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posted by janrinok on Thursday February 27 2020, @09:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the cheaper-pie dept.

A birthday gift: 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 now only $35

In two days' time, it will be our eighth birthday (or our second, depending on your point of view). Many of you set your alarms and got up early on the morning of 29 February 2012, to order your Raspberry Pi from our newly minted licensee partners, RS Components and Premier Farnell. In the years since, we've sold over 30 million Raspberry Pi computers; we've seen our products used in an incredible range of applications all over the world (and occasionally off it); and we've found our own place in a community of makers, hobbyists, engineers and educators who are changing the world, one project, or one student, at a time.

[...] Which brings us to today's announcement. The fall in RAM prices over the last year has allowed us to cut the price of the 2GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4 to $35. Effective immediately, you will be able to buy a no-compromises desktop PC for the same price as Raspberry Pi 1 in 2012. [...] And of course, thanks to inflation, $35 in 2012 is equivalent to nearly $40 today. So effectively you're getting all these improvements, and a $5 price cut.

[...] In line with our commitment to long-term support, the 1GB product will remain available to industrial and commercial customers, at a list price of $35. As there is no price advantage over the 2GB product, we expect most users to opt for the larger-memory variant. [...] The 4GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4 will remain on sale, priced at $55.

In addition to falling RAM prices (which will hopefully continue to fall in the future), there is likely an oversupply of the 2 GB model as the 4 GB model proved to be the most popular.

Also at TechCrunch, Tom's Hardware, PCWorld, and Hackaday.

The USB Type-C resistor issue has been fixed by the latest revision of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B hardware, which is confirmed to be out in the wild. The issue prevented some USB-C power supplies from working with Pi4B:

The Pi Foundation noticed the issue soon after the release of the Raspberry Pi 4, with founder Eben Upton informing The Register in July that the resistor fix would be bundled into a new hardware revision. Following up on the matter earlier this month, The Register was then told by Upton that he expected the revision "to have reached end users by now". The updated SBC also includes the following changes:

  • WLCSP SD card voltage switch has been to the top side of the board to minimise the risk of damage.
  • Silkscreen tweaks to reduce solder bridging in manufacture.

The new revision remains the same price as the original Raspberry Pi 4. The Pi Foundation is not selling the new revision as a distinct SKU, either. Hence, you may struggle to tell the difference between the two revisions unless you know what you are looking for.

To confirm that you have a new one, run "cat /proc/cpuinfo" and look for revision "c03112".

Multiple revisions of the firmware have lowered power draw, which is now much closer to RPi3B+. As a result, temperatures should be several degrees cooler.

Also at Tom's Hardware and Hackaday.

Previously: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Launched
Too Hot to Handle? Raspberry Pi 4 Fans Left Wondering If Kit Should Come With a Heatsink
Raspberry Pi 4B CPU Overclocked to 2.147 GHz, GPU at 750 MHz
Interview with Eben Upton on Studies, the Raspberry Pi and IoT
Raspberry Pi Foundation Begins Working on Vulkan Driver


Original Submission #1   Original Submission #2

Related Stories

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Launched 46 comments

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B has been launched, despite months of tricky misdirection implying that it wouldn't be on the market until 2020. The technical specifications include two micro HDMI ports, two USB3 ports, two USB2 ports, dual band Wi-fi, Bluetooth 5, Gigabit Ethernet, and either 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM. Power consumption is noticeably higher than similar earlier models and the power can be supplied over USBC.

From the spec sheet:

  • Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz
  • 1GB ($35), 2GB ($45), or 4GB LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM ($55)
  • 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports; 2 USB 2.0 ports.
  • Raspberry Pi standard 40 pin GPIO header (fully backwards compatible with previous boards)
  • 2 × micro-HDMI ports (up to 4kp60 supported)
  • 2-lane MIPI DSI display port
  • 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
  • 4-pole stereo audio and composite video port
  • H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode)
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics
  • Micro-SD card slot for loading operating system and data storage
  • 5V DC via USB-C connector (minimum 3A*)
  • 5V DC via GPIO header (minimum 3A*)
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled (requires separate PoE HAT)
  • Operating temperature: 0 – 50 degrees C ambient

takyon: Review at Tom's Hardware. Cons: "Key software doesn't work at launch, Poor high-res video playback". Cases for the previous Pi don't work due to the new micro-HDMI ports. Tom's measured nearly ten times better storage performance using one of the new USB 3.0 ports, and the gigabit Ethernet port can actually reach nearly 1 Gbps (943 Mbps vs. 237 Mbps for the previous model).

