InsertTitle
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What would be the next step up from CM3?

Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:28 am

So I'm currently using an CM3 in my prototype and noticed even though it is quite small. I'm gonna have to require alot smaller when it comes to my refined prototype which I hope to house in a frame similar to that of glasses. So I was wondering if anyone knew what would the next step would be when I make CM3 obsolete in my refined prototype? Any particular chips I have to go with etc?
I know I still want to carry on with python but is that possible with a smaller chip/s or do I have compromise and program in a different language?

jamesh
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:35 am

CM3 is the current top of range CM board. No-one else I know of make CM compatible boards with more processing power, or smaller footprint.

Sounds like you need to consider designing your own PCB, choosing an SoC that matches your requirements. Note, you cannot buy the CM3 SoC unless you are buying in (huge) bulk, and you will not be able to use the Raspberry Pi developed firmware on it, so it's probably a non-starter. There are probably other processors you could buy.

Have you considered the Zero? Smaller, but less processing power.
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InsertTitle
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:11 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:35 am
CM3 is the current top of range CM board. No-one else I know of make CM compatible boards with more processing power, or smaller footprint.

Sounds like you need to consider designing your own PCB, choosing an SoC that matches your requirements. Note, you cannot buy the CM3 SoC unless you are buying in (huge) bulk, and you will not be able to use the Raspberry Pi developed firmware on it, so it's probably a non-starter. There are probably other processors you could buy.

Have you considered the Zero? Smaller, but less processing power.
Forgot to mention, my current prototype is a custom PCB and I have a SODIMM connector which the CM3 connects directly into.
What I want to do in my refine prototype is remove the SODIMM connector and have something similar to the CM3 but its built into the custom PCB rather than having an external connection via SODIMM.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:25 pm

InsertTitle wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:11 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:35 am
CM3 is the current top of range CM board. No-one else I know of make CM compatible boards with more processing power, or smaller footprint.

Sounds like you need to consider designing your own PCB, choosing an SoC that matches your requirements. Note, you cannot buy the CM3 SoC unless you are buying in (huge) bulk, and you will not be able to use the Raspberry Pi developed firmware on it, so it's probably a non-starter. There are probably other processors you could buy.

Have you considered the Zero? Smaller, but less processing power.
Forgot to mention, my current prototype is a custom PCB and I have a SODIMM connector which the CM3 connects directly into.
What I want to do in my refine prototype is remove the SODIMM connector and have something similar to the CM3 but its built into the custom PCB rather than having an external connection via SODIMM.

Raspberry Pi Trading do not offer a product which fits your requirements.

Maybe you could have a custom RPi 3B+ SBC manufactured ?

https://www.element14.com/community/doc ... on-service
Adieu

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:47 am

That could be a nice possibility.

I will look into this at a later date as I noticed for what I want, I would have to order 1000 units instead of creating 1 for prototype.

InsertTitle
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:13 am

Something just realised, that I could build my own CM3 and have that flush with custom PCB.

However does anyone know the components used in this?

I already know it uses the BROADCOM BCM2837, Samsung Electronics 701 KLM4G1FEPD S554F021 & the ELPIDA B8132B4PB-8D-F 17110R61500.

I was wondering if anyone else knew the other parts that are used within it be it the resistors, capacitors, (U3, U4, U5, U6 & U8), L1 & etc.
Or if anyone had the actual schematic with this information on.

Schematic wise I'm not talking about the RPI Compute 3 module documentation as all that holds is the I/O's board schematics what I'm after is the actual CM3 schematics of the chip you have to slide into the SODIMM.

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:21 am

InsertTitle wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:13 am
Something just realised, that I could build my own CM3 and have that flush with custom PCB.

However does anyone know the components used in this?

I already know it uses the BROADCOM BCM2837, Samsung Electronics 701 KLM4G1FEPD S554F021 & the ELPIDA B8132B4PB-8D-F 17110R61500.
At which point I'd advise you to talk to lawyers. Your device would not be a Raspberry Pi product, and therefore you have no licence to use the firmware - https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware ... roadcom#L9
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:39 pm

InsertTitle wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:13 am
Something just realised, that I could build my own CM3 and have that flush with custom PCB.

However does anyone know the components used in this?

