back to article Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge

A Raspberry Pi 3 with onboard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) support has emerged today. The Model B Raspberry Pi 3 will be the first in the family of tiny cheap-and-cheerful ARM-powered computers to feature builtin wireless networking. For previous models, owners have had to make do with wired Ethernet, USB Wi- …

  1. cd / && rm -rf *

    I do hope the Ethernet isn't hanging off the USB on this one.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      ... and it would be even better if they did a 2 port model

    2. Cynical Observer
      Thumb Up

      Agree.

      It's one of the little niggles that hinders the Pi from working really well as a useful NAS.

      It does work but it's possible to overwhelm it. That separation of Ethernet and USB would just elevate it to that next level.

      Here's hoping...

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        I would be surprised given the architecture of BCM2836.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. PNGuinn
            Go

            You're a bloody poet - I can tell

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Can it run Windows 10 IOT? Presumably the hardware is supported?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Can it run Windows 10 IOT?

            Would anybody actually care if it could? The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from, and the finer networking standards talk about protocols and services, interfaces and models, rather than dictating an implementation. The IoT isn't likely to be any different, and Win10 IoT isn't likely to be relevant.

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Can it run Windows 10 IOT?

              "Would anybody actually care if it could?"

              Lots of people like me would - for the hundreds of millions familiar with Windows and for the millions who are familiar with developing in Visual Studio it's a neat automation / prototyping solution. (Windows IOT and associated tools are free to use). Above all it gives you more choice versus other development options.

              After some searching I found that Eben Upton is quoted as saying that the Pi3 can likely run a full version of Windows, so W10 IOT on Pi3 is likely a no brainer, assuming Microsoft want to...

              "Upton says the Pi 3 is technically capable of running a full version of Windows - pointing to the similarities of the board's underlying hardware architecture to that of the original Surface RT tablets, which ran a version of Windows 8."

              1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                Re: Can it run Windows 10 IOT? @TheVogon

                > Lots of people like me would

                But then 'people like you' are Microsoft shills.

                > Surface RT tablets, which ran a version of Windows 8.

                Windows RT is hardly "a full version of Windows", it is the Windows that doesn't run Windows programs.

                > (Windows IOT and associated tools are free to use).

                Not really, a requirement is a full Windows 10 PC. Where would I get one of those for free.

                > Above all it gives you more choice versus other development options.

                It may be another choice, but it doesn't give "more choice". It is 'Universal' (Windows 10 only) UWP, and Azure. ie it is restricted compared to "other development options". It also doesn't access all the Pi features.

                Also Win10IoT is only on Pi2 and Pi3. There is no deployment option of the cheaper Pi1 or PiZero, or the Compute module, or many Pi-clones or Pi-alikes. So again that is many less options.

                1. TheVogon Silver badge

                  Re: Can it run Windows 10 IOT? @TheVogon

                  "But then 'people like you' are Microsoft shills."

                  I'm a consultant / director - nothing to do with Microsoft, have never worked for them and I don't sell their products.

                  "Windows RT is hardly "a full version of Windows"

                  It really was pretty much - Microsoft tried to stop you using Win32 based programs - but the API was there. These differences become irrelevant anyway with Universal Windows Apps, they can potentially run on any platform.

                  "Not really, a requirement is a full Windows 10 PC. Where would I get one of those for free."

                  All PCs cost money. 99% of them come with an OEM license included that entitles you to use Windows 10.

                  "but it doesn't give "more choice""

                  It does - you can still use the other options you cite.

                  "Also Win10IoT is only on Pi2 and Pi3. "

                  This is still more choice that it not being available for Windows 10 IOT!

                  1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                    Re: Can it run Windows 10 IOT? @TheVogon

                    > It really was pretty much - Microsoft tried to stop you using Win32 based programs - but the API was there.

                    _Some_ of the API was there in RT, and it was 'reserved' for MS only use - such as for their cut down Office.

                    > These differences become irrelevant anyway with Universal Windows Apps, they can potentially run on any platform.

                    RT couldn't run 'Universal' apps, and "any platform" is "any Windows 10 platform".

                    > All PCs cost money.

                    But with a Pi running an actual operating system (rather than a UWP bootloader) there is no need for a PC (that costs money) to do stuff.

      2. JustNiz

        No SATA ports is another of those "little niggles".

      3. Steve Evans

        @Cynical Observer

        Can I recommend the Odroid C1+ for that role. The Lan is Gigabit, and it really flies for a such a cheap board.

        1. Old Used Programmer

          Re: @Cynical Observer

          The Odroid-C1 (the C1+ is the same SoC, it just comes with heatsinks) was benchmarked against a Pi2B and it's 10% to 20% faster. It uses A5 cores (vs. A7) so you don't get nearly as much benefit out of the high clock speed as you might expect.

          Did they ever really fix the USB problem? The same on that the Pi systems programmers fixed and posted to GitHub and Hardkernel claimed was somehow different on their SoC? (Their solution at the time was to force all USB processing onto one, specific, core.)

        2. Alanex

          Re: @Cynical Observer

          I second the Odroid C1/C1+ not because of the Gigabit LAN but because I've lost 2 x Raspberry Pi 2's because apparently they don't like to be plugged in to PoE switches.

          https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=771217#p771217

          I've had a Banana Pi, Odroid C1 & Odroid C1+ running fine for a while now without any issues.

          They may not have the same support as RPi but I've found no problem in getting a basic Debian running on both a C1 and C1+

      4. Ryan Kendall

        Not the role its intended for

        It's for educational purposes, if you want to use it as a NAS buy a NAS.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Not the role its intended for

          Yes, it's great to have an educational platform that is buggy. Dropping USB packets left, right and center.

          Personally I'd rather have something that woks correctly -but maybe that's just me?

    3. Dave Pickles

      Looking at the photos of the PCB I don't think the Wi-Fi can be driven off the USB controller - the chips are on opposite sides of the board, and I believe the USB controller has only 4 ports. No doubt we'll find out on Monday.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Old Used Programmer

      Re: Fail

      That was my reaction...really a Pi2B+ rather than a Pi3B.

    2. A Known Coward

      Re: Fail

      There is an architecture change - from 32bit to 64bit and 900Mhz to 1.2Ghz - https://i.imgur.com/KRRd7OQ.jpg

      1. Old Used Programmer

        Re: Fail

        That's either a hell of a good fake, a real "Oops!", or some of the most interesting news of all about the Pi3. If the last, then, yes, "Pi3B" would be the right nomenclature.

        1. Antonymous Coward

          Re: Fail

          No mistake. Still 1GB RAM sadly. Looks like something's developing quickly... perhaps for tomorrow's genethliac festivities?..

          Broadcom BCM2837 64bit ARMv7 Quad Core Processor running at 1.2GHz

          1GB RAM

          BCM43143 WiFi on board

          Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board

          40pin extended GPIO

          4x USB2 ports

          4 pole Stereo output and Composite video port

          Full size HDMI

          CSI camera port for connecting the Raspberry Pi camera

          DSI display port for connecting the Raspberry Pi touch screen display

          Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data

          Upgraded switched Micro USB power source (now supports up to 2.4 Amps)

          Expected to have the same form factor has the Pi 2 Model B, however the LEDs will change position

          http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/2020826.pdf

          1. Old Used Programmer

            Re: Fail

            Not really a rush. If you go and look at the full FCC photos, there is a label giving a date of "2015-11-23", so this was getting approved by the FCC before the Pi Zero launched.

            The "ARMv7" is a mistake. It has to be ARMv8. It's probably a mistake by whatever marketing servo that wrote what you are referencing. (The link pulls up a blank page now, by the way.)

            I'm just a bit disappointed that it has only 1GB RAM, but I suspect that will change as prices continue to fall. My biggest question is...what process node? Is this still 40nm or has Broadcom started to do 28nm chips?

