When the first Raspberry Pi single-board computer arrived in early 2012, it triggered a revolution in how small and cheap computers could be. With these optimisations it is possible to either reach higher clock frequencies, or to run at lower voltages to reduce power consumption.
The new Raspberry Pi 3 B+ comes with improvements in speed across the board, as the company promises to deliver "more processing and faster communications". Add to that support for Power over Ethernet with the addition of a HAT, and for connectivity alone this board is worth the upgrade. Most notably, the processor is an updated 64-bit Broadcom Cortex-A53 chip running at 1.4GHz.
"Today's launch of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is our response to that success, aimed at perfecting the board for a wide range of applications". The B+ takes the 2016 Pi 3 Model B and ups the processing power and Wi-Fi speeds, alongside some other minor tweaks-all of which are outlined in detail below.
The new board has a slightly faster 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, Bluetooth 4.2 (an upgrade from 4.1), and dual-band Wi-Fi. The revised processor carries model number BCM2837B0 and has a metallic heat spreader to improve thermal performance.
The Pi Foundation will continue to sell the previous Pi 3 model, the Model B, for $35 as well because certain industrial customers still require it. "While the USB 2.0 connection to the application processor limits the available bandwidth, we still see roughly a threefold increase in throughput compared to Raspberry Pi 3B", the blog post reads. For makers that is a very positive change as it allowed for the entire device to be certified as a radio module under FCC rules - with a significant reduction in the cost of conformance testing Raspberry Pi-based products as a knock-on effect.
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