I already know it uses the BROADCOM BCM2837, Samsung Electronics 701 KLM4G1FEPD S554F021 & the ELPIDA B8132B4PB-8D-F 17110R61500.

I was wondering if anyone else knew the other parts that are used within it be it the resistors, capacitors, (U3, U4, U5, U6 & U8), L1 & etc.
Or if anyone had the actual schematic with this information on.

Schematic wise I'm not talking about the RPI Compute 3 module documentation as all that holds is the I/O's board schematics what I'm after is the actual CM3 schematics of the chip you have to slide into the SODIMM.

How will you purchase the BCM2837 SoC ???
Adieu

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:07 pm

6by9 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:21 am
InsertTitle wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:13 am
Something just realised, that I could build my own CM3 and have that flush with custom PCB.

However does anyone know the components used in this?

I already know it uses the BROADCOM BCM2837, Samsung Electronics 701 KLM4G1FEPD S554F021 & the ELPIDA B8132B4PB-8D-F 17110R61500.
At which point I'd advise you to talk to lawyers. Your device would not be a Raspberry Pi product, and therefore you have no licence to use the firmware - https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware ... roadcom#L9
I have no intention to breaking any licenses nor I will be buying the likes of BCM2837 as its licensed for RPI use only. I'm simply working out options that I can go try to follow later down the line.

My 1st prototype isn't even finished as of yet so I suspect it won't be for another year before the refined minaturized prototype I'm talking about will be developed.

Better to find out all possible options now rather than later.

I'm assuming I could probably make do with an ARM SoC instead but I would have to find something to cover I2C for ultrasonic sensors and image sensor for camera.

@6by9 small I/O question I assume in order to program the CM3 you can only do it via the sodimm on the IO dev board and when you want to test your work you then connect the CM3 to the sodimm on your own custom PCB?

Also as mentioned before about Element14's customisable board option. I'm assuming there is no physical way to make your own prototypes to test before ordering the min quantity of boards? Or would it be possible if via a specific license that allowed this?

Cause I'm in the process of designing the PCB but to complete it I would require the above parts or similar parts as used in the RPI zero such as the Wireless, camera and I2C for an ADC for my ultrasonic sensors.

I've already got the design with a 22 pin CSI the same as used in the RPI also at some point I would like to remove that altogether and have a camera similar to that of the zero cam directly mounted.

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:03 pm

InsertTitle wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:07 pm
6by9 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:21 am
InsertTitle wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:13 am
Something just realised, that I could build my own CM3 and have that flush with custom PCB.

However does anyone know the components used in this?

I already know it uses the BROADCOM BCM2837, Samsung Electronics 701 KLM4G1FEPD S554F021 & the ELPIDA B8132B4PB-8D-F 17110R61500.
At which point I'd advise you to talk to lawyers. Your device would not be a Raspberry Pi product, and therefore you have no licence to use the firmware - https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware ... roadcom#L9
I have no intention to breaking any licenses nor I will be buying the likes of BCM2837 as its licensed for RPI use only. I'm simply working out options that I can go try to follow later down the line.

My 1st prototype isn't even finished as of yet so I suspect it won't be for another year before the refined minaturized prototype I'm talking about will be developed.

Better to find out all possible options now rather than later.

I'm assuming I could probably make do with an ARM SoC instead but I would have to find something to cover I2C for ultrasonic sensors and image sensor for camera.

@6by9 small I/O question I assume in order to program the CM3 you can only do it via the sodimm on the IO dev board and when you want to test your work you then connect the CM3 to the sodimm on your own custom PCB?

Also as mentioned before about Element14's customisable board option. I'm assuming there is no physical way to make your own prototypes to test before ordering the min quantity of boards? Or would it be possible if via a specific license that allowed this?

Cause I'm in the process of designing the PCB but to complete it I would require the above parts or similar parts as used in the RPI zero such as the Wireless, camera and I2C for an ADC for my ultrasonic sensors.

I've already got the design with a 22 pin CSI the same as used in the RPI also at some point I would like to remove that altogether and have a camera similar to that of the zero cam directly mounted.

You appear to have not undertaken much research, which is a shame if you intend to manufacture a product.