            1. Boothy

              It's ARMv8

              According to http://raspi.tv/ the CPU is a ARM Cortex A53 CPU

              A look on ARMs own site (linked from the above page) and...

              The ARM ARMv8-A Cortex-A53 processor offers a balance between performance and power-efficiency and is capable of seamlessly supporting 32-bit and 64-bit code.

            2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: Fail

              "I'm just a bit disappointed that it has only 1GB RAM"

              It's still more than 50 times more than my workstation had in 1994, and that could do a whole lot. And felt considerably snappier as a desktop machine than an RPi does.

              Perhaps we should ask developers to use less RAM? I.e actually code with some thought.

              Just don't use Firefox and you should be fine.

          2. All names Taken
            Angel

            Re: Fail

            Take an upvote Antonymous if for no other reason that user name : - )

            1. Antonymous Coward

              Re: Fail

              Um, cheers AnT... except.. you seem to have hit the wrong button ( < : - ( ·

  3. getHandle

    Shame

    Love the RPi concept as a whole (and have a 1 & 2), just feel that Broadcom aren't really the partner you're looking for...

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Shame

      Strange thing to say considering it was Broadcom and the founder's association with them that enabled the whole thing to happen.

      Pi 1 to Pi 2 was an evolution of BCM2835 to BCM2836. Who is to say that Pi 3 won't see a BCM2837 with 2 x USB3 (maybe I should check the photos).

      1. Anonymous Coward
    2. Guzlr

      Re: Shame

      Really? Can you name another SoC vendor that could compete at this level? ST Micro's just announced it's leaving the STB SoC business.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Shame

        Can you name another SoC vendor that could compete at this level?

        Mediatek, can I have my five pounds, ta?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correction

    That'll be Kingston Upon Hull, City of Culture 2017.

    Quite impressed my home town is involved!

    1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Correction

      "Kingston Upon Hull, City of Culture 2017"

      As in yoghurt

      1. PNGuinn
        Trollface

        Re: Correction

        So, what have you got against yoghurt?

  5. swampdog

    Hardware tested in Hull

    We've all been lubed up there.

    Seriously though, a facility to boot off "not" sdcard would be a real boon. Ethernet/iscsi please. The sdcards are a major price factor!

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Hardware tested in Hull

      16GB for a fiver SD cards. Not going to be a killer.

      The reason everything is on an SD card is to make it harder to brick the thing by messing with it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hardware tested in Hull

      Nah, that's the least niggly of the niggles. You can boot from a minimalist image on a £2.00 from Amazon sdcard, then immediately mount a better ext4 device as root.

      Using my super wizard class photoshop skillz, it looks slightly more like BCM2837RIFBG than BCM2836RIFBG.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Hardware tested in Hull

      If you wanted netboot without SD card wouldn't you need some kind of BIOS? Something which ARM SoCs aren't really famous for.

      1. David Given

        Re: Hardware tested in Hull

        Well, actually...

        The Pi's boot process is like this:

        - VC4 turn on.

        - VC4 boot rom finds the SD card and loads the VC4 boot image (bootcode.bin).

        - The VC4 boot image loads the VC4 OS kernel (start.elf).

        - The VC4 OS does all its initialisation and startup.

        - The VC4 OS finds and loads the ARM kernel image (kernel.img).

        - The VC4 OS turns on the ARM core.

        - Your OS boots.

        The ARM isn't involved in *any* of the boot process! By the time it gets power, the kernel image is already in memory! The VideoCore IV is doing all the work.

        It'd be totally feasible for the Pi Foundation to extend the VideoCore OS (I think it's ThreadX?) to support network boot. But you'd still need an SD card to load it, and I suspect that it doesn't have USB or ethernet drivers, so it'd be a lot of work, and it's closed source anyway.

    4. Joeman

      Re: Hardware tested in Hull

      Really? you're moaning about the cost of SD cards?

      i've been buying 128GB Sandisc cards for 16quid!

  6. JustNiz

    When is someone finally gonna put a few (full speed i.e. not via USB) SATA ports on this or any similar product?

    I'd absolutely love to (be able to) replace my aging but nicely compact 4-bay NAS box's proprietary brain with a much faster and far more useful/configurable Raspberry Pi or other small but powerful Linux board.

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      You mean like Intel's Minnowboards? They got widely panned here, seemingly for not being a Rapsberry Pi. And coming from Intel. Knee jerk reactions aside, they are actually quite useful boards if real amounts of I/O are your thing.

      1. GreyWolf

        "They got widely panned here, seemingly for not being a Rapsberry Pi."

        No, shipmate, they got widely panned for claiming to be a competitor to the Pi while being THREE TIMES THE PRICE. In other words, Intel completely missed the point.

        1. the spectacularly refined chap

          No, shipmate, they got widely panned for claiming to be a competitor to the Pi while being THREE TIMES THE PRICE. In other words, Intel completely missed the point.

          That was an association made here, not by Intel. Which is actually my point - everything remotely similar gets viewed through the prism of the Pi regardless of whether they target the same audience or whether a Pi is even capable of the task in question.

          Really, a different class of product comes in at a different price point. This surprises you?

        2. mad physicist Fiona

          "In other words, Intel completely missed the point."

          Or perhaps you did. Instead of making irrelevant parallels they saw a need and made a product to fill that need. The need here was technical capability rather than being cheap. My laptop costs more than a Rapsberry Pi, yours will too, probably TEN or TWENTY times the price.

          YOU WERE FLEECED!!!!

          Or maybe not, since the two address entirely different needs.

    2. Old Used Programmer

      Cubierboard 1 and 2, Banana Pi....or any other board based on the Allwinner A10 or A20 SoCs. There have been boards with SATA II out there for over 3 years.

  7. Joerg

    They could have added a faster 64bit Dual-Core SoC with 2GB RAM

    Or are they planning doing that for the Pi 6 or Pi 7 ?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      How about a 64 Qubit quantum computing processor?

    2. Old Used Programmer

      Patience, grasshopper...

      Sooner than that, I should think, given that the PINE64+ boards should start showing up any day now.

      Like others, I have what I consider to be an ideal feature set. I can find one or more boards with any given feature. What I can't find--so far--is a single board with all of the features I want.

    3. Old Used Programmer

      If the image linked to by another poster is correct, then they've gone to a quad-core 64-bit 1.2GHz SoC. That could also be why they were able to add WIFi and BT. Perhaps the Ethernet is native now? Dunno. Not enough data yet. Also, nothing on memory size.

      In any case, if the image *isn't* a fake, this is going to be a pretty serious problem for the PINE64 project, since you pay them extra to get a WIFi/BT addon device. *If* the Pi3B has 2GB of RAM, it would be cheaper than the 2GB PINE64+ once you add WiFi/BT to it.

      If the Pi Zero is the RPFs anser to the CHIP, this may be the RPFs answer to the PIN64.

  8. HollyHopDrive

    Like I need another one....

    Like somebody else said - a 2 x ethernet port version of this would open up a whole world of opportunity for devices. Its something I wanted since the original B board.

    Anyway, I'm quite excited and will be no doubt in the big long queue of people trying to get one when release and inevitably just don't make enough of them for release day (just like the original pi/pi2 and pizero ... how are they still underestimating volumes for that thing!!)

    If this comes in [price wise] anywhere near the existing Pi2 it will be another massive hit..

  9. Webster Phreaky

    Isn't this defeating the original purpose of the Pi being CHEAP and Stripped Down SIMPLE??? What's next, will it come with a 24" LED LCD Monitor???

    1. ZSn

      If it still comes in at the same price point of $35 does it matter. If they managed to get an i7 with the same power profile and price (and form factor) I wouldn't complain.

      1. Steve Knox
        Coffee/keyboard

        If anyone manages to get an i7 system with the same power profile, let alone price, I'll eat several hats of varying size.

