The Raspberry Pi Foundation is celebrating its computer’s fourth birthday with some big news: it’s launching a brand new Raspberry Pi today. The Raspberry Pi 3 — is perhaps the biggest update yet to the tiny and extremely inexpensive computer.
It should come as no surprise that the Pi 3 is an iterative update on the popular Pi 2. According to Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO Eben Upton, it’s been a year in the making. Gone is the 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU, replaced with a quad-core 64-bit 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A53 chip that is roughly 50 percent faster than its predecessor. “Our primary goal in moving to A53 from A7 was to get a better 32-bit core,” Upton told. “A53 running in 32-bit mode outperforms A7 at the same clock speed by 20-30 percent.”
One of the longstanding shortcomings of the Raspberry Pi—the mini-computer that everybody loves to love—is its lack of wireless connectivity. Sure, you can buy a USB Wi-Fi dongle, but that’s an added expense, and it means one fewer USB port at your disposal on a device that’s already somewhat limited, connectivity-wise. Well, RPi solved that with the built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi chip plus Bluetooth 4.0 module.
The addition of Bluetooth will be more important for hobbyists and researchers, who are already using Pis to collect data from various sensors around their labs and homes. With on-board Bluetooth, the Pi will now be able to collect data from sensors without being directly wired to them. Being able to use a wireless keyboard and mouse is a nice benefit, too.
While the most newsworthy pre-launch leak surrounding the Raspberry Pi 3 is the added wireless functionality, the big news is the upgraded CPU. With the Cortex A53, the Pi 3 has passed through a threshold. The Raspberry Pi isn’t just a board that is used to play retro video games in emulators anymore, and it’s no longer confined to duty as a set-top box. The Pi 3 is a real computer.
Raspberry Pi 3 – Model B Technical Specification
- Broadcom BCM2387 chipset
- 1.2GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53
- 802.11 bgn Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1 (Bluetooth Classic and LE)
- 1GB RAM
- 64 Bit CPU
- 4 x USB ports
- 4 pole Stereo output and Composite video port
- Full size HDMI
- 10/100 BaseT Ethernet socketbr
- CSI camera port for connecting the Raspberry Pi camera
- DSI display port for connecting the Raspberry Pi touch screen display
- Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data
- Micro USB power source
Hackaday – Introducing Raspberry Pi 3