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The New Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is Here: Smaller, Cheaper, But With Compromises

The original Raspberry Pi showed the world that we could have (almost) a computer for $35. This little prodigy has surprised us over and over again, and their developers have now announced the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, which according to them "is about closing things out in style" on the current generation of this miniPC. The new version has shrunk down the previous Model B+ both in size and in price: it is now available for just $25. To accomplish that we'll have to live with certain comprises.

The new model keeps the same CPU, but halves the memory to 512 MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, the four USB 2.0 ports are reduced to one, and there is no Ehernet port available. The rest of its connectivity options are still there, including the 802.11 ac WiFi or the Bluetooth 4.2 LE support. The new model sits therefore between the even more compact Raspberry Pi Zero W and the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ announced in March 2018. As Eben Upton explained on the official announcement, the next Raspberry Pi will be quite different from the current generation: "whatever we do next will of necessity be less of an evolution, because it will need new core silicon, on a new process node, with new memory technology". Until that future model arrives, though, the new and compact version of the Raspberry Pi could be an interesting option for many users.

Raspberry Pi Foundation Announces New, Pi 3 B+ Model - Same Price, Better Features

This article is devoted to all of the tech enthusiasts in our forums that just love to tinker with technology themselves. There are some pretty cool projects users can use their Raspberry Pis for - smart mirrors, home-made security systems, even Philips Ambilight clones for their PCs and televisions. The Raspberry Pi foundation has been making strides, in line with tech advancements ever since the introduction of their very first Raspberry Pi model, and have now announced yet another iteration of the popular compute platform: the Pi 3 B+.

The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ packs some improved hardware - it runs its quad core 64-bit Cortex-A53 processor at 1.4GHz (versus 1.2 GHz previously), and a dual-band controller that now supports 2.4/5GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 (up from 2.4GHz and Bluetooth 4.1). Other specs are unchanged: there's an Ethernet port, 4x USB 2 ports, a 40-pin GPIO connector, 1x HDMI video output, camera and touchscreen ports, stereo/composite video, and a microSD slot for its software and operating system. For these improvements, users will be requested to shell out exactly the same amount of greenbacks as before: $35.

ASUS Brings "Tinker Board" Raspberry Pi 3 Competitor to North America

ASUS is bringing its higher-performing Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, the "Tinker Board" to markets in North America. Priced at a nice easy 54.99, ASUS touts the machines horsepower as being nearly double that of a Raspberry Pi 3 and says it is "capable of powering all of your projects from robots to media boxes to coding machine for budding programmers."

The machine's specifications are certainly more capable than a Raspberry Pi 3, and being it is Linux based there will certainly be a plethora of community support for this device. Interestingly enough, Android Support is a bit behind (being only on Marshmallow at the moment), but ASUS has a pledge for Nougat support in place.

Specifications are listed below, and I have also kindly provided a link to the products amazon page for those interested.

PS: Yes, I am aware this is not exactly "PC Hardware" but I felt enough of us might have some use for a cheap Single Board Computer to find this interesting.

Akasa Also Unveils Aluminium Case for Raspberry Pi

Akasa went smaller than the NUC, with its latest case for Raspberry Pi, the DIY micro-computer that captured every budding electronics engineer's imagination. Called simply "Pi," the case is made of 4 mm-thick aluminium on 5 sides, and a tinted acrylic top. The case measures 91.5 mm x 68 mm x 35.5 mm, and features cutouts for the base-board, with standard extension boards that add the Ethernet RJ-45 connector, and additional USB ports.

Meet Pi-Top, the First 3D Printed DIY Laptop Based on Raspberry Pi

Just when you thought you couldn't make computers any cuter than tiny custom-molded cases for Raspberry Pi, there comes along the Pi-Top. Announced as an IndieGoGo project that's soliciting your two-cents literally, the Pi-Top is a DIY laptop kit that's mostly 3D printed. As part of the package, you not only get a 3D printed laptop chassis of your choice, but also its STL files, so you can mod and print your own chassis to suit the week.

