EVERYBODY'S FAVOURITE maker board and mini computer, the Raspberry Pi is getting an update in the form of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ (3A+).
Whilst many speculated that we'd get the Raspberry Pi 4 or Raspberry Pi Zero 2 next, but instead we've got something somewhere between the two; a slimmed down version of the last flagship - the RP3 B+, and let's be clear - at the price, there's nothing wrong with that.
The 3A+ has the same mechanical footprint as the 1A+, so for stalwart fans that gives you an idea of what you are in for. It's smaller than recent models (except the Zero) and the lower profile will make it a lot easier to slip unnoticed into your builds.
Specswise, expect a Cortex-A53, 64-bit 1.4GHz quad-core processor from Broadcom, 512GB of DDR2 RAM (half that of the 3B+), a dual-band (2.4/5GHz) WLAN with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, and Bluetooth 4.2 and LE.
There's no ethernet, but the WiFi upgrade has been designed to make it easier to integrate the board into your inventions without loads of compliance testing. Result - faster project throughput. Faster release.
Elsewhere, there's a full-size HDMI port, MIPI DSI display port, MIPI CSI camera port, and a 4-pole stereo audio/video composite port.
As ever, the memory comes from the microSD kit, ready to be installed with noobs or whatever operating system you need. Power comes from the usual microSD input or you can draw from the 40-pin GPIO connector.
The OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 graphics support is bolstered by MPEG-4 and H.264 display support at 1080 progressive HD at 30fps.
All of this is built with improved build quality - the thermal management means that the whole thing will run more efficiently, and cooler - ideal for being buried deep inside your brilliant world-changing project.
Plus on the software side, there's improved support for booting off a USB stick instead of the microSD card, which opens up possibilities for easier hot-swapping of operating systems, if that's your thing.
The 3A+ costs a mere $25 (£19) and is available from all the usual places. As ever, we'll be keeping a close eye on the things that you come up with using Pi, and we've got plenty of time to do so - there's a pledge to keep this model in production until 2023, and we'd imagine there'll be support long after that.
After all - it's The Raspberry Pi Foundation. They're dudes. μ
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