Computer/Embedded Technology


Raspberry Pi 4 gets a Model B boost

26 June 2019 Computer/Embedded Technology

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a new ‘Model B’ of the Raspberry Pi single-board computer (SBC). This is the first time a choice of memory capacities is being offered, and although local pricing will have to be confirmed with local distributors, the relative pricing in US Dollars is $35 for the 1 GB model, $45 for the 2 GB, and $55 for the 4 GB.

At first glance, the board looks very similar to previous $35 products, all the way back to 2014’s Raspberry Pi 1B+, but a few essential tweaks were made to the form factor to accommodate new features.

The power connector has been upgraded from a USB micro-B to USB-C, supporting an extra 500 mA of current, ensuring a full 1,2 A for downstream USB devices, even under heavy CPU load. To accommodate dual display output within the existing board footprint, the type-A (full-size) HDMI connector has been replaced with a pair of type-D (micro) HDMI connectors.

The gigabit Ethernet magjack has moved from the bottom right to the top right of the board to simplify PCB routing. However, the 4-pin Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connector remains in the same location, so Raspberry Pi 4 remains compatible with the PoE HAT.

The Ethernet controller on the main SoC (system-on-chip) is connected to an external Broadcom PHY over a dedicated RGMII link, providing full throughput. USB is provided via an external VLI controller, connected over a single PCI Express Gen 2 lane, and providing a total of 4 Gbps of bandwidth, shared between the four ports.

All three connectors on the right-hand side of the board overhang the edge by an additional millimetre, with the aim of simplifying case design. In all other respects, the connector and mounting hole layout remains the same, ensuring compatibility with existing HATs and other accessories.

To support Raspberry Pi 4, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is shipping a radically overhauled operating system, based on the forthcoming Debian 10 Buster release. This brings numerous behind-the-scenes technical improvements, along with an extensively modernised user interface, and updated applications including the Chromium 74 web browser.

For more information contact Electrocomp Express, 0860 10 20 20, sales@eexpress.co.za, www.eexpress.co.za



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