    2. Old Used Programmer

      I would love to see the RPF tackle monitors. When starting out from absolute scratch, a monitor is the single most expensive item to go out and buy. (Side note...I find used monitors in thrift shops, so I get them cheap, but that's not an option for everyone, everywhere.) My expectation if they did so would be a 13" or 15" 1024x768 panel, with *only* HDMI input. If they could do that at a retail price of less than $40 or $50, there would be a lot of cheering.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Isn't this defeating the original purpose of the Pi being CHEAP and Stripped Down SIMPLE???

      That will be the Zero £4.25.

    4. Infernoz Bronze badge
      Pint

      Not having BLE on perfect for IoT board was quite stupid

      The Arduino is a nice idea, but crippled by lack of /built-in/ BLE, and too costly and clumsy via shells. The Pi is even more stupid without /built-in/ BLE for low power wireless comms and peripherals, because USB is a clumsy way to add extra features to tiny computers.

      BLE should be consider as compulsory for any tiny device now. WiFi is a nice to have when you need to use a LAN or WAN with a device and wired Ethernet is a pain or a security risk.

      A project I have in mind will need loads of BLE attached battery powered, wireless environment sensors, so I'll need loads of tiny cheap computers with built-in BLE which I only need to add environment sensors, storage and batteries to, the new Pi 3 looks like it may be suitable and economical for this.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Not having BLE on perfect for IoT board was quite stupid

        It's not primarily and IoT board and it was developed years ago, to be cheap.

        Add features, increase cost. Somebody has to make a decision on which features to meet the target price, and that decision has led to several million sales.

        So not actually stupid.

      2. mad physicist Fiona

        Re: Not having BLE on perfect for IoT board was quite stupid

        "...and wired Ethernet is a pain or a security risk."

        Why? You think WiFi is MORE secure? It isn't even as if you don't have the option - you can ditch the ethernet and get an A if you want. Which version massively outsells the other?

        It also ties in in well with the overall aim of the project - something people can build into something else. For a lot of people and a lot of something elses the vagaries or wireless communication are a complete non-starter. Remember you are not the entire userbase and your use is not the only one or even necessarily the most popular.

      3. Spanners Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Not having BLE on perfect for IoT board was quite stupid

        "wired Ethernet is a pain or a security risk"

        Either, I am not understanding what you mean or both those statements fly in the face of any evidence I have seen.

        Pain - how much more pain are you caused by simply plugging in an Ethernet cable than, A. paying extra for a Wifi dongle, B. installing the drivers, C. fardling around with connecting up to the right WiFi and D putting in the password? At least you can avoid A&B now.

        Security - You do use a WiFi passord I assume. This is famously not secure and easy enough for crims/spooks to swamp out and so on,

        I have uses for WiFi Pi devices in future but they are inherently fiddlier and less secure or reliable than a length of CAT5/6/etc

  10. Turnipking007

    Birthday soon!

    Raspberry Pi is having it's 1st or 4th birthday ... depending how you look at leap years soon .... I wonder if the news of Pi 3 will come out then?

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Birthday soon!

      Presumably. It looks like postings about the Pi 3 are being deleted on the official forum as soon as they are made, probably in an attempt to keep the announcement as secret as possible. I doubt El Reg will be the Foundation's favourite media outlet this Saturday morning.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Birthday soon!

        Reg ignored the press embargo on the Pi2B when it appeared too. That also upset them.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Birthday soon!

          The Pi3 news was on the front-page of reddit yesterday. I'm not sure it could be any less of a secret.

  11. Martin an gof Silver badge

    Missing the point

    Prepared for the downvotes here, but calls for SATA / extra USB / network boot etc. are sort of missing the point.

    The whole point - as I understand it - was to produce an extremely affordable, but actually useful computer. I mean, the fact you could buy a computer capable of running a full-blown modern OS with desktop and a fairly full range of "normal" software, for under £30, was absolutely incredible four years ago.

    My boys have been using a Pi 1 B as their general purpose computer for a couple of years, and I've just upgraded them to a Pi 2, but the Pi 1 has done pretty much anything they need it to. Ironically I spent more on the keyboard than on the Pi, as I'm a firm believer in having a "good" keyboard, but they inherited a monitor, the mouse was a fiver, and the thing was powered from the USB hub.

    Eben Upton has said, time and again, that cost was the over-riding factor and they have only introduced new or improved features as it became possible to do so without increasing the cost.

    I honestly don't think that SATA is a killer feature that everyone is waiting for, and while two completely independent USB ports would be a big improvement, if it means the thing costs £35 instead of £30 then it's a step in the wrong direction.

    For its "maker" credentials, adding BLE is probably a good idea and undoubtedly the WiFi and BT came "for free" in an all-in-one device. I wonder if the WiFi does 5GHz?

    But of course the biggest point in the Pi's favour is the foundation itself and the fact that even at £30 they are able to support a fantastic education programme...

    Sorry, didn't mean to sound gushing. I realise the Pi's not perfect for everything, but it does what it was designed to do really rather well.

    M.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Missing the point

      Prepared for the downvotes here, but calls for SATA / extra USB / network boot etc. are sort of missing the point.

      I agree. Don't get me wrong those would be nice to have. But there are other small (albeit bit more expensive) boards out there if you need additional features.

      I quite commend Pi staying true to its roots and and cost.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Missing the point

        My thoughts too - SATA would be nice, but let's look to the future. SATA is on its way out, why include something like this just as other systems start to include a different storage media interface?

        1. picturethis
          Megaphone

          Re: Missing the point

          M.2, where are you?

        2. Joerg

          Re: Missing the point

          SATA on its way out in which dreams?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Missing the point

            "SATA on its way out in which dreams?"

            Whether it is or not, I'd think some sort of single M-SATA or similar interface would be more likely on a Pi for extra and fast SSD external storage, keeping the power profile to a minimum if and when it can be added while maintaining the price point. Although after three years of inflation they could probably set the price point at $40 instead of $35 and still be ok.

            The philosophy behind it is an experimenters tool, not to make a cheap NAS box :-)

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Missing the point

      ... calls for SATA / extra USB / network boot etc. are sort of missing the point.

      They are missing a point, perhaps, but there need not be only one point.

      The whole point - as I understand it - was to produce an extremely affordable, but actually useful computer. I mean, the fact you could buy a computer capable of running a full-blown modern OS with desktop and a fairly full range of "normal" software, for under £30, was absolutely incredible four years ago.

      It is still absolutely incredible today. The RPi you can go out and buy is an amazing piece of kit, and it does do exactly what you describe for an incredibly low price.

      ... but there are other things that people might also like to be able to do, for which the RPi itself isn't ideally suited. I can see a market for some slightly more up-market boards with additional functionality. Not instead of the RPi as it stands, but as well. Not as cheap as the Pi itself, but similarly low-cost.

      I can see a market, for example, for a Pi-like device with two NICs (and no video) that could form the basis of a home-grown router project.

      I can see a market, for example, for a Pi-like device with a NIC and several SATA ports (and no video) that could form the basis of a home-grown NAS project.

      Sure, there are boards one can buy that one could use for those sorts of projects, but they're mostly not low-power ARM-based hardware, but rather either full-blown PCs with far higher power consumption than those projects require or very specialized hardware for specific applications (Routerboard hardware, for example) that lacks the flexibility for a project.

      Part of the point of the Pi is the incredibly low cost, but another part is to provide a platform that people will be happy to hack on -- a system that will encourage them to develop an interest in low-level coding. The inexpensiveness of the hardware is part of that, but the usefulness of the hardware is important too. I cannot see that the Pi family would be harmed by the introduction of a few more highly-spec'd models.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missing the point

        "I cannot see that the Pi family would be harmed by the introduction of a few more highly-spec'd models."

