Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Paspberry Pi 3 is here... Up the ante...

Raspberry Pi widely known as the world’s most successful and accessible computer platform that anyone can program. Coolest thing that reminds us fondly of the early 8-bit Apple II, Intel 485, Atari, and Commodore days, and with obviously much more capability now. 

Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched the Raspberry Pi 3, an upgraded model that is on sale now

The Pi 3 includes a new Broadcom BCM2837 SoC with a 64-bit processor for the first time — a 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU that the company claims is roughly 10 times faster than the processor in the original model (at least on SysBench). The 33% bump in clock speed over the Pi 2’s 900MHz should deliver a 50-60% increase in performance in 32-bit mode.

Image Courtesy element14

The Pi 3 also has 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, which vastly expands the variety of things you can do with it (or at the very least, means you no longer need an Ethernet cable or a Wi-Fi adapter). Bluetooth makes it ideally suited for IoT-like applications, as now the unit can pick up data from sensors without needing a direct connection. The Pi 3’s form factor remains largely the same, other than that the LEDs are now on the other side of the microSD card socket to make room for the antenna. Speaking of which, that microSD card slot is now just that, and no longer a spring-loaded tray, which should be more reliable in the long run.

The board runs from a 5V micro-USB power adapter as before, and the company is recommending you use a 2.5A adapter in order to connect USB devices that require a lot of power.

For now, the company is using the same 32-bit Raspbian userland, and the Pi 3 is fully backwards compatible with the Pi 1 and Pi 2, including for all existing accessories (aside from anything that may obscure the LEDs in the new position). Company founder Eben Upton said on the official blog that they’re currently investigating whether it’s worth it to move to 64-bit mode for the performance improvements.

The Pi3 is available now from Element 14 and Pi Supply. The Pi 1 Model B+, Pi 2 Model B, and original Pi remain on sale for $25, $35, and $20, respectively; Upton said in the post that it intends to build those models for as long as there’s demand.