Home Assistant Yellow is coming to integrate all your devices

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Home Assistant Yellow aims to simplify smart home management by integrating multiple technologies into a single, efficient system. With support for Power over Ethernet (PoE), and built-in Zigbee and Thread radios, this device offers a streamlined setup and operation. By using a single Ethernet cable for both power and data, Home Assistant Yellow reduces clutter and makes installation easier. Its integrated radios provide seamless control over a wide range of smart home devices, enhancing your home automation experience.

The image shows a Home Assistant Yellow device on a white surface with a blue background. The device has a transparent casing with a printed circuit design on its side, revealing internal components. Several ports and buttons are visible on the side facing the viewer. In the background, there are various smart home devices and a box labelled “Home Assistant Yellow.”


Achieving Success Quietly

First, I apologize for not highlighting the Home Assistant Yellow crowdfunding campaign earlier. However, there is no need to worry. The overwhelming support from the Home Assistant community has already pushed the campaign past its goal. Over $175,000 has been pledged, surpassing the $140,000 needed to launch the product on Crowd Supply.

Now, let's delve into the features of Home Assistant Yellow. At its core is the powerful Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, similar to the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, but with the addition of a PCIe Gen 2 x1 interface. This feature allows for an M.2 expansion slot, a significant upgrade from Home Assistant Blue. However, this upgrade comes with a cost, which we will discuss later. The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is mounted on a custom board packed with features. Home Assistant Yellow combines the power of the Raspberry Pi with the flexibility of a custom-designed board, offering the best of both worlds.

Exploring the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is the heart of the upcoming Home Assistant Yellow. It is essentially a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B without the ports, making it compact at just 55 mm x 40 mm. This board is designed for embedded applications and is not intended as a standalone device. Instead, it is sold to industry partners like Nabu Casa, which uses it to build Home Assistant Yellow.

Despite its small size, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is powerful. It has the same quad-core Cortex-A72 CPU at 1.5 GHz and Broadcom VideoCore VI graphics processor as the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers the Compute Module 4 in 32 variants, differing in wireless capabilities (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth/BLE), RAM (1 GB to 8 GB), and onboard storage (Lite to 32 GB).

Home Assistant Yellow supports all available variants. While it might be tempting to choose a cheaper option and upgrade later, I recommend starting with 8 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. The additional power and storage will be beneficial as you explore the extensive possibilities of home automation.

The image is an annotated diagram showcasing the components of a Home Assistant Yellow device. It features a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 prominently, along with other key parts labelled, such as a Zigbee module compatible with Matter, an M.2 expansion slot, and a Gigabit-Ethernet with optional PoE (Power over Ethernet). The device is partially enclosed in a clear, detailed casing that allows a view of the internal components. The diagram includes the logos for “Silicon Labs IoT Accelerator” and “Powered by Raspberry Pi,” emphasizing the device's technological underpinnings.

Potential Drawbacks of Home Assistant Yellow

While Home Assistant Yellow offers numerous benefits, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. The M.2 expansion slot allows for significant customization but comes at an additional cost. Additionally, the absence of USB 3.0 ports might pose a challenge if you need to store footage from an NVR like Frigate or motionEye. However, this can be mitigated by opting for a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 with extra onboard storage, freeing up the M.2 slot for other uses and expanding your USB options.

The primary drawback of Home Assistant Yellow is the wait time, as shipping will not commence until June next year. Despite this delay, the hardware will still be up-to-date upon arrival, and it is unlikely that the Raspberry Pi 5 will be available by then. Additionally, the Compute Module 4 is sufficient for most use cases, making it a reliable choice for many users.

Purchasing Home Assistant Yellow also supports the Home Assistant project, contributing to future developments and enhancements. For those not interested in the hardware, subscribing to Home Assistant Cloud is a viable alternative. This subscription not only shows your support for the project but also unlocks a range of features for your smart home.

Home Assistant Yellow vs. Home Assistant Blue: A Comparison

Wondering about the differences between Home Assistant Blue and Home Assistant Yellow? Let's explore! Home Assistant Blue was the first official hardware for Home Assistant, using an off-the-shelf ODROID-N2+ board with a sleek case. It offered 128 GB of eMMC memory but no significant modifications.