        Just wondering if you're aware of the BeagleBones and such, including probably trendier and probably newer competitors? And if you are, what (other than price) doesn't meet your needs?

        Do one thing, and make sure you do it well. Do a few things, and do your best to do them all well. Try to be all things to all people, and know in advance that (a) you will fail (b) people in related markets will stop being your friends.

        1. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Missing the point

          The biggest failing of many other boards is support, particularly for those who are not experts already. With a Pi, at any time I can easily down'oad the current version of directly supported OSes and I can reliably upgrade the OS at any time. I got a relatively early Odroid-C1 to evaluate. After a few weeks I set it aside to wait for the software to mature a bit (there were some pretty severe early "teething" problems). A couple of months later, I went back to update the system and it couldn't even *find* any of the repositories the OS was built from. If I ever pick that board up again, I'm going to have to first *find* where the OS download is and only then do a complete reinstall, whether I want to or not.

          The Pi community and Foundation are doing a support job that simply doesn't exist for other boards, and that is worth a *lot* in terms of time and hassle to use boards.

          One of the key features on my ideal SBC is adequate support, and--so far--the Pi is the only place to get that.

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Missing the point

        I can see a market for some slightly more up-market boards with additional functionality. Not instead of the RPi as it stands, but as well. Not as cheap as the Pi itself, but similarly low-cost.

        I did think something similar to start with, but the thing with the Pi is the Foundation which, as others have pointed out, has education as its primary goal. If I remember correctly, the spark that set Eben Upton off down the path of creating a cheap, hackable, almost disposable computer was that students were leaving school thinking that "programming" involved the ability to hack a web page together from templates and maybe a bit of manual HTML.

        He seems to have succeeded - in no small part due to the community - and as a by-product it's a pretty useful desktop computer as well. Diversifying the product range might dilute the original goal.

        Most of the examples you have given would have no bearing on that education goal at all, though they would be extremely interesting to some people. Note how successful the Compute Module seems (not) to have been...

        A more useful desktop computer could be created with the addition of SATA (or, yes, M2), more memory, various other bits and bobs, but it really wouldn't add much to the goals of the foundation, especially if it costs £50 or £60 rather than £30 (there may be licensing issues with some of those additions?). I hardly thought twice about replacing the Boys' Pi 1 with a Pi 2 at £30, but at £60 I'd have had to have a good reason to do so.

        On the other hand, if the MagPi image recently posted is genuine, it looks like the foundation might have pulled another one out of the hat. The question is whether the supposed Pi 3 replaces the Pi 2 (i.e. at the same price point) or is a "top end" addition to the range. Notice how they've effectively kept the Pi 1 in production - at reduced prices.

        M.

        1. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Missing the point

          Apparently a couple of people got CPC catalogs featuring the Pi3B and that included pricing which works out to be within spitting distance (at current exchange rates) of $35. Therefore, I would conclude that the official price *is* $35. Another question answered is, 1GB RAM, which a bit on the low side for a quad-core 64-bit CPU.

          That makes it an open question of what will be done with the Pi2B? Lower it to $30? That would mean Pi Zero at $5, Pi A+ at $20, Pi B+ at $25, Pi2B at $30, and Pi3B at $35.

          On the other hand...I'm still kind of looking for a Model A+ with 512MB, a Pi2A with either 512MB or 1GB, and a CM2 with 1GB and (I think) 8GB flash.

        2. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Missing the point

          I think there is a case to be made for a more powerful board with a mass storage interface that falls within the educational mission of the RPF. That is...a Pi "server" that can be used in a classroom in conjunction with a room full of "normal" Pis. This new board is almost certainly fast enough to do that job (looking at comparison charts and relative clock speeds, it looks to be 1.6 times faster than a Pi2B). Bumping the RAM to 2GB would help a lot. A mass storage interface (SATA, mSATA, M.2) would allow it to be a backup or other common device as well as a computer to flash SD cards, an RTC would enable it to act as a local NTP server which would solve that issue for isolated areas off the 'net.

          1. x 7

            Re: Missing the point

            "I think there is a case to be made for a more powerful board with a mass storage interface that falls within the educational mission of the RPF"

            what would you call it?

            Raspberry pudding? Raspberry tart?

          2. Diogenes

            Re: Missing the point

            have an upvote.

            Would allow teaching of networking & setting up servers which would be a lot less expensive than doing it the way we do now.

            Set up as a server I could do some decent testing of more complex websites submission of forms especially) of website s & apps, especially now that parse is being shut down

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missing the point

        "I cannot see that the Pi family would be harmed by the introduction of a few more highly-spec'd "

        But is there a potential profit (to re-invest) / break even point in doing that for such low numbers?

        there's a minimum price / spec / production cost that needs be satisfied else they end up bankrupt

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: break even point

          Mr Upton in his interview in the Raspberry Pi podcast [1] makes the point that every time they need to re-certify the wireless, it'll cost them around £100K, so there needs to be a good reason to add another variant.

          One other snippet of note: Pi Zero production has been limited in recent months because the factory has been secretly building Pi 3. There are lots of Pi 3 in stock today. Whether it's enough, we'll see, but Pi Zero availability should improve soon.

          [1] http://thepipodcast.com/the-pi-podcast-16-raspberry-pi-3-special-with-eben-upton/ (44 minutes)

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Missing the point

      Prepared for the downvotes here

      I gave you one just so you wouldn't be disappointed! :-)

      Actually, your post is pretty much spot on.

    4. Old Used Programmer

      Re: Missing the point

      While I disagree about SATA, I certainly won't down vote you for your opinion. If the image posted this morning is real and not a photoshop fake, then the Pi3B is a capable enough board that SATA would be a real benefit. It may be getting into what might be termed "SBC server" class. If the Ethernet is NOT on the LAN chip (even if still 10/100 Mb/s) then the only things I would see (for my use cases...YMMV) would be RTC and SATA. Since at least one report states that the built in WiFi only handles the 2.4GHz band (802.11n), it may well be limited to 100 Mb/s.

      Monday is going to be *really* interesting....

  12. drtune

    Still sucks for i/o performance

    Yeah it's the same story; hang everything off a single USB host port. This was a disaster for the stuff I was doing. Having tried many of the boards on the market personally I now have a deep and abiding love for the Banana Pi (M1 - first revision) which for $35 has THREE separate real USB host ports (i.e. not on a hub) that all run in parallel at full speed AND real gigabit ethernet AND SATA; all properly implemented and independent. (and a real time clock and many more little joys) - it depends what you want it for but if you want any kind of useful i/o performance the RPis have always been a joke

    1. ZSn

      Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

      True, but what you get with the raspberry pi is the community. I've looked at these alternatives and it seems that while the hardware is good, the support for debian/kodi/os of choice is poor. A shame, but there you have it.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

      I now have a deep and abiding love for the Banana Pi

      Yeah, on the surface it looks like a decent hardware spec at a decent price, but absolutely nothing I have found out about the project and the support and the suppliers has given me the slightest bit of confidence in the product.

      The Pi was never designed for people like us to build NASes out of and it does the jobs it was designed for very well - it supports a wide range of educational projects and tools and to top it off it is a perfectly usable desktop computer. In fact in some ways the "desktop experience" my boys now get on their Pi beats the desktop experience I get on my EeePC which was running OpenSuse until they dropped 32 bits from the latest version, and now runs Mint.

      But it could all have been very different. I followed the project from reasonably early on - perhaps a year before launch - and nobody knew that what has happened would happen. Before the "community", it looked very much like a niche product. People who needed to do "maker" things were mostly using Arduinos, and people who wanted to do what is now termed "coding" simply installed Scratch or BluJay or plain Python or whatever on their desktop. Much of the early discussion was along the lines of "why on earth do you want to do that?", "there are existing solutions for that problem" and "you're throwing away tens of thousands of pounds of your own money".

