We first got a glimpse of the Raspberry Pi 3 thanks to an FCC filing, but now Raspberry Pi has officially lifted the veil on its latest mini PC. And today is not a special day just because of the Raspberry Pi 3; it also marks four years exactly since the original 256MB Raspberry Pi Model B was introduced.
The Raspberry Pi 3 is fully compatible with the first and second generation models, but brings with it a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core processor (it offers roughly ten times the computing performance of the original Raspberry Pi). More importantly, the new Cortex-A53-based processor is between 50 to 60 percent faster than the Raspberry Pi 2.
On the functionality front, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 have been included, which vastly improves the versatility of the Raspberry Pi platform. Now teachers, students, researchers and tinkerers alike will be able to connect to the internet, perform experiments and collect sensor data with fewer wires to trip over. You also won’t have to worry about physically connecting a mouse or keyboard as you can go wireless with Bluetooth-equipped versions.
As for the layout of the device, as we mentioned in our previous coverage, all of the ports and connectors are in the exact same place. The only notable “board” change is that the LEDs has been moved to make room for the wireless antenna.
It should also be noted that the Raspberry Pi 3 can still operate off a meager 5V micro-USB power adapter. However, you’re now being cautioned to use a 2.5A power adapter should you decided to attach “power-hungry” USB peripherals.
The best thing, perhaps, about the Raspberry Pi 3 is that it will be available for the same price of its predecessor: $35. The PC is available to purchase today from the usual resellers including RS Components and element14.