Also at The Verge and Ars Technica.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

Raspberry Pi 4 Has a Non-Compliant USB-C Charging Port 41 comments

Raspberry Pi admits to faulty USB-C design on the Pi 4

The Raspberry Pi 4 was announced two weeks ago as a major new upgrade to the line of cheap single-board hobbyist computers. The Pi 4 featured a faster CPU, options for up to 4GB of RAM, and a new, modern USB-C port for power delivery. The Pi 4 was the Raspberry Pi Foundation's first ever USB-C device, and, well, they screwed it up.

As detailed by Tyler Ward, the Raspberry Pi 4 has a non-compliant USB-C charging port and doesn't work with as many chargers as it should. Thanks to the open nature of Raspberry Pi (even the schematics are online!), Ward was able to discover that Raspberry Pi just didn't design its USB-C port correctly. Two "CC" pins on a USB-C port are supposed to each get their own 5.1K ohms resistor, but Raspberry Pi came up with its own circuit design that allows them to share a single resistor. This is not a compliant design and breaks compatibility with some of the more powerful USB-C chargers out there.

[...] The Pi 4 is not the first high-profile device to get the USB-C spec wrong. The Nintendo Switch also has a non-compliant USB-C port and has issues with certain USB-C cables as a result.

After reports started popping up on the Internet, Raspberry Pi cofounder Eben Upton admitted to TechRepublic that "A smart charger with an e-marked cable will incorrectly identify the Raspberry Pi 4 as an audio adapter accessory and refuse to provide power." Upton went on to say, "I expect this will be fixed in a future board revision, but for now users will need to apply one of the suggested workarounds. It's surprising this didn't show up in our (quite extensive) field testing program."

Probably not a dealbreaker (the cables that do work are cheaper), but could be annoying.

Previously: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Launched


Original Submission

Too Hot to Handle? Raspberry Pi 4 Fans Left Wondering If Kit Should Come With a Heatsink 22 comments

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Too hot to handle? Raspberry Pi 4 fans left wondering if kit should come with a heatsink

Some early adopters of the Raspberry Pi 4, released on 24 June, are running into heat issues, especially with the official Pi 4 case making no provision for a heatsink or fan.

The Raspberry Pi 4 has a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A72 CPU, for approximately three times the performance of the previous model. That inevitably generates more heat.

The Pi does not have a heatsink, but uses what the company calls "heat-spreading technology" to use the entire board as a kind of heatsink. This worked fine for the Pi 3, but the official FAQ for Pi 4 notes:

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B uses the same heat-spreading technology but due to the much more powerful CPU cores is capable of higher peak power consumption than a Model 3B+. Under a continuously heavy processor workload, the Model 4B is more likely to throttle than a Model 3B+.

You can add a heatsink if you wish, and this may prevent thermal throttling by keeping the chips below the throttling temperature.

When the Pi 4 heats up beyond 80°C (176°F), the CPU is throttled to reduce the temperature and a half-full red thermometer appears on the display, if one is connected. If the temperature goes up beyond 85, the GPU, which now supports dual monitors and 4K resolution, will be throttled as well.

It is no surprise that the Pi 4 gets hotter than its predecessor, it is marketed as a viable general-purpose PC, after all.

There is an issue though: if it frequently overheats in normal use, users are not getting full performance. Longevity of the components may also be affected. We advised in our original review that "things got quite warm" when using the Pi for a few days.


Original Submission

Raspberry Pi 4B CPU Overclocked to 2.147 GHz, GPU at 750 MHz 41 comments

Raspberry Pi 4 Can Now Overclock to 2.147 GHz. Here's How.

The Raspberry Pi 4 is much faster than every prior Raspberry Pi, but what if you could squeeze much more than the base 1.5 GHz out of its Broadcom BCM2711B0 CPU? Fortunately, it's easy to overclock any Raspberry Pi and you can do it just by tweaking a few lines of text in the /boot/config.txt file. Now, with the latest firmware, we were able to reach a speed of 2,147 MHz, which we believe is a new high.