      It was the emphasis on education - not just saying "hey, we've made a cheap computer, go and use it", but actually employing teachers to develop resources and "evangelise", it was paying for certain software development work and actively encouraging the community that made it all take off. Oh, and that price point. When the Pi launched there was nothing, repeat nothing as capable, as (fairly) easy to use (it got better very quickly) at that price point.

      And for those complaining about the fact that it could be made cheaper in China, please go back and read the history of the decision to bring it back to Wales. Yes, price was a factor, and it turned out that Sony near Bridgend (I drive past the factory every day on my way to work) could match the Chinese, once it was realised the quantities that would be required. A major thing though, I think, was that they had problems "managing" the Chinese. Remember when yet another delay was posted because the Chinese factory had saved a few pennies by installing the wrong kind of Ethernet connector? Yes they said it was an "accident" but... Remember how that meant that the Pi couldn't have passed EMC compliance? I don't think there has ever been such a gaffe at Bridgend, where Raspberry Pis are made by nanas (see one of the comments).

      M.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "managing" the Chinese.

        "A major thing though, I think, was that they had problems "managing" the Chinese. "

        I remember reading about those challenges in some depth in a couple of places - not just the Ethernet connectors on the official Pi blog, but other worrying stuff too.

        I remember not being able to find those articles last year shortly before the Chinese state visit, during which we finally got the long-speculated-about official announcement that the Chinese would be first financing and then building some of the UK's next round of nuclear power stations. In at least one place I did find there was still a *link* to one of the articles, but I can't even remember enough to find that now either (I think it was a Sony-related story in a south Wales business section somewhere).

        I remember thinking that's a bit of a coincidence, and a bit of a shame.

        But in general, many thanks and best of luck to Team Pi.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: "managing" the Chinese.

          The "managing the chinese" comment is nonsense.

          Raspberry Pi for the Asian region are still made in China by Embest. Both RS and CPC/Farnell/Element14 do manufacturing of various products in China already and it is these companies that are doing the manufacture and distribution of Raspberry Pi SBCs (not including the Zero) on behalf of Raspberry Pi.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "managing" the Chinese.

            I'm the AC who wrote the comment titled "managing the Chinese" (but not the original reference to that term).

            I'm well aware that "made in China" Pi serves a large part of the global market. And why not, especially if they have no meaningful local equivalent of FCC or CE regulations re EMC, and other "administrivia" of the kind that "light touch regulation" types want to forget.

            It doesn't change the obvious fact that "managing your outsourcer" can be hard work if a company and its outsourcer have different goals - whatever's being outsourced, wherever.

            And really, if I could find those articles, I think you'd probably understand too. But I can't. Which is a real shame for all concerned. Instead, in the interim, I offer you the widely available tales of AliBaba and the forty million duff hoverboards, and this month's announcement of UL 2272 construction and test standards for such [1].

            I know I didn't dream these articles. I reluctantly accept that truth and honesty are not necessarily values shared by our leading politicians and industrialists. It seems that as a consequence of this, inconvenient facts have to disappear sometimes. I'm sure lots of other people have noticed this on previous occasions too, particularly where big money is nearby.

            [1] http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/new-safety-standards-might-save-hoverboards-from-extinction/ (too many adverts)

          2. x 7

            Re: "managing" the Chinese.

            " Both RS and CPC/Farnell/Element14 do manufacturing of various products in China already and it is these companies that are doing the manufacture and distribution of Raspberry Pi SBCs (not including the Zero) on behalf of Raspberry Pi."

            You do realise that at least some of the European demand is actually being produced by Sony in South Wales? Probably the only part of Sony that now makes a profit

            see http://www.sonypencoed.co.uk/contract-manufacturing/

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: "managing" the Chinese.

              Yes, I'm well aware of the Pi production at Pencoed.

              I was just point out that some Pis are still made by Embest in China, as the omitted "for the Asian region" would have made clear.

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

        I can't credit claims that a Pi, especially an early Pi, delivers acceptable desktop perfomance unless the user only needs console-style usage with no internet-delivered functionality.

        My own experience of all three versions of the B I own is that the early models are all but unusable for intenet access such as wikipedia use, and that only the Pi 2 has finally beaten the double-click insensitivity issue.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

      The RPi was initially supposed to improve IT in schools. I don't know if anyone seriously expected it to have a major impact there, if so I suspect they're likely to have been disappointed but not because the device was underpowered.

      Instead the RPi shipped in sufficient volumes to create a viable software and hardware ecosystem for hobbyists and developers. It makes a great media centre that you can just pug into any modern TV but is also the basis of many small projects that might otherwise never have happened because specialist hardware is required. For example, I've got a 3" touchscreen that sits nicely on the RPi's geek port. Not sure what I'm going to use it for but I can imaging all kinds of industrial machines using something like this for the next control panel. And I hope they do because the software stacks available for the RPi are light years ahead of most embedded devices, and are still likely to be supported for the life on any particular device.

      Hence, the RPi has succeeded in establishing a hardware and software platform where none previously existed. Maybe it took a while to go from the RPi1 to RPi2 but it looks like things are picking up in which case we could soon be looking at some pretty beefy devices that still only cost around $ 35, but the market may focus on those with the lowest power draw: SATA in an embedded device isn't going to make much sense.

      Now, if they'd include FreeBSD as part of NOOBS!

  13. ZSn

    Arduino 101

    While the latest twitches from the raspberry pi community get faithfully reported here I notice that any arduino related news is rarely mentioned. The arduino/genuino 101 which is a big step up from the old UNO has been barely mentioned. It would be nice to hear what's new with the arduinos once in a while. While the raspberry pi community is large so is the arduino community.

    On a side note, has anyone got their hands on an arduino 101 and had a play - is it worth getting?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Arduino 101

      Arduino is only for 'murica now. In Europe it's been rebranded genuino for trademark nonsense.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Arduino 101

      @Zsn

      Just out of curiosity, what sort of things do you do with your Arduino?

      I've only brushed with them - An Arduino Duet sits on the PCB of my RepRap 3D printer. I'm not a coder, but I got the impression during the course of commissioning the printer that it would only take a week or two to bend an Arduino to my will.

      Very tempted to drop £50 on Banggood.com's cheap n cheerful stepper motor kits, sensors and some Arduinos, and make something (don't know what, but like Lego Technic, that's the point).

      Perhaps Arduinos don't get much coverage on the Reg because they are headless systems? Unlike the Pi, they aren't designed to run a GUI OS. If the Reg reviewed Arduinos, it would have to start reviewing soldering irons, Dremmel-like tools, glues and hot wires. Fun stuff for sure, but creeping away from the Reg's core competencies.

      1. ZSn

        Re: Arduino 101

        @Dave 126

        Well I've just got one, so not that much at the moment. I'm going to build a 4x4x4 led cube with my daughters who seem quite keen on it (there are some cheap €5 kits on ebay, cheaper than the individual leds, I'll see how that works out). My 7 year old daughter who is heavily into pink and barbie dolls seems to be quite keen on the Arduino and building things with it, so I have some hope of turning her onto the STEM subjects.

        They have said that they want to decorate next years Xmas tree with RGB leds that the Arduino can control and so have shifting colour run through it (there are some very nice addressable LEDs that can do that). This of course horrifies my wife who is a purist with regards to the Xmas tree lights (I think that we will outvote her on that!).

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Arduino 101

          @Dave 126

          Arduino is real-time, and instant boot into their program. I build them into larger projects.

      2. Wommit
        Coat

        Re: Arduino 101

        "Reg's core competencies."

        El Reg has competencies? Wow, who'd have thunk it?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. chrisf1

        Re: Arduino 101

        I started using them a while back based on exactly that kind of purchase (add some servos, resistors, caps and leds to your list). Demo'd a set of traffic lights and then got into robotics (asked my daughter what to make next - silly me!)

