Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Launched: Offers More Power, Faster Networking

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has added a new device to its growing suite of microcomputers today with the launch of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. It's faster, it has better networking, and most interestingly, the Pi 3 Model B+ comes with modular compliance certification, allowing anyone to put the Pi into a product with vastly reduced compliance testing. Component manufacturers have created their own workarounds, but the Raspberry Pi Foundation will launch its own dedicated PoE HAT to make use of it in the near future. The chip runs at 1.4GHz, which throttles down to 1.2GHz only once temperatures exceed 70 degrees Celsius.

The new board has a slightly faster 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, Bluetooth 4.2 (an upgrade from 4.1), and dual-band Wi-Fi. Processing power will also improve in the plus model.

Gigabit Ethernet. The Model B+ supports gigabit (1000 Mbps) Ethernet, though the required USB 2.0 connection limits the speed to about 315 Mbps max.

Selling for just $35, the UK-made machine has become something of a phenomenon, selling close to 18 million boards since the first Pi was released in 2012. This is more aimed at embedded solutions than for home/enthusiast use from what I can tell. PXE network and USB mass-storage booting have also been improved to alleviate some prior frustrations.

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Improved heat management. The Model B+ consumes "substantially more power than its predecessor", the Pi Foundation notes, but it includes a variety of improvements aimed at heat dissipation. As a result, power consumption can be lower on the Model B+ for the same clock frequencies and voltages.

In honor of Pi Day, many stores are offering discounts on Raspberry Pi products, so be sure to look around. This may not be necessary anymore with the new model.

Overall, the latest Pi variant is pretty similar to the last one when it comes to the form factor and plugs.

There are quite a few different Raspberry Pi models in existence, but it's not too hard to keep them straight: new ones are better.

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