The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new version of its modular compute platform: the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.
The B+ has the same form factor and dimensions as the Pi 2 B and Pi 3 B, making it a drop-in replacement but with a better processor and connectivity. Compared to the Pi 3 B, the B+ adds many hundreds of MHz—it runs its quad core 64-bit Cortex-A53 processor at 1.4GHz, up from 1.2GHz—along with dual band 2.4/5GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, up from 2.4GHz and Bluetooth 4.1.
The Ethernet port has been upgraded from 100Mb/s to what is technically gigabit; it syncs at gigabit speeds, but the actual Ethernet controller is only USB 2, so transfer rates are limited to about 300Mb/s.Other connections are unchanged, four USB 2 ports, a 40-pin GPIO connector, an HDMI video output, camera and touchscreen ports, stereo/composite video, and a microSD slot for its software and operating system. It uses the same 5V/2.5A power as before and will also support power-over-Ethernet with an accessory (coming soon) sold separately.
The faster processor and better networking don’t change the price: it’s still a $35 piece of hardware.
Already popular among the maker crowd, the new Pi version should be easier to integrate into products, as it ships with modular compliance certification for the new dual-band Wi-Fi. This certification should reduce the testing time and expense for any products built around the model B+, as they should no longer need to obtain a full Wi-Fi certification. With this certification and 5GHz Wi-Fi, we should expect to see 5GHz becoming more common in Internet-of-Things devices, and for many of us, 2.4GHz networks will increasingly become legacy relics.
Listing image by Raspberry Pi Foundation