There are open source Allwinner SoC based SBCs available, such as:

https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXi ... e-hardware

https://www.olimex.com/Products/SOM/
Adieu

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Gavinmc42
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:59 am

You appear to have not undertaken much research, which is a shame if you intend to manufacture a product./quote]
Or this one
http://www.arducam.com/24-24mm-coin-siz ... ble-board/

Actually the Pi SoC and camera sensor on the one PCB would be great,
But there is no reason you could not use an Allwinner or iMX chip apart from software.
Making prototypes then scaling up to making real units is a big step.

Any design you do now will be made redundant as the new CPU's with vision start to appear.
https://www.arm.com/products/graphics-a ... ter-vision

If you thought BCM2835's are hard to get, try getting camera sensors with full data sheets.
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:52 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
You appear to have not undertaken much research, which is a shame if you intend to manufacture a product.

There are open source Allwinner SoC based SBCs available, such as:

https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXi ... e-hardware

https://www.olimex.com/Products/SOM/
Indeed I haven't undertaken much research at current cause its still in the distant future. I managed to find a way around the Broadcom 2387 by looking towards the RK3288, just deciding whether or not I will still need the SEC and ELPIDA or if any other alternatives that are better suited turn up.

Camera Datasheets that will be a problem particularly for newer image sensors such as those with OmniVision but Mouser does have a nice range of image sensors that has full datasheets: https://www.mouser.co.uk/Sensors/Optica ... /_/N-6g7qq
So that's always an option I could go for.

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:58 pm

Are you seriously expecting to gather opinions about competing products on a Raspberry Pi dedicated (and funded) forum? Don't be surprised if this thread is locked or deleted.

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:59 pm

PhilE wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:58 pm
Are you seriously expecting to gather opinions about competing products on a Raspberry Pi dedicated (and funded) forum? Don't be surprised if this thread is locked or deleted.
Not at all bothered if it were to be locked or deleted.
I simply set out this thread as asking what would the next step up from a CM3.

And opinions have ranged from:
  • Designing custom PCB and have it integrated in (already doing that)
  • To create your own custom PI - Knew about element 14 but didn't realise how much could be done from what other users mentioned
  • Finding out I couldn't recreate PI cause of exclusive components
And much more, I don't see stating I find a different chip would be labelled as a competing product to the PI.

If you take such a offense to this then you can lock the thread and I'll simply go to reddit or stack exchange and ask the same question I would here. Chose this forum as seeing I was moving on up from a CM3 integration I might get a better opinion / answer on how I could next progress.

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:21 pm

Nothing wrong with moving to something else after developing from the Pi3/CM3 if you reach it's limits, it's what Google recommend for their Android Things.
Maybe it will give you some ideas.
https://developer.android.com/things/hardware/

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:26 pm

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:26 am

So was asking this on reddit and recommendations with a friend that to go down the whole chip route would be a very costly idea and as alot of you said it would probably over complicate the prototype 100 fold.

I could still make use of the CM3 but my only issue is the sodimm connector. as its too big in width to fit within the frame size I'd want.
Does anyone know of any alternative ways to be able to connect the CM3 to a PCB instead of using a 200 pin sodimm?

Ideally I'd like to have something like I have a hole in the PCB and CM3 simply slides into this hole and connects to an connect to the likes of a 200 pin edge connector or something like that and the module would be flush with the actual PCB.

The actual sodimm itself is quite small but the problem I have is when the CM3 connects to it then the overall width is then too big for the frame size.

Any ideas?

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:09 am

InsertTitle wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:26 am
...
I could still make use of the CM3 but my only issue is the sodimm connector. as its too big in width to fit within the frame size I'd want.
Does anyone know of any alternative ways to be able to connect the CM3 to a PCB instead of using a 200 pin sodimm?
...
I'm looking for the same SODIMM connector, allowing to put CM3 and main PCB in one plain. I was able to find some vertical connectors, but they can not be soldered the way I need.
bensimmo wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:21 pm
Nothing wrong with moving to something else after developing from the Pi3/CM3 if you reach it's limits...
bensimmo got the point. For prototyping CM3 is ideal. One of our past projects was on TI DM365. It was pain in the &ss to force all software start to work right way. CM3 will save you a huge amount of time for prototyping stage. With my project on CM3 I also want to minimize it, but changing Raspberry Pi platform to another one is the last approach I want to consider.