Home Assistant Yellow, however, features a fully customized design with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 at its core. This gives it a significant edge over the ODROID-N2+ due to the extensive support from the Raspberry Pi community. More developers optimize their code for Raspberry Pi, benefiting Home Assistant Yellow.

Additionally, Home Assistant Yellow includes integrated Zigbee and Matter radios, reducing the need for extra accessories. It also supports Power over Ethernet, eliminating the need for an additional cable.

In essence, Home Assistant Yellow surpasses Home Assistant Blue in customization and functionality. With the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and built-in radios, it's an excellent choice for those looking to enhance their smart home setup.

Home Assistant Yellow 03 2

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 vs. ODROID-N2+: A Comparison

Let's compare the ODROID-N2+ and the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 in terms of processing power and graphics. The ODROID-N2+ has a CPU with four modern Cortex-A73 cores, outperforming the Raspberry Pi's four Cortex-A72 cores. It also features two energy-efficient Cortex-A53 cores, making it more power-efficient.

The ODROID-N2+ has a Mali-G52 GPU with six Execution Engines and an 800 MHz clock, while the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 has a Broadcom VideoCore VI GPU clocked at 500 MHz. Despite this, the Raspberry Pi's GPU was chosen for its performance during development, offering integrated ISP, LCD drivers, and more.

While the ODROID-N2+ may have better specs on paper, the Raspberry Pi is still a strong contender. Both boards have their strengths, and your choice depends on your project's requirements. Both are excellent options.

Home Assistant Yellow vs. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: A Comparison

If you're considering Home Assistant Yellow but already own a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, let's compare the two. Both have the same SoC, offering equivalent processing power. However, Home Assistant Yellow includes additional features like an integrated Zigbee radio chip supporting OpenThread and Matter, reducing the need for extra accessories.

Purchasing Home Assistant Yellow also supports the Home Assistant project, potentially leading to future improvements. If you already own a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, you can buy a case like the Argon ONE, which includes an M.2 SATA drive and cooling options. While not as fast as an NVMe drive, it can still run Home Assistant smoothly.

As Matter becomes more prevalent, compatible adapters for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B will likely emerge, allowing you to create a system similar to Home Assistant Yellow. The Google Coral USB accelerator can also be used with the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B for handling multiple video streams.

In conclusion, while Home Assistant Yellow offers unique benefits, a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with a suitable case can still provide a robust Home Assistant experience. The choice depends on your preferences and needs. Supporting Home Assistant by purchasing Home Assistant Yellow is a great way to contribute to its development.

The image shows a translucent Xbox console with a clear casing, allowing the internal components to be seen. The top of the console features the iconic Xbox logo in the centre, and the casing has an “X” shape embossed into it. The front of the console includes controller ports and a disc tray. The internal structures, such as circuit boards and connectors, are visible through the clear plastic, highlighting the console's design and technology.
The image shows a clear purple Game Boy Color handheld gaming device. The front features a screen with the words “Game Boy Color” below it. Below the screen, there is a directional pad on the left, and A and B buttons on the right. There are also “SELECT” and “START” buttons towards the bottom. The internal circuitry is visible through the transparent casing, showcasing the device's electronic components.
The image shows a Home Assistant Yellow device with a transparent casing, allowing a view of the internal components. The top of the casing has a printed circuit design. Visible on the side of the device are various ports including USB, Ethernet, power, and other connectors. The internal heat sink is prominently visible through the clear casing.

Home Assistant Yellow: A Beacon of Innovation

With that said, why should you be excited about Home Assistant Yellow? Home Assistant Yellow comes pre-assembled with Home Assistant pre-installed, saving you the trouble of flashing an SD card or assembling a case. Home Assistant Yellow supports PoE, allowing power and data delivery via a single cable. This is ideal for maintaining a clutter-free environment. Additionally, it includes an integrated Zigbee radio. The Silicon Labs MGM210P Mighty-Gecko-Module supports Zigbee and will enable communication with Matter over Thread devices in the future. Despite concerns about the lack of external antenna support, its ceramic antenna outperforms external Zigbee dongles, ensuring a stable and reliable connection. Moreover, the clear case of Home Assistant Yellow might appeal to many users as it resembles that of limited edition consoles, adding a unique and attractive aesthetic to your smart home setup.

A portrait photo oif Liam Alexander Colman, the author, creator, and owner of Home Assistant Guide wearing a suit.

About Liam Alexander Colman

is an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container.
With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.

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