Today, the Raspberry Pi 4 model is up for sale, starting at $35. It has a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU, three memory options of up to 4GB, full-throughput gigabit Ethernet, Dual-band 802.11ac wireless networking, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, a complete compatibility with earlier Raspberry Pi products and more.
Eben Upton, Chief Executive at Raspberry Pi Trading has said that “This is a comprehensive upgrade, touching almost every element of the platform.” This is the first Raspberry Pi product available offline, since the opening of their store in Cambridge, UK.
What’s new in Raspberry Pi 4?
New Raspberry Pi silicon
Previous Raspberry Pi models are based on 40nm silicon. However, the new Raspberry Pi 4 is a complete re-implementation of BCM283X on 28nm. The power saving delivered by the smaller process geometry has enabled the use of Cortex-A72 core, which has a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM. The Cortex-A72 core can execute more instructions per clock, yielding four times performance improvement, over Raspberry Pi 3B+, depending on the benchmark.
New Raspbian software
The new Raspbian software provides numerous technical improvements, along with an extensively modernized user interface, and updated applications including the Chromium 74 web browser.
For Raspberry Pi 4, the Raspberry team has retired the legacy graphics driver stack used on previous models and opted for the Mesa “V3D” driver. It offers benefits like OpenGL-accelerated web browsing and desktop composition, and also eliminates roughly half of the lines of closed-source code in the platform.
Raspberry Pi 4 memory options
For the first time, Raspberry Pi 4 is offering a choice of memory capacities, as shown below:
All three variants of the new Raspberry Pi model have been launched. The entry-level Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is priced at 35$, excluding sales tax, import duty, and shipping.
Additional improvements in Raspberry Pi 4
Raspberry Pi 4 has USB-C as the power connector, which will support an extra 500mA of current, ensuring 1.2A for downstream USB devices, even under heavy CPU load.
The previous type-A HDMI connector has been replaced with a pair of type-D HDMI connectors, so as to accommodate dual display output within the existing board footprint.
Ethernet and USB
The Gigabit Ethernet magjack has been moved to the top right of the board, hence simplifying the PCB routing. The 4-pin Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connector is in the same location, thus Raspberry Pi 4 remains compatible with the PoE HAT. The Ethernet controller on the main SoC is connected to an external Broadcom PHY, thus providing full throughput. USB is provided via an external VLI controller, connected over a single PCI Express Gen 2 lane, and providing a total of 4Gbps of bandwidth, shared between the four ports.
The Raspberry Pi 4 model has the LPDDR4 memory technology, with triple bandwidth. It has also upgraded the video decode, 3D graphics, and display output to support 4Kp60 throughput. Onboard Gigabit Ethernet and PCI Express controllers have been added to address the non-multimedia I/O limitations of the previous devices.
Image Source: Raspberry Pi blog
New Raspberry Pi 4 accessories
Due to the connector and form-factor changes, Raspberry Pi 4 has the requirement of new accessories. The Raspberry Pi 4 has its own case, priced at $5. It also has developed a suitable 5V/3A power supply, which is priced at $8 and is available in the UK, European, North American and Australian plug formats. The Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop Kit is also available and priced at $120.
While the earlier Raspberry Pi models will be available in the market, Upton has mentioned that Raspberry Pi will continue to build these models as long as there’s a demand for them.
Users are quite ecstatic with the availability of Raspberry Pi 4 and many have already placed orders for it.
Holy smoke the guys at @ThePiHut don't mess around on a Monday morning! From tweet, to order, to shipped in less than 40 minutes! Cheers guys, buy your staff a beer on Friday, they'll need it! 😃 pic.twitter.com/ey5kmubK4F
— Seb (@Morphy99) June 24, 2019
Just ordered 🙂
— David MØVGA (@M0VGA) June 24, 2019
A user on Reddit comments, “Very nice. Gigabit LAN and 4GB memory is opening it up to a hell of a lot more use cases. I’ve been tempted by some of the Pi’s higher-specced competitors like the Pine64, but didn’t want to lose out on the huge community behind the Pi. This seems like the best of both worlds to me.”
A user on Hacker News says that “Oh my! This is such a crazy upgrade. I’ve been using the RPI2 as my HTPC/NAS at my folks, and I’m so happy with it. I was itching to get the last one for myself. USB 3.0! Gigabit Ethernet! WiFi 802.11ac, BT 5.0, 4GB RAM! 4K! $55 at most?!
What the!? How the??! I know I’m not maintaining decorum at Hacker News, but I am SO mighty, MIGHTY excited!
I’m setting up a VPN to hook this (when I get it) to my VPS and then do a LOT of fun stuff back and forth, remotely, and with the other RPI at my folks.”
Another comment reads “This is absolutely great. The RPi was already exceptional for its price point, and this version seems to address the few problems it had (lack of Gigabit, USB speed and RAM capacity) and add onto it even more features. It almost seems too good to be true. Can’t wait!”
Another user says that “I’m most excited about the modern A72 cores, upgraded hardware decode, and up to 4 GB RAM. They really listened and delivered what most people wanted in a next gen RPi.”
For more details, head over to the Raspberry Pi official blog.