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:03 pm

Realizator wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:09 am
InsertTitle wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:26 am
...
I could still make use of the CM3 but my only issue is the sodimm connector. as its too big in width to fit within the frame size I'd want.
Does anyone know of any alternative ways to be able to connect the CM3 to a PCB instead of using a 200 pin sodimm?
...
I'm looking for the same SODIMM connector, allowing to put CM3 and main PCB in one plain. I was able to find some vertical connectors, but they can not be soldered the way I need.
bensimmo wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:21 pm
Nothing wrong with moving to something else after developing from the Pi3/CM3 if you reach it's limits...
bensimmo got the point. For prototyping CM3 is ideal. One of our past projects was on TI DM365. It was pain in the &ss to force all software start to work right way. CM3 will save you a huge amount of time for prototyping stage. With my project on CM3 I also want to minimize it, but changing Raspberry Pi platform to another one is the last approach I want to consider.
Done some thinking on this whole idea and wanted to pose a question to RPI engineers.

So as it was suggested earlier in this thread Element 14 does do a production line if you want to have a custom RPI board; however they have a very large minimum order which isn't worth it if you want to prototype.

Now if I were to have say Element 14 design a custom board on a small scale for prototyping first of all would this be possible?
Secondly if I chose that I wanted to mass produce this for my own product but I wanted to save the cost / time of waiting for outsourced company such as Element 14 by instead producing the board in house. Would I be able to do this if I purchased/signed a license with RPI in order to be able to buy the raw materials and chips that are associated with RPI and also have access to the following files: Gerbers, Centroid, Assembly Instruction Drawing (AID), schematic & board from Element 14. So that I can could then create my own custom boards.

The materials that would be required would be bought directly through RPI or Element 14 and license would be in place to allow the purchasing of RPI specific materials such as chips used in the CM3 or RPI zero and externals such as RPI Zero Cam.

My general plan for my board would be to have RPI chips with my code hard coded into the chips (no SD card), with powering and recharging functionality and ADC for sensors, RPI zero cam directly soldered to board & 4 GPIOs for motors.

If any of the engineers are able to respond would be most appreciated.

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:35 am

InsertTitle wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:03 pm
Realizator wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:09 am
InsertTitle wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:26 am
...
I could still make use of the CM3 but my only issue is the sodimm connector. as its too big in width to fit within the frame size I'd want.
Does anyone know of any alternative ways to be able to connect the CM3 to a PCB instead of using a 200 pin sodimm?
...
I'm looking for the same SODIMM connector, allowing to put CM3 and main PCB in one plain. I was able to find some vertical connectors, but they can not be soldered the way I need.
bensimmo wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:21 pm
Nothing wrong with moving to something else after developing from the Pi3/CM3 if you reach it's limits...
bensimmo got the point. For prototyping CM3 is ideal. One of our past projects was on TI DM365. It was pain in the &ss to force all software start to work right way. CM3 will save you a huge amount of time for prototyping stage. With my project on CM3 I also want to minimize it, but changing Raspberry Pi platform to another one is the last approach I want to consider.
Done some thinking on this whole idea and wanted to pose a question to RPI engineers.

So as it was suggested earlier in this thread Element 14 does do a production line if you want to have a custom RPI board; however they have a very large minimum order which isn't worth it if you want to prototype.

Now if I were to have say Element 14 design a custom board on a small scale for prototyping first of all would this be possible?
Secondly if I chose that I wanted to mass produce this for my own product but I wanted to save the cost / time of waiting for outsourced company such as Element 14 by instead producing the board in house. Would I be able to do this if I purchased/signed a license with RPI in order to be able to buy the raw materials and chips that are associated with RPI and also have access to the following files: Gerbers, Centroid, Assembly Instruction Drawing (AID), schematic & board from Element 14. So that I can could then create my own custom boards.

The materials that would be required would be bought directly through RPI or Element 14 and license would be in place to allow the purchasing of RPI specific materials such as chips used in the CM3 or RPI zero and externals such as RPI Zero Cam.

My general plan for my board would be to have RPI chips with my code hard coded into the chips (no SD card), with powering and recharging functionality and ADC for sensors, RPI zero cam directly soldered to board & 4 GPIOs for motors.

If any of the engineers are able to respond would be most appreciated.

