At the Raspberry Pi foundation’s fourth birthday, it unveiled the newest board The Raspberry Pi 3, with a faster CPU, integrated Bluetooth LE and WiFi functionalities.
The Raspberry Pi 3 on board computer is as powerful as an entry level PC from the previous decade but still cheaper that a new PS4 game.
The new Pi 3 uses the Broadcom SoC BCM2837 with 1.2GHz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, coupled with 400MHz VideoCore IV multimedia and a gigabyte of RAM.
The company says this will provide a 50-60% increase in performance in 32-bit mode when compared to the previous model, Pi 2 and a 10x better performance of the Pi 1. All this at the same price tag of $35.
The new board also features integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1 and can be still run from a 5V micro-USB power adapter.
More than eight million boards being sold now, maintaining backward compatibility with the new board is a key for the foundation which it achieves with the Pi 3.
Raspberry Pi Founder Eben Upton says:
“I think a lot of people forget the Foundation’s educational mission, and the importance it places on backwards compatibility with the 8 million Raspberry Pi’s already out there. When you’re dealing with computers in a classroom, not making all your teaching materials out of date overnight is vital.”
Now, what about running newer operating systems on the Pi 3?
The older Pi’s are already capable of running a suite of Linux-based OS-es and the new Pi 3’s additional power at the user’s disposal increases the possibility of the Pi running OS-es like Android, Chromium OS and maybe Windows.
Last year, Microsoft released a cut-down version of its Windows 10 operating system, known as Windows IoT Core, for the Raspberry Pi 2.
With the Pi 3, Raspberry claims it has the firepower to run the full version of Windows and points to the similar hardware of the board to that of the first Surface RT tablets which actually ran a version of Windows 8.
Regarding running the Chromium OS, Eben Upton says,
“There’s a quite impressive looking ChromiumOS port for the Pi. As we get more processing power and as Eric’s stuff matures further, we hope that can become something we can endorse and have as an option on the Pi.”
Here are the highlighted specifications of the new Raspberry Pi 3:
- SoC: Broadcom BCM2837
- CPU: 1.2GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM cortex A53
- Graphics and Memory: 400MHz VideoCore IV multimedia, 1GB LPDDR2-900 SDRAM
- 802.11n Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1 (including Bluetooth Low Energy)
- Ethernet: 10/100 (Max throughput 100Mbps)
- USB: Four USB 2.0 with 480Mbps data transfer
- Storage: MicroSD card or via USB-attached storage
- Expandability: 40 general purpose input-output pins
- Included Camera interface (CSI), Display interface (DSI)