The Raspberry Pi 3, with its 1.2GHz quad-core processor and added WiFi, is rapidly developing into a capable device with a burgeoning hobbyist and industrial ecosystem, without ditching its education roots. On top of all this, it costs the same as the original device.
More powerful quad-core processor, WiFi and Bluetooth support, compatible with existing hardware and software
Needs additional hardware and software components to function
About £25 + VAT
Processor: Broadcom 1.2GHz BCM2837 SoC based on quad-core Cortex-A53
Display: Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU supports resolutions up to 1920x1200
Storage: Slot for microSD card
Ports: 10/100 Ethernet, 4 x USB 2.0, HDMI, audio/video jack socket, GPIO header, micro USB power, DSI and CSI
Wireless: 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
Operating system: Images available to download from Raspberry Pi site
Dimensions: 85.6mm x 56mm
The Raspberry Pi 3 is the latest version of the popular single-board computer aimed at hobbyists and at helping children to gain developer skills. The new model, released just a year after the Raspberry Pi 2, adds built-in wireless capability for the first time and switches to more powerful CPU cores that make the Raspberry Pi 64-bit-ready.
The Raspberry Pi 3 was announced at the end of February, and is available to order from all the usual distributor partners, such as Element 14 and RS Components, as a standalone bare board or as part of a starter kit package that may include a memory card pre-loaded with an operating system such as the user-friendly Noobs (New Out Of the Box Software) from the Raspberry Pi team, or a protective case, or other extras.
As with previous Raspberry Pi models, it takes a little bit more effort to get the device working than simply turning on the power as you would a Windows PC. Once up and running, however, the device becomes a fully functioning computer that can be used to control a hardware project, learn programming or just experiment with.
The new model is noticeably faster than its predecessors, and now has the option of WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. The two wireless standards deliver greater flexibility in siting the Raspberry Pi, and make it more attractive as a hub or gateway for sensors and other low-power devices in an Internet of Things (IoT) project.
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