Raspberry Pi has released a cut-down version of its high-end Pi 3 Model B+, and has added a video player to its Raspbian Linux-based operating system.
On the processing side, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, as it will be known, shares the same 1.4GHz quad core Arm Cortex-A53 as the top-end 3B+, but looses memory (512Mbyte instead of 1Gbyte), Ethernet and has only one USB port instead of four.
On the positive side, it is shorter (HAT-sized – 65 x 56mm, instead of 86 x 56mm), and costs less ($25 rather than $35) – and it keeps both Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz) and Bluetooth.
Pi 3 Model B+
In a nod to potential professional users, production is guaranteed until at least January 2023 and the board board is FCC certified as a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radio module to ease conformance testing when it is built into a product.
Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ at a glance
Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 (ARMv8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.4GHz
512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM (Pi 3 Model B+ has 1Gbyte)
2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11.b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2/BLE
Extended 40-pin GPIO header
Single USB 2.0 ports (Pi 3 Model B+ has four USB 2.0 ports)
CSI camera port for connecting a Raspberry Pi Camera Module
DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi Touch Display
4-pole stereo output and composite video port
Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data
5V/2.5A DC power input (same as Pi 3 Model B+)
No Ethernet (Pi 3 Model B+ has Gbit Ethernet (300Mbit/s max)
65 x 56mm (Pi 3 Model B+ is 86 x 56mm)
Rasbian, the Linux-based operating system for Raspberry Pi, now has a built-in media player. The team chose VLC, and customised it to work with the main processor’s built-in hardware accelerators. In another software change, Python’s integrated development environment is now Thonny 3.
Henceforth there will be two Raspbian download options:
Default will be a stripped-down version to reduce download time for users.
‘Raspbian Full’ adds LibreOffice, Scratch, SonicPi, Thonny and Mathematica amongst other packages – all of which are available to extend the smaller version.