        Arduino's are great for demos and robotics where no header is required but very much hobby/maker and low end bespoke for basic microelectronics. If you don't need solderless headers the various smaller boards are cheap enough to solder in and keep for permanent installations especially robots and the like where wires may pull lose. Haven't played with a 101 tend to use nanos and pro-minis now.

        A very different experience but great fun to learn some new perspectives. Glue gun/super glue gel, lollipop sticks, hand riveter some motors and wheels and it's *much* cheaper than lego!

        Some very fun educational material growing up around now using scratch style interfaces on top of the IDE too.

  14. NateGee

    WiFi?

    Unless I'm going totally blind, where the heck is the aerial for the wifi? I can't see an IPEX connector (or similar) or a printed track for it on either side of those photos.

    If it's part of the PCB then it stands a chance of having pretty poor reception IMO.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: WiFi?

      See the article and the test report: it's a chip antenna.

      C.

    2. Uffish

      Re: WiFi?

      There is a little white block, top left, between the display connector and the GPIO connector. It's not on my RPi 2. No idea if it's what your looking for though.

  15. Conundrum1885

    Have used these before

    Chip antennas are the reason smart phones can now be so small.

    Some of the latest ones have three, for dual band WiFi/BLE and GPS/GLONASS.

    That same antenna array can also be used for triangulation, though at 5.2 GHz they are not

    quite as efficient its possible to get a considerably more accurate signal by combining data

    from multiple sources of known location.

    For anyone who wants to play with these, many cheap Bluetooth dongles and headsets use them.

    Pretty sure that the Samsung earpieces included with the S2, S4, S6 etc have these.

  16. Nya

    Not being SATA or a second ethernet, or anything much else but the addition of BTLE and WIFI is perfect for me. If they can do the same with a Zero 2 it'll be utterly perfect.

  17. Anonymous Tribble

    If it's just BLE/WiFi it's of no interest to me.

    I see the ACT and PWR LEDs have moved. That'll mean the (rather nice) official case will need a redesign, which is a shame as otherwise it looks like it should fit just fine.

    1. Havin_it
      Joke

      Yeah, yeah, and the Stormtroopers' helmets have changed design slightly for no obvious reason, yadda yadda... cry me a river and JUST BUY THE NEW THING unless you want your kids/husband/tauntaun to stop loving you.

  18. Simon 15

    Good luck trying to get one!

    If it's anything like the Pi Zero then you'll not be able to get hold of one for at least six months after it's released.. Don't believe me? Have a look, bet you can't find a single zero for sale from an authorised partner. Since the original Raspberry Pi the foundation have repeatedly failed to predict the level of demand for their product and then to adjust manufacturing output accordingly. I predict they'll make exactly the same blunder here.

    I'm not criticising the extremely noble aims of the foundation but they really do need to get someone on board who understands business. I'm not sure why they are so hung up about getting the boards produced in the UK when the key thing to ensure is that demand can be met and customers (including schools) can actually purchase your product! This isn't just good business sense, it's good common sense...

    So here's my prediction: They release the product, it sells out very quickly and they claim they were "surprised" by the level of demand. Then rather than increasing production capability they insist on producing the product at the same single plant in the UK who clearly can't keep up. Six months later it'll still be impossible to get hold of one without paying twice the official price from an ebay scalper. Any fair criticism posted on their forums will be deleted.

    Haters going to hate, but let's see what happens....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good luck trying to get one!

      Its production is down to two "large component suppliers" in the UK, one of which I used to work for. Both of which underestimated demand for and initially had long waiting lists. I do remember coming into the office 4 years ago to chaos!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good luck trying to get one!

      "get someone on board who understands business"

      Prediction works a whole lot better when you've got historical precedents to work from. Where are the historical precedents for Pi (other than previous Pi variants)?

      You're clearly aware of the classical "business" approach for times like these: increase the price till demand matches short term supply.

      "the key thing to ensure is that demand can be met and customers (including schools) can actually purchase your product!"

      Schools? Why would a school want something right now (Pi 3?) for which they have no use right now? It's not on this year's lesson plans, the support materials aren't there quite yet. Everything a school needs this year can already be done with things a school can buy this year. Even the Pi Zero is primarily aimed at the "maker" market not the schools market, is it not?

      "Haters gonna hate"

      And impatient people gonna be impatient. Some of them gonna selectively quote facts and some may be damn rude about it, too - it's the Interweb, it's the done thing, innit. Well no, not necessarily, not everywhere, not always.

      Have a lot of fun.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Good luck trying to get one!

        Zeros are easy to get in the UK at least, it takes them hours to sell out so you can purchase them at your leisure. I've been using them since the one came out on a magazine last year. I have a fine collection of them now.

        Nowhere near as bad fulfillment problems as happened with the original a few years back.

        As for "someone on board who understands business" the partners doing the manufacturing and distribution are RS Components and Element14/Farnell, with the manufacturing at a Sony facility.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Good luck trying to get one!

      I got a zero a couple of days ago. They were available then - and you can get one as part of a kit.

      And is it fair criticism to have a go at a small non-profit trying to meet demand when the biggest public company in the world deliberately avoids meeting demand.

    4. Old Used Programmer

      Re: Good luck trying to get one!

      http://www.microcenter.com/product/457746/Zero_Development_Board

      Let me know when you're ready to send my winnings.

    5. Wemb

      Re: Good luck trying to get one!

      Just ordered mine from RS - they given me a shipping date of March 1st - so, we'll see..

      1. Wemb

        Re: Good luck trying to get one!

        Yup - and my Rpi 3 just arrived. So - no wait at all for it.

    6. Havin_it
      Angel

      Re: Good luck trying to get one!

      Liz Upton addressed this in the raspberrypi.org blog thread today: the Zero supply shortages were because they had the whole production line pumping out Pi3s for the last few months! (She also apologised for not having been able to reveal this reason until today.)

  19. Conundrum1885

    RE. Re. Good luck trying to get one!

    Unit 1: £36.50 (scalped)

    Unit 2: £8.25, sold as "Broken".. all it needed was a pin fixing.

    Both units work fine now, in fact the only reason I haven't done much with them is the

    problem of no video output due to having to solder wires on (boooo!)

    and the lack of a data sheet for either of my monochrome LCDs.

    I used to use old camcorders for this but they are quite hard to find as of late, the actual

    display is IIRC a monochrome 320*240 5mm2 unit from Kopin.

    http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G19051C

    I did notice that a few random ones are showing up used now, as people presumably

    pre-order the 3 and need the extra cash.

  20. Guzlr

    At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

    The Raspberry Pi is intended/designed as a £30 development platform / embedded platform. It is NOT a desktop PC replacement. The key feature is the price - the foundation have stated this over and over again. This low price inevitably constrains the other features so asking for dual Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, SATA and 16GB of RAM is just ridiculous at this time. These functionalities would require a significant number of external chips/components that would place it nearer the £100 mark. If you need extra functionality to, say, create a router or a NAS, then buy one of the many other SBCs with these features; and pay the much higher price.

    On the RPi3, I don't see Wi-Fi as a big deal as it's very easy to install a micro USB Wi-Fi 'n' adapter on the RPi/RPi2. I suppose the same applies for Bluetooth but having them integrated may be more power efficient and convenient. We shall see...

    1. Havin_it

      Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

      I dunno, me and t'missus have been using one quite merrily as our desktop for a year now. Runs LibreOffice surprisingly well :) although it's a bit annoying how many websites think you're a phone :|

      I don't have the tech chops to be sure of this, but I suspect having wifi+bt on-board will save power as it won't have to make any practical concessions to the USB form-factor. I further surmise that it'll be a boon from an I/O point of view, as it won't be sharing a single USB (2.0) host-controller with the Ethernet and any other USB devices present. Assuming it's at least 802.11n, then it'll (in ideal conditions) provide the fastest network I/O yet. (If it's also hanging off that same USB controller, then we're no better off and probably worse in fact.)

