BCM2836 Compute Module


Hello. On Raspberry Pi 2 announcement post Raspberry Pi foundation disclosed plans to introduce a BCM2836-based Compute Module soon. So, will Slice main board be compatible with this new module (so, Slice owners can replace it latter)? And if Slice will be delayed enough to catch BCM2836 Compute Module production, is there any chance that it will be shipped with that module instead?

Thank you.


I was just about to start a thread with the same question :slight_smile: I’m sure the team’s priority is getting the current Slices out in the world, but I would love to hear if there will be an ‘upgrade’ plan or something like that.



Yes the Slice board will be compatible with the BCM2836 compute module when it comes out. Unfortunately the CM2 will not be released in time for Slice there is still a lot of work to do before we get there.

But when the CM2 is available we’ll make it possible for you to buy a CM2 pre-programmed with all the Slice goodness so you can easily upgrade your Slice.

In the meantime don’t forget we’ve suitably created our Kodi skin to make using Kodi on the Pi (original) awesome with or without the quad core v7. It just means in the future we can do lots more to the skin to make it even more awesommer



Thanks for the quick update Gordon!


Amazing news !!! SLICE will be upgradable and we will gain 6x performance, it’s going to be awesome !

It really shows how versatile SLICE is and future proof.


The 6x performance is an average figure and for a single threaded application it can be as low a 1.5x but Eben has said in various interviews today that XBMC has got the potential for multi threading and decoding codecs in software is practical so we should see support for codecs that aren’t supported in hardware over time. For me the current CM if perfectly fine in the Slice and does all that I need.

I have ordered a Pi 2 though, from Pimoroni of course.


Indeed, stats like that are always to be taken with a pinch of salt but between quad core and double Ram like you said will make a difference of codec that maybe in the past couldn’t be supported.

I’m hopping for DTS-HD and DD-HD one day to the Pi :slight_smile:


Nice! Thank you for a quick response.


Thanks for reaffirming the future-proofness of Slice.


What I was hoping when I saw the headlines of Raspberry Pi 2, was support for H.265. But it’s not to be so. :disappointed:


Looks like an expensive option to add to the Pi due to the hardware decoding and unecessary price when the Pi is made for educational purposes not only media centers.

Maybe Pi 3 in 4 years LOL


Great news that it is upgradable as I like my tech to be as up to date as possible. That being said I wont be in a hurry to do this and will most likely be holding off until some of the more tech savvy Slice owners have done it (and possibly made a HOW-TO on how to do it (nudge nudge)). Like that my Slice is future proof.


I conquer.
I would love the new, faster chip, but… The implementation… My problem alike…


Of course when we get to CM2 we’ll post a video of how to unscrew the Slice, pop out the old compute module and clip in the new one… Point is, it really is that simple!



@Gordon , there’s much brouhaha around the Pi2 compute module. Can you tell us what performance benefits Slice will experience with the new module? Might Slice gain the ability to work with a wider variety of audio/video codecs?

Given that Slice is expected to work admirably with the current compute module, giving us an idea on what can be expected might also serve to calm the nerves of those who think Slice is already out of date. :smile:


The CM2 is not out yet.

I guess with the Pi2 will will found out soon, once developers start playing with it and testing it’s limit.


Performance of the GPU is unchanged but the GPU itself is being used as a hammer to crack a nut anyway… The video decode hasn’t changed so still has the headline performance of 1080P30.

The big difference here is the quad core A7 with NEON instruction set which means that we can now run things like HEVC and other software codecs, although we’re not yet sure what resolution we can hit with those… That requires further investigation.

But overall it does mean we can make the Skin even nicer and bring in more functionality (much as fan art etc) and use more addons by default.



Does the CM not have to be loaded/programmed by you or is that just for our convenience initially and we can do it ourselves later in the event of (self-inflicted of course) corruption or acquisition of a CM2 module?


You can program it yourself if you want more than one, this may be useful if you want to switch back and forth…

But to do this is actually quite difficult, you need to have a Raspberry Pi with a suitable download of the installer image…

But to make the whole process easier I have recently been working on getting NOOBS working on Slice, this enables us to have more than one OS installed on the eMMC (i.e. you could install Raspbian and the Slice OpenELEC build), but also allows us to recover a corrupted eMMC card (as long as the NOOBS partition is not corrupted)

So you shouldn’t worry too much… We’ll provide youtube clips



I for one am looking forward to all the YouTube video clips about how to setup and use Slice, plus user videos showing customisations :grinning: