Saturday, February 27, 2016

Raspberry Pi 3 vs Raspberry Pi 2, what do we know about it now

The next big thing happening to Raspberry Pi, a credit-card size mini computer and development board after launched for 4 years, is Raspberry Pi 3 model B.

As various sources have already pointed out, based on RPi's claim in FCC, the new RPi will have a on-board wifi(2.4G only)-Bluetooth module. For example, check my previous post, PCworld and CNX-software, or the FCC website.

Some blur images of the new RPi can be found on the FCC website. Here let me do a simple comparison between Raspberry Pi 2 model B and the new Raspberry Pi and see what we can figure out simply from the circuit board.

First, front side
Top is RPi 2 model B and bottom is the new RPi.



Second, reverse side
Top is RPi 2 model B and bottom is the new RPi.

This is what MagPi said..

Now, what do we know about the new RPi?

1. Name: as shown in the figure, the new RPi is indeed called Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. The tested version is already v1.2 and it was developed in 2015.

2. Processor: The image released on FCC is very blurry. We can't tell for sure tell the exact model number of the processor of RPi 3. However, as advertised by the latest MagPi magazine, the new RPi will be using a 64-bit 1.2GHz ARM processor. For comparison, RPi 2 model B is using 32-bit 900MHz ARM-A7 Cortex.

3. wireless: RPi 3 has an onboard WiFi-Bluetooth module (see the upper right of the reverse side of the Pi). The antenna of the module is on the upper left corner of the front side of the board. It is not very big. I think its performance is probably similar to those USB wifi dongle. With the onboard wireless module, we essentially have one more available USB slot!

4. USB: RPi 3 model B has four USB slots as RPI 2 model B

5. Ethernet: RPi 3 has an ethernet port just like RPi 2.

6. GPIO: Both RPi 2 model B and RPi 3 model B have 40 GPIO pins.

7. RAM: unclear. The image of the new Pi is really blur...

8. Display: both RPi 2 and RPi 3 have standard HDMI port and composite video-audio jack port. However, seems like the new RPi 3 gets an extra video port (probably parallel to HDMI?).

9. others...: some minor rearrangement of chips (diodes, regulators, etc.)