The BCM283x SoC are sourced from Broadcom, you would need to ask them if they are willing to sell to you, though considering HardKernel an established company only managed to purchase 500 would not hold your breath:

https://www.hardkernel.com/main/product ... 0610189490

I am still confused why you are not talking directly to the bodies concerned.
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:10 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:35 am
...
The BCM283x SoC are sourced from Broadcom, you would need to ask them if they are willing to sell to you, though considering HardKernel an established company only managed to purchase 500 would not hold your breath:...
500 would be the size of a sample batch for a potential project IMO
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:35 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:35 am

I am still confused why you are not talking directly to the bodies concerned.
That is because I'm currently still programming the 1st stage prototype at current. If when it gets released to market hopefully later this year, I hope to already have in production refined prototypes ready for the following year; however I actually lack the funds at the moment to get those refined prototypes off the ground. I would get those funds when orders come in or funding is granted from organisations for the current prototype.Hence why I'm asking here so I can get a general idea first. I suspect if I were to contact directly it would come more into costs straight away which I don't want to do as of yet.

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:11 am

If you want to develop a prototype, the CM3 is the best way to do this. I assume you've already developed and tested your system on a Pi3 and optimised it? If not I'd start there, optimising the software is the best way of getting to the next step.

With software improvements, you can usually get far more significant speed increases than you can through hardware improvements. Of course, it's 'easier' to achieve a hardware upgrade and is, therefore, the step most engineers go for. But, if you optimise in software, the improvements are permanent and pay for themselves in all future implementations.

For progressing such a project, I would suggest you either go for a CM3 solution or use the customization service to get the device made for you. This is the only method of being able to get access to the total supply chain for it. The customization service is only really economically viable in the >10k unit volumes, so you would need to go through the CM3 solution to get there (and having a CM3 solution already working would give the transition to a customization very simple).

Thanks

Gordon
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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:12 pm

gsh wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:11 am
If you want to develop a prototype, the CM3 is the best way to do this. I assume you've already developed and tested your system on a Pi3 and optimised it? If not I'd start there, optimising the software is the best way of getting to the next step.

With software improvements, you can usually get far more significant speed increases than you can through hardware improvements. Of course, it's 'easier' to achieve a hardware upgrade and is, therefore, the step most engineers go for. But, if you optimise in software, the improvements are permanent and pay for themselves in all future implementations.

For progressing such a project, I would suggest you either go for a CM3 solution or use the customization service to get the device made for you. This is the only method of being able to get access to the total supply chain for it. The customization service is only really economically viable in the >10k unit volumes, so you would need to go through the CM3 solution to get there (and having a CM3 solution already working would give the transition to a customization very simple).

Thanks

Gordon
Cheers for the info.
I have got a planned idea now how I would go about things; however I've ran into a snag and wondering if yourself or one of the engineers might be able to help fix this snag?

So the current plan of action I have in my head (yet to put to Eagle schematic) would be to use edge/card edge connectors whereby I can then slot my sensors and camera into place.

Now as I'm going to be using the CM3 I'd have to be using the RPI Zero cam or RPI cam. Personally I prefer the Zero cam just cause of its size however (here comes the snag) the Zero Cam in particular the Fisheye/NOIR uses a FPC which is then connected to the board that houses the camera onto it. Is there a way to obtain a Zero Cam that uses either fish/NOIR that can have the circuit added onto the same PCB as the camera is, similar to that of RPI Cam V2 or this design shown by WaveShare on amazon https://goo.gl/1p8kRP and then have an edge connector which can then dock onto a custom pcb which houses the card edge connector for which the camera would dock into?

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Re: What would be the next step up from CM3?

Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:58 am

Maybe you should draw a sketch block diagram of the unit you want to develop.

This is the Raspberry Pi forum, so - most likely - there are only limited number/no people here which design their own cameras. So you may need to ask camera suppliers for support.

Anyhow, it doesn't matter how the camera is assembled to your soulution, either soldered to the PCB or connected via its own FPC.

Maybe you should re-think your baseboard design. You can i.e. use a flex-rigid board (i.e. https://www.pcbprototype.com/en/printed ... flex-rigid).
https://www.eurocircuits.de/wp-content/ ... -flex3.png

Your CM3 + external components and your camera will then be assembled on one single board. You will still be able to 'fold' the camera into position.
Or you use an FPC with added rigidizers.
You have lots of options to get rid of those FPC connectors. But: it depands on your business case if this is cost (yield) effective.

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