Kontron looks to Raspberry Pi4 move for industrial AI

November 05, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Kontrol looks to Raspberry Pi4 move for industrial AI
Kontron is planning a version of its Pi-Tron single board compute based on the Raspberry Pi4 for industrial AI

This comes as Raspbery Pi founder Ebon Upton is encouraging OEM customers to move from the Pi3, based on 40nm ARM controllers from Broadcom that are in short supply, to the 28nm Pi4 version.

“We are currently working on expanding our Pi-Tron product family and will introduce the Pi-Tron CM4 to the market in the course of 2022,” said a spokesperson for Kontron. “The CM4 comes with all the interfaces that are needed with a view to IIoT and Industry 4.0: These include connections for Ethernet and USB, an HDMI interface for the monitor, a DSI interface for directly connecting a display, and CSI interfaces for cameras. A WLAN and Bluetooth module ensures good connectivity.”

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Kontron’s current Pi-Tron CM3 is based on the Pi3 design and last month was expanded with support for the Codesys industrial programmable logic controller (PLC) software running on the Raspian Linux operating system. This is an integrated development environment for PLCs using the IEC 61131-3 standards for application development in industrial automation using the passively-cooled board.

Pi-Tron has been designed to focus primarily on communication functions and is often used as a gateway or data logger with multifunctional I/O modules for Industry 4.0 applications.

The move to the higher performance board will allow more machine learning applications in the Internet of Things (AIoT) and opens up the possibility of adding an AI accelerator chip.

The Raspberry Pi is the most popular single board computer for IoT developers and the Pi4 opens up the use of software containers such a Docker running on Linux and AI machine learning frameworks.

“In the future, automation possibilities around AI (Artificial Intelligence) will continue to increase in the industry: Drivers are topics such as predictive maintenance and visual quality inspections,” said Kontron. “In the future, Raspberry Pi products could be supplemented with an additional AI chip. Although some companies are already testing corresponding applications, in Kontron's experience, the market is not yet that far advanced. “

www.kontron.com; www.raspberrypi.com

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