Multi-Function SSD Shield for the Raspberry Pi 2

Multi-Function SSD Shield for the Raspberry Pi 2


Introducing the CSB502SSD!

Pi 2 Design is excited to introduce the first offering in a new line of Embedded and Media-based I/O shields for the popular Raspberry Pi 2. The CSB502SSD Multi-Function Solid State Drive shield allows users to create a low cost, high performance, embedded network storage device. The powerful combination of the CSB502SSD and the Raspberry Pi 2 lets you leverage the ever expanding RPi 2 ecosystem for a wide variety of Embedded, Data Storage, Medical and Industrial applications.

In addition to the mSATA SSD Socket (up to 1TB) the CSB502SSD provides key functionality to the Raspberry PI 2. This includes: 802.11b/g/n Wifi with Soft-AP support and u.FL jack for optimal antenna placement; Dual USB 2.0 with 5V @ 1.5A power; On-Board wide-input (8V-24V) power supply delivers 50W (5V @ 10A) of power to all on-board peripherals and the Raspberry PI 2; Real Time Clock with removable battery back up insures proper time keeping even with spotty or no network access; finally, the Temperature Sensor with 64-bit ID allows the CSB502SSD to monitor the health of the SSD and provide a unique asset tag.

Technical Specification

  • Full size Raspberry Pi 2 I/O Shield
  • Two USB 2.0 ports for additional expansion
  • PL2571 – USB to SATA Bridge controller
  • mSATA Socket for up to 1TB on-board storage
  • GWF-3M08 WiFi Module (Based on Ralink RT5370) provides 802.11b/g/n for up to 150Mbps. On-Module IPEX connector allows for optimal antenna placement.
  • DS1339 Real Time Clock with 16mm Coin Cell Battery Backup and Programmable Alarm.
  • 1-Wire DS18B20 Temperature Sensor mounted below SSD to monitor health of drive.
  • Additionally the DS18B20 has a unique 64-Bit ID that can be used to identify the shield.
  • On-Board Wide-Input 5V @ 10A power supply, powers all peripherals as well as the Raspberry Pi 2.
  • 5-Pin Header with 5V @ 1A, I2C and GPIO Interrupt supports the official Pi Foundation 7″ Touch Display.

Design Background

When designing the CSB502SSD we looked at the broader Raspberry PI shield market to determine what made sense for a multi-function shield oriented toward embedded control and development.  Along the way we made a handful of decisions and this is a bit of background on this.

USB Hub – The CSB502SSD interfaces to the Raspberry Pi 2 via GPIO, I2C and one USB port.  That port connects to a four port USB hub.  Two ports are used by the WiFi and SATA, while the other two go to separate USB Type-A connectors.  These ports provide a minimum of 1.5A per port.

SSD Socket – We chose the mSata for this project since it offered the most capacity in the space we had available. Although we have used, and continue to use the newer M2 form factor where space is tight, mSata was the best choice for the CSB502SSD.  The PL2571 Hi-Speed USB to SATAII Bridge Controller  was chosen as it offered great Linux support while being low cost and low powered.

WiFi – The GWF-3M08 is a small, low cost module based on the popular Ralink RT5370 chip.  This chip supports 802.11b/g/n speeds at low power and with Soft-AP support so you can use the Raspberry PI 2 as a WiFi access point.  Again, great Linux support was a key factor in our decision.

RTC w/Battery – Many DIY projects have chosen the Dallas//Maxim DS1307 Real Time Clock.  The Dallas/Maxim DS1339 we chose is software compatible, but offers extra features such as programmable alarm, auto-switch over from the 3V rail to the battery, as well as trickle charge for re-chargeable coin cells.  A 16mm coin cell holder allows for up to 250ma/hr non-rechargeable as well as re-chargeable cells.

Temp Sensor – A key issue for SSD drives is that they can be sensitive to temperature.  The Dallas/Maxim DS18B20 provides an easy I2C interface to monitor the ambient temperature at the SSD drive itself.  While some SSD's support internal temperature monitoring, most lower cost, commercial units do not.  An added bonus is the inclusion of a unique 64-bit ID allowing each CSB502SSD to be identified and tracked for asset management purposes.

On-Board Power Supply – The maximum input of 5V @ 700ma via the Raspberry Pi 2 Micro-USB connector has always limited power available to the four USB ports.  Although the CSB502SSD uses one Raspberry PI 2 USB port, it does not take any power from it.  Instead an external 12V brick supplies power to the CSB502SSD via a standard 2.1mm barrel jack.  The 5V @ 10A supply on the CSB502SSD powers all peripherals, plus the Raspberry Pi (up to 4A).

Custom Projects

Recently the Raspberry Pi foundation announced a new program to allow users to create their own customized version of the Raspberry Pi 2. With 3-5K yearly minimums this program shows the commitment of the Raspberry Pi foundation to the embedded marketplace.

But, what if your not ready to make that commitment? We've got you covered. Our Pi2Custom program allows you to create your own application specific shield or carrier board for the Raspberry Pi 2. Select from our vast library of IP and years of industrial interface experience, all with no volume commitments and low or no NRE! Contact us with your ideas and project needs. We love to help.

Share The Project!

We want to say a big thank you for checking out our project, and your help in making it a reality. You're the best!

We have some stretch goals in mind that we would love to reach. So keep on sharing and we'll show you what we have in store!

Even if you can't support us with a pledge, why not help us by spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook and any other social network you're on.

We like the idea of helping other Kickstarter campaigns as well, so we're sharing ours on Kicking It Forward. You can check out their site here

Risks and challenges

For More Details: Multi-Function SSD Shield for the Raspberry Pi 2

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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