Other components of the kit include a Raspberry Pi with three expansion modules (laptop power management PCB, HDMI to LVDS bridge PCB, and keyboard+trackpad controller PCB); a 13.3-inch LCD panel with HD (1280 x 720 pixels) resolution, a battery, a USB 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 WLAN controller, a keyboard and trackpad, a DC wall plug, and a piece of paper with a URL to an online video tutorial on how to put the thing together. Drop a few coins here. There are countless free ARM Linux distros you can drive it with.
A video presentation follows.

Polycase's New Enclosure Keeps the Raspberry Pi Microcomputer Safe

Polycase announces the release of their new ABS plastic case for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer. The Pi Series case is an affordable ABS plastic enclosure for the credit-card sized computer with pricing as low as $9.29 per unit with no minimum order requirement. Molded in black flame-retardant ABS plastic with a flame rating of UL94-5VA, this curvaceous enclosure brings an attractive new look to the market. The compact enclosure measures 3.0 x 4.0 x 1.4 inches. Designed to fit the Raspberry Pi Model B, the Pi Series holds the PCB captive with access and labeling for each individual component of the board. Included with the enclosure are 5 flush mounted light pipes that project light from the board's LEDs out of the end panel on the case. The textured finish on the cases is resistant to fingerprints and scratching.

Adafruit Intros Prototyping Kit for Raspberry Pi

Electronics components maker Adafruit released one of the first accessories for Raspberry Pi, the $25 computing prodigy that's sweeping the world (of tech students, engineers, and electronics hobbyists). It launched the Prototyping Pi Plate, a PCB that can be installed on top of the Raspberry Pi, interfacing with its headers, providing a nice big prototyping area, half of which is "breadboard" style and the other half "perfboard" style. All the GPIO/I²C/SPI and power pins are broken out to 0.1", along the edges. The kit is augmented with custom tall header breakouts that create sufficiently large clearance with the Raspberry Pi PCB below. The prototyping plate sits above the metal connectors, out of the way and allows for plenty of workspace. Adafruit is yet to complete testing it on the Raspberry Pi, its sale page on the company website only allows people to "sign up" for one (gauging interest), Adafruit with get back to sign-ups by email when the kit is ready to sell.

Raspberry Pi Deliveries Start from RS Components and Allied Electronics

RS Components (RS) and Allied Electronics (Allied), the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the world's leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, are commencing shipments of Raspberry Pi, the credit-card sized computer board designed to seed a new generation of programmers. The shipments are being sent to the first group of customers from around the world, all of whom registered for a Raspberry Pi from RS and Allied.

When ordering Raspberry Pi from the dedicated online store, customers can click through to the associated parts and accessories required for activation of the board. These include USB A-B cables, HDMI cables, power supplies and SD memory cards from a range of leading suppliers, all available to purchase from stock. By ordering these cables and other accessories from RS and Allied at the same time as the Raspberry Pi board, customers can make a saving on the delivery cost, as the same total shipping charge is applicable.

Raspberry Pi Passes CE Quality Assurance Testing

Raspberry Pi passed Europe's Conformité Européenne (CE) quality mark testing, which now lets its makers sell it to European consumers. Shipping of Raspberry Pi came to a halt earlier this month, as the device was found to be lacking a CE mark to be able to sell to European buyers. "We just received confirmation that the Raspberry Pi has passed EMC testing without requiring any hardware modifications," said Raspberry Pi foundation spokesperson Liz Upton wrote on the official blog. "There is still a mountain of paperwork for us to sign, and that then has to be looked over by RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell; but that's a piece of cake compared to what we've been doing all week," she added.