With prior firmware, the Pi 4 B's processor was limited to a maximum overclocked frequency of 2 GHz, which is pretty good all by itself. However, the latest update let us push it up another 147 MHz. We were also able to increase the GPU clock speed to 750 MHz, a big boost over its 500 MHz stock speed and the 600 MHz we had overclocked it to previously.

Before 2 GHz, the max overclock was 1.75 GHz with the original, stable firmware.

Also at Electronics Weekly.

Previously: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Launched
Raspberry Pi 4 Has a Non-Compliant USB-C Charging Port
Too Hot to Handle? Raspberry Pi 4 Fans Left Wondering If Kit Should Come With a Heatsink


Original Submission

Interview with Eben Upton on Studies, the Raspberry Pi and IoT 6 comments

Physics World has a pair of articles on Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. One is an interview about the growing role that Raspberry Pi computers has in industrial activities and the other concentrates on his background, which was originally in physics.

From the interview on the Raspberry Pi in industrial settings:

I'm seeing an increasing focus on communications, making it easier for computers to interact with the real world. There isn't so much excitement anymore in doing lots and lots of maths really fast on one computer in isolation, and we actually see this on the educational side of our business.

When we built the first Raspberry Pi, I didn't want to put input-output pins on it, because I thought kids would be interested in using them to write programs. Of course, what children actually love doing with Raspberry Pi is interacting with the real world, building weather stations and robot controllers and things like that. And maybe that was a harbinger of things to come, or the kids were attuned to the zeitgeist more than we were. The kinds of things they were interested in then are the things we're all interested in now, which is working out what problems computers can solve for you. And now that the era of free returns is coming to an end, I think we can broaden that question out a little bit.

Raspberry Pi Foundation Begins Working on Vulkan Driver 13 comments

Vulkan is coming to Raspberry Pi: first triangle

Following on from our recent announcement that Raspberry Pi 4 is OpenGL ES 3.1 conformant, we have some more news to share on the graphics front. We have started work on a much requested feature: an open-source Vulkan driver!

Standards body Khronos describes Vulkan as "a new generation graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs". The Vulkan API has been designed to better accommodate modern GPUs and address common performance bottlenecks in OpenGL, providing graphics developers with new means to squeeze the best performance out of the hardware.

Be warned that the effort could take months or even years.

Also at Phoronix.


Original Submission

Raspberry Pi 4 Gets 8 GB RAM Model, Also 64-bit OS and USB Boot (Both in Beta) 26 comments

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new Raspberry Pi 4 model with 8 GB of RAM:

Now, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has upped the ante by releasing a Raspberry Pi 4 B with a generous 8GB of RAM. Launching today for $75, the Raspberry Pi 4 B (8GB) is identical to other Raspberry Pi 4 B models in every way, except for its RAM capacity. So what do you do with all that memory, and is spending $20 more than the price of the $55 4GB model worth it?

The short answer is that, right now, the 8GB capacity makes the most sense for users with very specialized needs: running data-intensive server loads or using virtual machines. As our tests show, it's pretty difficult to use more than 4GB of RAM on Raspberry Pi, even if you're a heavy multitasker.

A beta version of a 64-bit Raspbian OS, which is being renamed to "Raspberry Pi OS", is available. The existing 32-bit Raspbian can use all the RAM, but with a limit of up to 3 GB per process.

Some changes have been made to the board:

The back of the board adds silkscreen for certifications, as well as existing modifications for Raspberry Pi 4 Rev 1.2 to avoid damaging the board when inserting a MicroSD card. But the top of the board has more modification around the USB-C port, USB Type-A ports, and a chip between the VLI PCIe to USB chip and AV jack is just gone. So it's possible further USB-C issues have been fixed, and some improvements have been made to USB host ports maybe with regards to powering up external hard drives.

[Update from Eben Upton about hardware changes:

These are the regulator changes I mention in the post. The disappeared chip near the USB connector is the old regulator. The new stuff near the USB-C is the new regulator. The input clamp component has moved across to the USB area to make room.

Several iterations of the Raspberry Pi 4's firmware have reduced power consumption and heat. A beta-level firmware update from earlier in the week added USB boot support.

