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Pimoroni NVMe Base: A $14 M.2 Connector Add-On for Raspberry Pi 5

The Raspberry Pi 5 is a new single-board computer from Raspberry Pi, featuring an updated processor that is twice as fast as the chip in the Raspberry Pi 4. One of the notable changes in the new board is the inclusion of a single-lane PCIe 2.0 connector, which allows users to add a PCIe NVMe SSD. However, the Raspberry Pi 5 itself does not have an M.2 connector, so additional hardware is required for this functionality. While Raspberry Pi plans to release its own daughter boards next year to add M.2 SSD support, third-party companies have already started offering options.

Pineberry Pi recently introduced the HatDrive! Top and Bottom add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi 5, providing support for PCIe NVMe SSDs. The bottom board supports M.2 2232/2242 cards and is priced at €20 ($22), while the top board, which supports up to an M.2 2280 SSD, costs €26 ($28).

Now, Pimoroni has unveiled the NVMe Base, which is a cheaper option at just over $14. Although it is not yet available, Pimoroni says the base will be released soon, and interested customers can sign up to be notified when it becomes available.

The NVMe Base is designed to be mounted to the bottom of a Raspberry Pi 5 and connects to the computer via a flex cable. It supports M.2 2232, 2242, and 2280 SSDs with speeds up to 800MB/s, thanks to its support for PCIe 3.0. It is important to note that the Raspberry Pi 5 officially supports only PCIe 2.0, which delivers approximately half the speed. However, adding an NVMe SSD to the Raspberry Pi 5 should still provide significantly faster read/write speeds compared to a microSD card and support for drives up to 4TB.

Source: Liliputing.