Exactly four years ago, on 29 February 2012, the original 256MB Raspberry Pi Model B went on sale. Since then, the Raspberry Pi Foundation shipped over eight million units, including three million units of Raspberry Pi 2, making it the most successful home-brewed audio streamer.
Today the third major release was announced at the same price of the previous version, a whooping $35. The 900MHz 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU complex of the Rpi2 has been replaced by a custom-hardened 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53. Combining a 33% increase in clock speed with various architectural enhancements, this provides a 50-60% increase in performance in 32-bit mode versus Raspberry Pi 2, or roughly a factor of ten over the original Raspberry Pi. Who doesn’t want more power ?
In order to support the stronger processor the designers suggest a slightly stronger 2.5A power supply but if you have followed my advice your 5A linear beast is more than enough.
The other new feature is the introduction of an integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1 functionality. As a hard core audiophile I am not going to use this as I hate having any possible source of radio interference near my digital equipment but I’m guessing it will come handy to many. Good news is the new v3 will be backward compatible with the v2 so expect most OS to be good to go right away or with small adjustments that wont take much.
Unfortunately the Rpi Foundation has not opted for gigabit ethernet or a separate bus for the USB ports and the ethernet connection so yours truly will be taking a closer look to the Odroid C2 as soon as the first audio-only operating systems will be hitting the net. Stay tuned for more!
Raspberry Pi 3 Specifications
SoC: Broadcom BCM2837
CPU: 4× ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz
GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)
Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy
GPIO: 40-pin header, populated
Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4× USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)