Thursday, 27 June 2019 20:24

The Raspberry Pi 4 with Extra Sugar

The long awaited Raspberry Pi 4 has been released with loads of new features and the power to be a pocket Desktop PC.

 

The foundation announced in 2018 that they had reached the end of the line with the A53 Arm processors and would need to change to the cpu. This meant that the Raspberry Pi 4 would need to be a brand new board rather than an upgrade. There has been much debate online as to what would be, and should be, in the new Pi. One of the key points that would limit what features can be included in any Raspberry Pi is the price.

Now the RPi 4 has been released what features does it have to offer?

Looking at the board the first item to note is the layout is different with the network port to the right of the USB ports instead of in the middle and there are two mini HDMI ports. Two of the 4 USB ports are the blue USB 3 ports. There are still 40 GPIO pins but their capabilities have changed. The power connector is now a USB-c port rather than a micro usb port.
Existing HAT boards and add-ons will still fit the Pi4 but it will need it's own dedicated case.Pi4

As expected the PI4 is approximately 3 times faster with it's 64bit Quad Core Arm A72 1.5 Ghz processor compared to the 64 bit Quad Core Arm A53 1.4 Ghz processor in the PI3/B+.

The RPi 2 & 3 come with 1gb memory so it's was hoped for a bit more memory to be available. This time it's up to the user as the Raspberry Pi 4 board is available in a 1gb, 2gb and 4gb options. The price increases £10 incrementally as well but that is a good balance so you can pay for your usage requirements and still allowing the base board to be around £35.

There are two HDMI ports on the RPI4 for duel monitor display. These are the smallest HDMI ports on a PI as the PI Zero's use the slightly larger Mini HDMI ports. Both HDMI ports are capable of  outputting 4K video at 60fps, but if you are using duel screens each screen will get 4k at 30 fps.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Quad Core Cortex A72 (ARM v8) 64bit 1.5Ghz
  • Memory: 1gb, 2Gb & 4Gb options (LPDDR4 SDram)
  • Network: Gigabit Ethernet, Duel Band 802.11ac Wireless (2.4Ghz & 5Ghz), Bluetooth 5
  • Storage: Micro SD card
  • USB: 2 x USB 2, 2 x USB 3
  • HDMI: Duel Mini HDMI for duel Monitor and 4K video
  • Graphics: Video Core VI with OpenGL ES3
  • Power: Micro USB-C, 5v 3A (min 2.5v with less than 500ma USB devices in total)
  • GPIO: 40 pins that can be configured for, Up To 6 x UART, Up to 6 x I2C, Up to 5 x SPi, 1 x SDIO, 1 x DPI, 1 x PCM, Up to 2 x PWM channels, Up to 3 x GPCLK outputs
  • Camera Port
  • DSI Display Port
  • Composite Port: Stereo Audio and Composite Video
  • Power over Ethernet connector

The Raspberry Pi 4 is a good little portable computer which runs at comfortable speeds to surf the web and run desktop applications. Along with decent network and USB speeds this now becomes an option where a netbook or low powered laptop would be used. You will still need a small keyboard with touch pad or Mouse, an Official Pi Display or Micro HDMI cable and of course a power supply but it will be a lot lighter and easier to fit in the corners of your bag.

 

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