Today is Pi Day, so called because the date, written in the backwards fashion favoured by our American cousins, as 3 14 is a close approximation to the constant that defines the difference in size between a circumference of a circle, and it’s diameter, π or 3.14(15926535897…)
So it is apt that the Raspberry Pi Foundation choose to launch their newest platform today. The Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+ is launched today. The 3B+ is an upgrade to the original Pi 3 Model B, released two years ago. The changes focus on embedding the Pi as an IoT platform into other systems.
The changes are:
- Long manufacturing life (til at least 2023)
- Updated processor with heat spreader and power integrity
- Improved clock speed (up to 1.4Ghz)
- Dual-band wireless supporting 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands
- Radio module FCC certified, reducing compliance requirements for downstream users
- Gigabit Ethernet, although throughput is ~300Mb/s.
- Power over Ethernet – via an upcoming HAT
- PXEboot support – allowing easier software updates
The heat management enables a device that either is more performant or runs cooler or both. The others support deployment as a subsystem within other things. The use of PoE centrally powers the device, avoiding the need for separate power sources. PXEboot can use a standard central software image, rather than needing to update individual devices themselves.
As an IoT platform, the Rasberry Pi 3 Model B+ becomes even more compelling. Especially deployed in large quantities, as it now minimises efforts in managing large estates. And more devices provides longer production runs, lowering overall costs. Which keeps the Raspberry Pi Foundation afloat, and may give in the longer term cheaper Pi platforms. It makes an ideal edge computer and can act as a gateway from some of the more remote sensing technologies into an Ethernet or Wireless environment.