can think of is to create a board for it.

So after some thought and a bit of fiddling in EasyEDA It might be interesting to have a Card based PC similar to the form factor of the RPI zero but plugs into a modified PCI-E 1x Slot.

The main idea of this board is to have a single Unit plunged into a DEV board in for testing and development. Then the same unit can be scaled into a cluster.


The basic dev kit would be a Node, and a breakout board. The breakout board had your Ethernet, power, video, GPIO, UART, ext.
You slot the board in, and bingo bongo. your up and running. This makes it ALOT easier/cheaper to take the single board from a testing to production without all the UN-needed parts.

Another benefit would be the ability to upgrade without having to re-build the I/O of the board. Or if a different Breakout comes out. You don't have to leave your old board behind.
Its an inverse of the HAT premise from the Arduino development.

Thoughts? Ideas?
I'm going forward with this by myself regardless.