Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ released
Believe it or not it’s been six years since the launch of the original Raspberry Pi, so what better way for the Pi Foundation to celebrate than releasing a brand new version, dubbed the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.
It was two years ago, the Foundation released the Pi3 B and this latest iteration of this versatile device represents a good upgrade on that product. Among the highlights, the Pi 3 B+ features a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2 and faster Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0). There’s also Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT), improved PXE network and USB mass-storage booting and improved thermal management.
So, alongside a 200MHz increase in peak CPU clock frequency, there’s roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput, and the ability to sustain high performance for much longer periods.
The new product is built around BCM2837B0, an updated version of the 64-bit Broadcom application processor used in Raspberry Pi 3B, which incorporates power integrity optimisations, and a heat spreader
Dual-band wireless LAN and Bluetooth are provided by the Cypress CYW43455 “combo” chip, connected to a Proant PCB antenna similar to the one used on Raspberry Pi Zero W. Compared to its predecessor, Raspberry Pi 3B+ delivers somewhat better performance in the 2.4GHz band, and far better performance in the 5GHz band, claims the Pi Foundation.
Naturally, our interest primarily centres on its ability to act as media centre/streamer and there are now fully functioning versions of OSMC and LibreElec available, although the lack of HEVC support might put some off, still at a cost of approximately £27 plus odds and ends, it should prove a great value alternative to those who don’t require resolutions beyond 1080p.
We’re aiming to get our hands on one very soon for review so watch this space to see how it works in that regard.
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