Raspberry Pi 3

Last week the Raspberry Pi foundation has released yet another model named the “Raspberry Pi 3 Model B”, so in a few months the foundation has released two new Pi’s the Zero and Pi 3.

The Pi 3 is the newest family member of the super popular single board computer that’s aimed at hobbyists and anyone the want’s a small computer for a reasonable price. The new Pi 3 model has been released just a year after the Raspberry Pi 2, and only a few months after the Pi Zero.

So what’s change?

raspberrypi3

The Pi 3 comes with a built-in wireless network adapter and have integrated Bluetooth, so you don’t have to buy an additional WiFi USB dongle for wireless network connectivity. Just like the previous models this Pi comes with a faster CPU and perhaps one of the biggest changes it have a 64 bits processor.

I’ve done some testing and indeed it feels much faster than the previous models, even when running a full Raspbian desktop it feels pretty fast and responsive.
The downside is perhaps the CPU temperature when running at full speed, it could get as high as 85° Celsius or 185° Fahrenheit, without any additional cooling.

 

My first thoughts:

In my opinion the Raspberry Pi foundation have done an excellent job in creating the Raspberry Pi 3.
However there a some small thing that they could have made to make it an even better product;

Networking;

The Raspberry Pi should really have a 1Gb/ps network adapter. However the 100Mb/ps limit is because the network adapter is connected to the internal USB bus and could not handle 1Gb/ps speeds.
However other vendors are capable to add a 1Gb/ps network adapter to their boards just like the “Banana Pi” or for example the “UP”, I really hope that they have a 1Gb/ps network in the next version of the Raspberry Pi

However one cool thing is they now have added a wireless network adapter on the board it self, so no need to buy an additional WiFi adapter so that saves you some $ 🙂

CPU;

One of the biggest changes in the Pi 3 is a 64 bits CPU and to make it even better it’s faster (running at 1.2 GHz, per core) than the previous 900MHz (per core) CPU of the Raspberry Pi 2 B. All this power generates some heat, but unlike the previous models that where running at max 50° Celsius or 122° Fahrenheit, the new RPI 3 could easily run as high as 85° Celsius or 185° Fahrenheit.

In the next few days I will do some testing to find out if it makes sense to mount a cooling block to the CPU in order to lower the temperature, so stay tuned on a update.

Memory;

I had really hoped that the RPI3 would have at least 2GB of RAM, but unfortunately it’s still 1GB of RAM.
Will reading the RPI3 release post over at raspberrypi.org someone asked if there are plans for a 2GB version, and a rather disappointing response from the foundation was that there are no plans for a 2GB memory model because of “architectural limitation with the VC4” 🙁

 

Specifications:

New for this model;

  • Broadcom BCM2387 at 1.2GHz Quad-Core ARMv8 Cortex-A53 (64 bits)
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

Like the previous Pi 2 model, it comes with;

  • 1GB memory (LPDDR2-900)
  • Ethernet port (100Mb/ps)
  • 4x USB 2.0 ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Micro SD card slot (changed from a “click-in, click-out” system to a “push-pull”)
  • VideoCore IV Multimedia (Dual Core at 400MHz)
  • 5V, 2.5A power supply
  • The Raspberry Pi 3 has an identical form factor (85 x 56 x 17 mm) as the previous Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ models.

A short pro’s and con’s list:

  • Faster CPU running at 1.2 GHz per core
  • 64 Bits CPU architecture
  • Build-in WiFi
  • Build-in Bluetooth 4.1 / Low Energy (LE)
  • Same price as the last model
  • The PI 3 is available directly, unlike the Pi Zero 😉
  • High temperatures, when running high CPU workload
  • Raspbian is still 32 bits
  • 1GB memory
  • USB 2.0
  • LED’s have been relocated, so cases designed for the RPI2 may not fit well with the RPI3

Raspberry Pi Zero

Well yeah although this is actually old news by now, I just want to post this because I think Raspberry Pi’s are super cool 🙂
And what is even cooler than the credit-card sized Raspberry Pi? ….an even smaller and cheaper Raspberry Pi.

Last December out of nowhere the Raspberry Foundation released a new Raspberry Pi family member; the Pi Zero!

Below you will find a copy of the press release;

 

Of all the things we do at Raspberry Pi, driving down the cost of computer hardware remains one of the most important. Even in the developed world, a programmable computer is a luxury item for a lot of people, and every extra dollar that we ask someone to spend decreases the chance that they’ll choose to get involved.

The original Raspberry Pi Model B and its successors put a programmable computer within reach of anyone with $20-35 to spend. Since 2012, millions of people have used a Raspberry Pi to get their first experience of programming, but we still meet people for whom cost remains a barrier to entry. At the start of this year, we began work on an even cheaper Raspberry Pi to help these people take the plunge.

Raspberry Pi Zero

Today, I’m pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability of Raspberry Pi Zero, made in Wales and priced at just $5. Zero is a full-fledged member of the Raspberry Pi family, featuring:

  • A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
    • 1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
  • 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • A micro-SD card slot
  • A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
  • Micro-USB sockets for data and power
  • An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
    • Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
  • An unpopulated composite video header
  • Our smallest ever form factor, at 65mm x 30mm x 5mm

 

Raspberry Pi Zero runs Raspbian and all your favourite applications, including Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi. It is available today in the UK from our friends at The Pi Hut and Pimoroni, and in the US from Adafruit and in-store at your local branch of Micro Center. We’ve built several tens of thousands of units so far, and are building more, but we expect demand to outstrip supply for the next little while.

One more thing: because the only thing better than a $5 computer is a free computer, we are giving away a free Raspberry Pi Zero on the front of each copy of the December issue of The MagPi, which arrives in UK stores today. Russell, Rob and the team have been killing themselves putting this together, and we’re very pleased with how it’s turned out. The issue is jam-packed with everything you need to know about Zero, including a heap of project ideas, and an interview with Mike Stimson, who designed the board.