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

        I dunno, me and t'missus have been using one quite merrily as our desktop for a year now.

        The single core of RPi 1's make is unsuitable to run as a desktop but the RPi 2 is good enough for many things. I have CPU performance of about half that of my desktop for stuff that can make use of the four cores, though I/O is noticeably slow.

        1. Uffish

          Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

          "The single core of RPi 1's makes it unsuitable to run as a FAST desktop..." FTFY.

          The RPi 1 works fine for me if I'm not in a hurry, but then I can remember preparing a paper tape for an overnight run on a shared computer followed by de-bugging and a wait for the next overnight run. Anything is faster than that.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

            Likewise. Up until a couple of weeks ago my two secondary-school age boys used a Pi 1 for most general purpose tasks, i.e. mainly Libre Office writing essays, laying out information sheets and (ugh) designing presentations. They were even able to bring Scratch homework home. Web browsing was a little slow and you did have to manage memory a little carefully, but honestly that isn't a problem and it's good to learn a little of that kind of discipline. Printing to our network printer took a little longer than from the "family" computer, but only a little, and except at five-minutes-to-bus in the morning, it was never an issue.

            For those tasks (perhaps the use of some school mandated Flash-heavy web site) the Pi couldn't handle well, the family computer filled in.

            The Pi 2 the Boys use now still can't use Flash, but everything else is a deal quicker, and the extra memory really helps with web browsing and not having to be quite so careful to close "large" files before starting another.

            I'd say the Pi is a viable desktop computer, even if it was never really meant to be that!

            M.

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

              Rpi2 is great. One lives inside our TV running openelec. Only the hdmi and USB loopback gives it away.

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

            "The single core of RPi 1's makes it unsuitable to run as a FAST desktop..." FTFY.

            Put RISCOS on it and it becomes quite fast, in terms of gui response.

        2. Old Used Programmer

          Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

          That depends on what you want from your desktop. I used several Model B Pis for 3 years for volunteers to enter convention memberships and they worked just fine. I was looking at the B+ to upgrade them (improved power handling and actually being able to hotplug USB) when the Pi2B launched, so went with the Pi2Bs instead. I used the Pi2Bs this year. At this point, for that use, I can't see migrating to Pi3Bs. That use doesn't need the extra CPU power and I not only don't need wireless, I don't want it, so I'd have to set up SD cards to disable the WiFi and BT.

          What I *want* is a Pi to use on the back end, and for that I want fast mass storage access, be it SATA, mSATA, or M.2. For that use I'd like 2GB RAM, but I can live with 1GB.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

      The Raspberry Pi is intended/designed as a £30 development platform / embedded platform. It is NOT a desktop PC replacement.

      It's actually intended/designed as an educational / learning platform.

  21. davcefai

    Feature Creep

    Most of the comments above are relevant and thoughtful BUT seem to be missing the point.

    We have here a reasonably sophisticated, very inexpensive little computer. Those of you old enough to remember will recall that a Sinclair Spectrum was a sizable investment in its time. The Pi is practically a pocket money device. The foundation emphasises low price. If you're worrying about SATA ports and USB speeds and really do need them then you can doubtless afford something more upmarket than a PI.

    The Pi is cheap enough to embed in a number of tinkerer's projects such as a super doorbell or a baby monitor. You can also turn the kids loose on it. If they destroy it it won't break the bank to pop out and get another one.

  22. Tom 7 Silver badge

    16 bit stereo sound too please!

    And (maybe) just a tad more ram. I've been using a pi2 as 'my main computer' as an experiment and it only requires a modicum of patience and its OK. I'd advise against using a zero as a file server in an office situation though its OK for home use and seems to work as a print server as well - we do very little printing here but the kids need to do stuff for school and it seems to be OK for that.

    Its a great device for tinkering/education but this next brings it into 'PC' level and with decent sound output the Pi foundation can look to increasing production and order of magnitude (or two) and bring costs down even further.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: 16 bit stereo sound too please!

      There are various DACs and sound addons as well as power amps designed for the Pi that should satisfiy that requirement.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: 16 bit stereo sound too please!

        They dont - the cheapest way to get good sound from a Pi is with a £2 usb card. I use a £5 'guitar' usb jobie that provides 16 bit stereo in and out. This is fine for me however if you see kids playing with sonic pi the sound on HDMI is, frankly, shit and the headphone port sound has very high noise levels - its the only downside to the Pi and its off putting for the children. They all seem to want to play with sound out of the box and find it a bit disappointing.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: 16 bit stereo sound too please!

          I think they do, as I've made an internet radio out of one and the sound is fine.

  23. x 7

    do bluetooth and wireless use the same chipset? will they interfere with each other?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      One assumes that such chips are descended from those developed for mobile phones, and thus work similarly.

  24. Havin_it

    Bluetooth YAAAAY [golf clap]

    While nice to see Bluetooth in the mix, and already scheming a few possible fun projects, it's a shame the Linux Bluetooth stack (or at least certainly the audio parts thereof) is in such a parlous state at the moment.

    BlueZ 5 dropped support for HSP/HFP and these have been farmed out to some Intel-curated hairball of stuff called ofono which nobody seems to know how to use (it's an entire telephony stack most of which is deadweight if all you want is to use a BT headset with existing apps). A2DP (stereo output) was always under-loved by ALSA and now is supported only through PulseAudio (the horror, the horror). As for AVRCP (remote control): good luck, I never got anywhere with that.

    NB. It's been a few months since I looked at any of this, and my nurse says I'll probably be allowed real cutlery again soon, so maybe I'll take another look when the inevitable Pi3 purchase happens, but my hopes are not high.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Bluetooth YAAAAY [golf clap]

      I suspect the idea of the BT and WiFi is to remove the need for USB keyboards/mice and USB WiFi dongles, both of which will reduce power usage while increasing the number of available USB ports for other devices.

    2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Bluetooth YAAAAY [golf clap]

      Absolutely agree. Bluetooth is the single worst aspect of using Linux - well, modern Linux anyway back in the day it was all like that. Anyway, it's a shambles - lots of undocumented examples pressed into service as system utilities, and an incompatible and incomplete version 2 which never managed to replace version 1 entirely. A proper BT userspace suite would get my vote for Google SoC.

    3. Salts

      Re: Bluetooth YAAAAY [golf clap]

      Do agree, BT needs some love, so I really hope the RPi 3 has BT as there is a good chance they will push the development as they have done in other areas.

  25. rogerjames99

    Sorry if this a repost but my original one seems to have gone AWOL. The March edition of CPC/Farnell Computer World catalogue has a page on Pi 3 with pictures and specs. Last time I looked the catalogue was not available online yet, and the product codes given (sc1401241, sc1401441, sc1402741) could not be found in the online shop. If anyone is interested I can scan and post the page somewhere.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      The March edition of CPC/Farnell Computer World catalogue has a page on Pi 3 with pictures and specs

      Blimey, so it does! Thanks for pointing that out - the mag's been sitting on my hall table since this morning.

      <fx - kicks self for being so stupid not to look>

      M.

  26. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Linux

    Unloved Pi B+

    I picked up one at a jumble sale for 50p complete with SD card. I plugged it in and it booted up just fine. Now it's running a LAMP stack, consider me amazed!

    Kudos to the RPF ! I also have a Pi 2 with Kodi but I'll be in the queue for a Pi 3.

    1. Kevin 6

      Re: Unloved Pi B+

      Yea I've had a Pi B2 running as a LAMP server for a few months already for my low traffic website. Replaced my old Intel Atom 800 board with it to cut down power use by almost 100 watts(and 3 case fans needed replacing too).

