Today marks the fourth birthday of the original Raspberry Pi tiny computer. To celebrate, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has released the Raspberry Pi 3, its third-generation model. With this iteration, the Raspberry Pi gets a delicious spec boost while holding on to the prior model's $35 price point.
Perhaps the biggest additions to this Raspberry Pi are integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. With prior models, users had to rely on Ethernet or USB connections for talking to the outside world, so these additions make the Pi 3 easier to use and a better value. The Raspberry Pi 3 also gets a beefier Soc in the form of the Broadcom BCM2837. That part boasts four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.2GHz. The chip also offers both 32-bit and 64-bit support. In 32-bit mode, the SoC purportedly offers a 50-60% boost in performance compared to the Raspberry Pi 2.
The rest of the Raspberry Pi 3 looks similar to the Raspberry Pi 2. It comes with 1GB of SDRAM, four USB 2.0 ports, a single HDMI port, and a microSD card slot. In what will come as a disappointment to those hoping for gigabit speeds, a 10/100 Ethernet adapter makes a repeat appearance. The computer is still powered by a 5V micro-USB adapter, but for this model the Foundation recommends a 2.5A adapter if a lot of power is needed for USB devices.
The Foundation says it will keep selling all three generations of the Raspberry Pi as long as there is demand. The Raspberry Pi 3 is available for sale now.