Raspberry Pi 3 out now with a 50 percent faster processor and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, just for $35
The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the third major iteration of the original Raspberry Pi known as the Raspberry Pi 3. The inventors of this new version of the palm-sized machine say that this is the first to truly work as a fully-functioning PC.
The Raspberry Pi 3 comes with a 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor running at 1.2 GHz that is roughly 50 percent faster than its predecessor, according to the foundation. “Our primary goal in moving to A53 from A7 was to get a better 32-bit core,” said Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO Eben Upton. “A53 running in 32-bit mode outperforms A7 at the same clock speed by 20-30 percent.”
It also comes with integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, and is fully compatible with both Raspberry Pi 1 and 2. It is the first 64-bit Pi, which makes it more compatible with certain versions of Linux. Compared to the original Pi, real world applications will see a performance increase of between 2.5x – for single-threaded applications – and more than 20x – for NEON-enabled video codecs.
Even though there’s the same 1GB of RAM, it’s gone from 450MHz to 900MHz. The VideoCore IV graphics keeping things ticking over also sees a slight improvement from 250MHz to 400MHz. Both are housed on a board that retains the same dimensions as the Pi 2.
Also, the rest of the features haven’t changed from Pi 2. It has an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, MicroSD, a combined 3.5mm audio and composite video jack, and four USB ports. It runs a Broadcom VideoCore IV 3D graphics processor that can play 1080p video at 60 frames per second, and has 40 GPIO pins, and display and camera interfaces.
Besides the specs, the most important part is that the Pi 3 is currently priced the same as the Pi 2: $35/£30.
The previous generation Raspberry Pi boards will continue to be sold after the Pi 3’s release, even though Upton says there is limited scope to reduce the cost of Raspberry Pi 2 Model B due to the chipset not being “significantly more cost effective” than that of the Raspberry Pi 3. Both the the Pi 1 and 2 will continue to coexist with the new model, priced $25 and $35, respectively.
The Raspberry Pi 3 is available for purchase right now from Element14, RS Components and other usual stockists for $35/£30.