Raspberry Pi launches budget-friendly $12 M.2 add-on board

Raspberry Pi introduces a $12 M.2 HAT+ add-on, allowing Pi 5 to connect M.2 M-key peripherals, expanding storage and AI capabilities.

: Raspberry Pi has launched the M.2 HAT+, a $12 add-on board to connect M.2 M-key peripherals to the Pi 5. This accessory enhances the Pi 5’s storage and AI capabilities. Though currently out of stock, it offers up to 500 MB/s data transfer rates and can serve as a boot source.

Raspberry Pi has released a new budget-friendly accessory, the M.2 HAT+, priced at $12, enabling Raspberry Pi 5 users to connect M.2 M-key peripherals like NVMe drives or AI accelerators. This add-on board attaches to the Pi 5’s PCIe 2.0 interface, allowing users to expand the capabilities of their single-board computer significantly. Though the device is available for purchase from approved resellers, it is currently out of stock, reflecting high demand and interest in the community. This accessory aims to provide up to 500 MB/s data transfer rates and even allows connected NVMe drives to be used as a boot source, adding a layer of versatility for various applications, from advanced storage solutions to AI processing tasks. Raspberry Pi has ensured compatibility through extensive testing, including collaboration with hardware manufacturers to resolve potential bugs and issues, making the M.2 HAT+ a reliable and practical addition for tech enthusiasts and developers alike.

First introduced with the launch of the Raspberry Pi 5, the prototype of the HAT+ has undergone several months of revisions and testing before morphing into the currently available M.2 HAT+. The Pi 5 itself boasts impressive hardware including a 2.4 GHz quad-core, 64-bit Arm Cortex-A76 processor and VideoCore VII GPU, facilitating a 2-3x improvement in CPU speed and double the GPU performance compared to its predecessor. It supports dual 4K60 displays via HDMI, dual-band 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, dual USB 3.0 ports, and an Ethernet jack, along with the PCIe 2.0 x1 interface for attaching fast storage solutions. The release of the M.2 HAT+ aligns perfectly with these features, offering users even more options to maximize the potential of their Raspberry Pi 5 machines.

The release has generated significant buzz as it enhances both the storage and processing capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 5. Additionally, the detailed documentation provided by Raspberry Pi ensures that tech enthusiasts can dive deep into the specifics of the new add-on, understanding both its hardware integration and practical applications. Despite its current unavailability due to high demand, the M.2 HAT+ is positioned to be a game-changer for the Raspberry Pi ecosystem, making it an attractive purchase for those looking to augment their single-board computing experience with advanced peripherals and increased performance. The anticipation for restocks speaks volumes about the community’s interest and the potential that this add-on brings to the table.