Raspberry Pi Faces Another Hurdle: CE Mark Requirement

It looks like troubles have queued up for Raspberry Pi, the $25 credit card-sized wonder hobby-computer, which officially started shipping in late-February. After shipping delays and a manufacturing setback caused due to erroneous selection of RJ-45 Ethernet jacks, the hobby-kit faces a new problem. As a high-tech consumer-electronics product, it requires the CE (Conformité Européenne) mark, which denotes compliance with European standards. It is similar in function to the FCC mark that's mandatory for consumer electronics merchandise sold in the United States. The Raspberry Pi team was under the impression that it didn't need the CE mark to ship samples (read: small quantities) of its product, until its big product launch slated for later this year.

Raspberry Pi Suffers Minor Production Glitch

In late-February, the first batch of Raspberry Pi shipped out, but a minor production issue soon surfaced. The RJ-45 jack (common Ethernet port) soldered onto Raspberry Pi units were the ones without integrated magnets, leaving these boards without network connectivity. The problem was traced back to a sourcing glitch, and as The Verge writes, is not a difficult mistake to make. To fix the problem, one has to desolder the old jacks, and replace them with new ones. The pin-density of an RJ-45 jack isn't high, and a simple soldering kit is all one needs. The Raspberry Pi team is sourcing as many of these proper RJ-45 jacks as possible to put production of the next batch of these tiny computers back on track.

Raspberry Pi Now Selling

The season's hottest hobby-kit for electronics and embedded computing enthusiasts, Raspberry Pi, started selling. The device is a fully-functional, self-contained, ARM-powered computer, complete with modern interfaces such as SDHC, USB, HDMI, and Ethernet (USB and Ethernet with $35 Model B), for as low as $25. The device can be powered up using Fedora Remix for Raspberry Pi, a Fedora ARM variant that's heavily optimized for the device. The Raspberry Pi is now available (limited to one quantity per customer), through Premier Farnell or RS Components.

Fedora Remix for Raspberry Pi Released

Developers at the Seneca College released a version of Fedora Remix ARM that's optimized for the Raspberry Pi. Fedora Remix is itself a lightweight version of the open-source Red Hat Linux derivative, which is now further optimized for this $25 self-contained hobby-kit computer. The new Fedora Remix variant fits in a 2 GB SD card that the Raspberry Pi boots from. By simply connecting a display to the HDMI port (1080p supported), a keyboard and a mouse to the two USB ports, Fedora Remix will lead you straight to user information screen, from where normal usage is a minute away, without needing any hardware configuration. The 2 GB SD card is left with some space for user data. Raspberry Pi with Fedora Remix works just like any desktop. In related news, the makers of Raspberry Pi announced that the first batch of these boards will be through QA testing by the 23rd, and out for shipping.

A video presentation of Fedora Remix for Raspberry Pi follows.

Raspberry Pi: the Upcoming $25 1080p-Capable ARM-Based Hobby Computer

Yes, you heard that right, when completed, the Raspberry Pi foundation will be selling a credit card sized computer running Linux that can plug into your television and play H.264 1080p30 videos. Raspberry Pi is the somewhat cheekily-named UK registered charity which has been set up to design and build a very low cost computer that is targeted for use in computer science lessons in schools, to "put the fun back into learning computing." Why, was it ever not fun?! However, such a simple and cheap general purpose gadget has the potential for many other uses than the classroom, as the world is full of inventive tech-minded people that can tinker with something like this and build innovative projects with them, perhaps by using several of these together.

The product will come in two configurations, a $25 Model A with 128 MB SDRAM & $35 Model B with 256 MB SDRAM and both will come with the same 700 MHz Broadcom BCM2835 media processor featuring an ARM11 (ARM1176JZF-S) core, Broadcom GPU core, DSP core and support for Package-on-Package (PoP) RAM. We expect that in this day and age, most people will go for the 256 MB model, which is still a very small amount of RAM. For those that want to get the most out if this device, the website - - has a forum and a wiki with tons of technical details on the device, including benchmarks and links to many other news stories & blogs about the product. There's even a shop, although at the moment, it's only selling keyboard stickers of the foundation's logo.
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