      Only thing I wish they would add is a clock on board as I have a project I started with an original Pi A model, but it was halted due to lack of an onboard clock. I saw those funky clock addons for the pi, but I sorta need the same pins for the device I need it to control :(

    2. Conundrum1885

      Re: Unloved Pi B+

      Heh.

      I have sold on Pi's before and someone actually did use them, my early one had the mods to increase reliability such as glue on the back of the micro USB and an add-on heatsink.

      Note to self: use Epoxy and double sided Akasa thermal pad for these NOT Superglue, it works but Epoxy bends a bit so less likely to damage components on the PCB.

      I rescued a couple of Freesat boxes and a flat panel TV using this exact method, AFAIK still going to this day.

  27. johnmay256

    Well, it may be a mistake, but if anyone receives the CPC.co.uk catalogues today there is a full spec. and photo of the Pi 3 in there... Mine was just delivered and I was quite shocked to see it on the front cover.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      RE: CPC

      I'm worried now - I haven't had my regular daily CPC catalogue let alone this one. I've been trying to stop them for years and now I have made my cpc catalogue to log burner machine they stop!

    2. Old Used Programmer

      So...what are the full specs?

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        So...what are the full specs?

        Broadcom BCM2837 64-bit ARMv7 Quad Core 1.2GHz

        1GB RAM

        BCM43143 Wi-Fi on board

        Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board

        40-pin extended GPIO

        4 x USB 2 ports

        4 -ole stereo output and composite video port

        Full-size HDMI

        CSI camera port for connecting the Raspberry Pi camera

        DSI display port for connecting the Raspberry Pi touch screen display

        Micro-SD port for loading your operating system and storing data

        Upgraded switched Micro USB power source (now supports up to 2.4 Amps)

  28. JJKing Bronze badge
    Unhappy

    Fail......REALLY?????

    "Fail

    That's a BCM2836 with 1gb RAM, which makes this a raspberry pi 2 + WiFi

    No meaningful improvement to power, features, or architecture."

    Seriously AC, what do you want for 25 quid?

  29. Wisteela
    Thumb Up

    Anniversary

    Given the first Raspberry Pis were available for sale fours years ago on Monday...

  30. jason 7

    Will be good...

    ...when it finally gets some good software/decent complete distro for it.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Will be good...

      You mean a distribution that you personally like? You can roll your own.

      The current main one suits its task perfectly well, being very stable and covering the educational mission.

  31. Caff

    64bit

    when it goes 64bit in v4 or 5 itll be quite competitive with most sff pc's

  32. penguin42

    CPC listing it

    CPC's March 'computer world' edition landed today (not on their website yet) but it lists the Pi3B as '1.2GHz 64 bit quadcore ARM 7' (which seems inconsistent).

    The detail says quad core 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837 CPU, 1GB RAM, BCM 43143 wifi&bluetooth le, 4xUSB2.....

    All yours for £26.38+VAT; order code SC1401241

    1. Conundrum1885

      Re: CPC listing it

      Might indeed be 1.2 GHz, the feature size is smaller and as such it will be lots faster.

      If they are consistent the chip's max speed will be a bit faster but they clock it down to increase reliability under adverse conditions.

      I also found that at least with my two Zeros they are learning to use better capacitors.

      The early Pi's had issues with the electrolytics so they have been replaced with ceramics

      that are the same capacity but lower ESR so they smooth out spikes better.

      Still advisable to use a good well made power supply as the cheaper units are known to go flaky

      at near their rated current or in some cases as low as 200mA (cough phone chargers /cough)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Changes from Pi 2

    Comparing the JPGs in the article to a Pi 2 in front of me, I notice a few interesting things that might help predict the spec/features.

    The ACT / PWR LEDs have moved from near top left to near bottom left. Instead at top left there is a slim white header/connector/?

    There is an extra unpopulated 2 pin jumper just below the right hand side of the GPIO connector. Probably a RUN header, as fitted to the Pi Zero, but you never know.

    On the underside there is a very curious white connector/header with 8(?) tracks going to it. It's below the HDMI connector when looking sideways on. So could that be some kind of SATA or other serial interface?

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Changes from Pi 2

      On the underside there is a very curious white connector/header with 8(?) tracks going to it. It's below the HDMI connector when looking sideways on. So could that be some kind of SATA or other serial interface?

      It seems the Wi-Fi connects to the SoC using an SDIO bus, which I would guess is why it's still four USB 2.0 ports + 10/100 LAN same as on earlier versions. I would expect the Bluetooth controller also attaches to the same SDIO bus and my guess would be this is a connector for additional, external SDIO devices.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Changes from Pi 2

        More likely the debug connector : available on RPi2 and Rpi0 as 'J5' but not populated in production.

  34. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    SATA/NAS Pi?

    Re: putting SATA, dual ethernet, or the like on the Pi. Doable, and it's not some big problem with power budget; it's cost. SATA's not an expensive port, but when you're selling a device for $30 total it is. There're ARM boards with SATA (Allwinner A20-based boards for instance do have on-board SATA as opposed to a USB to SATA bridge that some devices have), more ethernet ports, and so on, but they just cost an extra $10 or $20.

  35. rogerjames99

    In stock at CPC/farnell

    Pi 3 and accessories are now showing as in stock at CPC/Farnell. There were 1870 of them available for delivery at 08:52 this morning.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For my uses these Pi 3 boards are just not worth having simply because of the unwelcome bundled wifi/bluetooth, which are just extra power wasted and a potential security risk. Pity, as I'd have had a use for the beefier CPU cores otherwise.

    As things stand it's no deal and I'm looking at other non-RPi options to do the job instead.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > For my uses these Pi 3 boards are just not worth having simply because of the unwelcome bundled wifi/bluetooth, which are just extra power wasted and a potential security risk.

      You can turn them off. How hard is that?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This maybe be a new Pi but more customer are noticing the in click bullying on Pi forums. People get baited, goaded, posts filled with unicorn comments or recipe posts and posts get deleted while other posters brag about getting posts delete. Is that acceptable in today’s world, a lower cast system? I’m sure fan boys will justify it!

  38. Known Hero

    £25

    Well I would love to know where you are getting that price from !!!

    cheapest I can see them for sale is £30.

    1. Known Hero

      Re: £25

      Well if your going to downvote me please at least show me where it can be purchased for £25.

      it states in the article £25 but I can't seem to find it, is the article wrong ?

      1. x 7

        Re: £25

        £26.38 + VAT from CPC

        £27.86 + VAT from Farnells Element 14

        which considering they're both the same company is just a bit daft

        RS Components have them at £26.75 + VAT, which actually makes that more expensive than at least one of their distributors, as "The PiHut" has them at £30 including VAT

        Delivery charges may make the difference though.............

        1. Known Hero

          Re: £25

          so as stated not quite £25. adding VAT to the cheapest price = £31.66

          So not £25 at all really. £30 is the best we can get from a reseller :/

  39. fissuria
    Coat

    Really?

    If I was really wondering about getting my hands on a nasty little device like the Pi3, I would put my money on the new odroid C2:

    http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G145457216438

    a few reasons:

    2GHz

    2GB RAM

    HDMI 2.0 with 4K support

    Gigabit Ethernet (dedicated Gigabite PHY, not USB)

    $40 USD

  40. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Boffin

    Why not

    The RPi 3.14?

    1. x 7

      Re: Why not

      don'y you mean the RPi 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510 ?

  41. Eda

    I am very happy to welcome Raspberry Pi 3.Integrade WIFI module is best idea, but not work correctly in metal box..

    Preferable is this case : https://youtu.be/q0U-tvky5vw

    Most power up is very good step.

    1. Conundrum1885

      Fixable

      Just cut a hole in the shielding over the antenna, simplez.

      I usually use a circular hole as this prevents unwanted harmonics, aim for 1.5* the wavelength.

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