Raspberry Pi Foundation has marked its fourth birthday with issue of Raspberry Pi 3 which is already available for $35. On February 29, 2012 the company presented its first 256MB Raspberry Pi Model B that was destined to become a top seller. For four years more than eight million units, including three million units of Raspberry Pi 2, have been sold making Raspberry the UK’s best-selling computer ever!
What’s new with Pi 3? Onboard WiFi/Bluetooth, a new 64-bit quadcore processor, and 50% more processing power. https://t.co/GwijoS4ros
— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) February 29, 2016
“The launch of Raspberry Pi 3 marks the four-year anniversary of our highly successful relationship with RS and Allied, which have played a significant role in its success as leading and trusted sources of products, technologies and information for professional engineers, hobbyists and those looking to make their first steps into the work of programming” – said founder Eben Upton.
Raspberry names the following features of new Pi 3:
- A 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU (~10x the performance of Raspberry Pi 1)
- Integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1
- Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1 and 2
Raspberry Pi can be used as a low-cost computer (remarkably, the Pi 3 model will cost the same as the Raspberry Pi 2 thanks to decrease in the cost of some of the components and continual improvements to the production process). By the way, Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 have not only the same price, but the same size as well. However, the new version will have the LEDs moved from around the edge of the Pi to make way for the new antenna. Upton claims that new improvements will make the Pi even closer to a PC. “It’s really a qualitative change; it changes what you can do with the Pi,” he said.
Raspberry Pi 3 will be supported by Windows 10 via a new Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview update already available for download. Windows made it easier to connect a Windows 10 IoT Core device to the Internet by adding support for the official Raspberry Pi Wi-Fi dongle and other common Wi-Fi dongles. Besides it brought full support for the TX/RX pins enabling easy access to the UART by simply calling GetDeviceSelector (“UART0”) method on the SerialDevice class. Windows team admits to be thrilled by delivering the power of Windows 10 to the new faster, more powerful and the first out of the box IoT ready Raspberry Pi 3 .
Upton mentioned that while developing Raspberry Pi 3 they faced some difficulties. They aimed at creation of higher-powered device but could hardly find space on the already-crowded board for new additions such as the wireless chip. They also needed to be confident that the new Pi met radio regulations in different countries. “This’ll be the first time we’ve done a product with a radio on it, and we spent about £100,000 ($140,000) on radio conformance testing over the last three or four months,” he said. “Ouch.”
Upton made it clear that the company is not going to rest on its laurels and the team will just enjoy a “collective sigh of relief and exhaustion” before continuing to work on improvements.
“I’m most excited about Raspberry Pi as a PC,” he said. “There’s an awful amount of people in the world, even in the developed world, who don’t have a general purpose computer. They have a games console or a mobile phone; those are enormously powerful computers, but they’re not open and they’re not yours, really.”