Raspberry Pi Raises Price for First Time, Reintroduces 1 GB Model for $35 18 comments

Raspberry Pi 4 2GB gets a price hike to $45, 1GB version coming back for $35

We've been used to getting better hardware for cheaper or in the case of Raspberry Pi model B boards a stable $35 price tag since 2021 with gradual improvements to the hardware. Many companies already had to hike prices for their board due to supply constraints, and Raspberry Pi Trading has become the latest victim of the increase in components with the Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB RAM going back to its original $45 price tag, and the re-introduction of the Raspberry Pi 4 1GB for $35. We are told this is temporary, and once everything settles the Raspberry Pi 4 2GB should sell for $35 as was the case since last year. This is the very first price hike in Raspberry Pi (short) history.

[...] Eben Upton explains the Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 400, and Compute Module 4 will not be as badly impacted as earlier products based on a 40nm manufacturing process. That means they'll have to make some tough choices notably prioritizing Compute Module 3, Compute Module 3+, and Raspberry Pi 3B, at the cost of the Raspberry Pi 3B+ which will fall at the back of the queue mostly to cater to the needs of industrial customers. People still using Raspberry Pi 3B+ in their design are recommended to switch to Raspberry Pi 4 with 1GB RAM.

Also at The Register.

Previously: 2 GB Model of Raspberry Pi 4 Gets Permanent Price Cut to $35


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bobmorning on Thursday February 27 2020, @09:35PM (8 children)

    by bobmorning (6045) on Thursday February 27 2020, @09:35PM (#963769)

    Wonderful devices, between that, Arduinos and the other SBCs it has really enable others to practice and experiment in robotics, home automation, and other geek activities.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Thursday February 27 2020, @09:50PM (7 children)

      by fyngyrz (6567) on Thursday February 27 2020, @09:50PM (#963789) Journal

      Totally. Great that they fixed that USB-C power problem, too.

      These little buggers are just amazing. Dual 4k monitors and all that horsepower and features... and in such a tiny form factor. To an old fossil like myself that started with a teletype (and a paper tape reader) of all things, the future, well... yeah, it's here. :)

      --
      Keeping a critter in your home?
      You're not a "pet owner", you're a guardian.
      The animal is not a "pet", it's your ward.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Booga1 on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:12PM (6 children)

        by Booga1 (6333) on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:12PM (#963813)

        Yeah, tell me about it. I got a couple of the Raspberry Pi 3 units to use for security camera, web server(MediaWiki), retro gaming console, media player, etc... They've done everything I've asked of them.
        The only down side was the web browsing I do would was a bit much for 1GB of ram and anything more than four tabs could sometimes bog down the device. Now the Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB of ram handles it like a champ.
        The only thing annoying now is Youtube can sometimes get poor frame rates, but that seems to be the fault of Youtube and the browser. Save the video and play it in VLC and it's great, but I'll put up with a bit of stuttering frames occasionally than jump through those hoops.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:56PM (2 children)

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:56PM (#963839) Journal

          I think they are continuing to improve video acceleration in Chromium, but who knows. Apparently [raspberrypi.org] they have to fiddle with it before Chromium can be updated to v80.

          One thing that happens often is 5-10 second freezes in the browser, seemingly not connected to any particular heavy scripting. But it does happen frequently at the beginning of YouTube videos, which try to start playing before the whole page is loaded.

          The RPi4 delivers a pretty competent desktop experience, so RPi5 should knock it out of the park in a couple of years with a 30-100% performance increase. They've got a few obvious things they could do: shrink the node from "28nm" to "22/20nm" or "16/14nm" (could be unlikely if "28nm" remains the "value node"), switch from Cortex-A72 to Cortex-A75 (not much improvement and possibly a regression with Cortex-A73), or bump the core count from 4 to 6 (could be tough if they don't shrink the node). They haven't used big.SMALL in any of the Raspberry Pi Broadcom SoCs, unlike the Rockchip RK3399 and other competitors. I would expect them to pivot towards more machine learning performance (Pi is/was intended for computer science education), but they might not improve the GPU from VC6 anytime soon.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28 2020, @03:50AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28 2020, @03:50AM (#963942)

            I think I recall hearing that the SOC in the pi 4 is the last gen of the Broadcom SOCs. So, a Pi 5 will have to be something completely different. That certainly does open up the possibilities. A Rockchip powered official pi?

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday February 28 2020, @09:33AM

              by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday February 28 2020, @09:33AM (#964046) Journal

              I don't think so. There is a tight relationship between RPF and Broadcom. They've indicated somewhere that the VideoCore VI graphics could stay the same in the next version.

              Raspberry Pi Foundation did join the RISC-V Foundation [soylentnews.org], but it seems implausible that they would switch from ARM to RISC-V cores anytime soon, and Broadcom could easily provide those.

              What they need to do is get Broadcom to license 3DSoC or contract with Skywater Technology Foundry to create 3D chips within the next 5 years. Because the first SBC to use that will steamroll the competition. A massacre.

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Freeman on Friday February 28 2020, @12:16AM (1 child)

          by Freeman (732) on Friday February 28 2020, @12:16AM (#963875) Journal

          FYI regarding Raspberry Pi 3.

          Eset researchers determined that a variety of devices are vulnerable, including:

                  Amazon Echo 2nd gen
                  Amazon Kindle 8th gen
                  Apple iPad mini 2
                  Apple iPhone 6, 6S, 8, XR
                  Apple MacBook Air Retina 13-inch 2018
                  Google Nexus 5
                  Google Nexus 6
                  Google Nexus 6S
                  Raspberry Pi 3
                  Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
                  Samsung Galaxy S8
                  Xiaomi Redmi 3S

          https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/02/flaw-in-billions-of-wi-fi-devices-left-communications-open-to-eavesdroppng/ [arstechnica.com]

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Booga1 on Friday February 28 2020, @01:59AM

            by Booga1 (6333) on Friday February 28 2020, @01:59AM (#963901)

            Good to know. I normally use Ethernet for reliability and performance reasons, but I'll keep this in mind.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by fyngyrz on Friday February 28 2020, @02:31PM

          by fyngyrz (6567) on Friday February 28 2020, @02:31PM (#964108) Journal

          I have RPIs running some fairly extensive automation on my aquarium, driving my 3D printer, and inside a couple of classic computer emulations. I also have one in my radio trailer, a nice, low-power unit that gives me serious SDR software capability for nearly nothing compared to a traditional desktop (I write SDR software so this is of particular interest to me.)

          The SoCs keep getting better, the RAM keeps getting less expensive, and even the cameras are improving and costs are dropping there as well.

          It's a great time to be building out... things. :)

          --
          Dinosaurs had no pizza.
          How did that work out?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:26PM (3 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:26PM (#963821) Journal

    USB-C provides up to 3 amps, but voltage may be increased up to about 33.333 volts for up to 100 watts. This voltage increase is negotiated between the device being charged and the device doing the charging.

    I can charge my Pixelbook from my Phone! (yes using the phone's battery) (Pixelbook alerts that it is charging slowly)
    I can charge my Phone from my Pixelbook! (yes using the laptop's battery)
    (On either device you specify whether it gets charged, provides charge, or neither. Also get to specify whether any data can be exchanged, what kind of data, and whether this device or the other device are in control of that.)

    I can use my Pixelbook charger (45 W) to charge my phone (15 W) and it negotiates properly.
    I can use my Phone charger (15 W) to charge my Pixelbook (45 W) and it negotiates, and says it is charging slowly.

    Now if I could get an adapter for USB-C from a 275 KW Tesla Supercharger so that phone could fully charge in several microseconds.

    If a Raspberry Pi uses one resistor where it should have used two, I doubt they implemented the charging negotiation.

    --
    The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:40PM (#963828)

      > 275 KW Tesla Supercharger ...

      First you need a Tesla, the superchargers don't turn on for anything else. That's going to make your fast phone charger fairly expensive. Or not, if you simply plug into the lighter socket inside the Tesla.

    • (Score: 2) by Booga1 on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:41PM

      by Booga1 (6333) on Thursday February 27 2020, @10:41PM (#963830)

      The Raspberry Pi doesn't have a battery to charge. From what I understand it should be using a power supply not a charger. Still, a lot of chargers will output the default at 5 V and handle the 2.5 A draw they need. I've used at least a half dozen and only had one that gave power warnings, but it still worked.
      However, I'm not sure it does any negotiation at all. Not sure if it really needs to if it just uses the defaults for USB. Maybe a Raspberry Pi guru around here will know for sure.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Thursday February 27 2020, @11:07PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday February 27 2020, @11:07PM (#963848) Journal

      Looks like the answer is NO negotiation. Start reading from here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1550529#p1550529 [raspberrypi.org]

      That doesn't mean the charger doesn't work, it should just default to 5V. Probably.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
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