In 2014, the first gen Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ was followed by a lighter Model A+ with half the RAM and removed ports. This was able to fit into their Hardware Attached on Top (HAT). Until now there were no such small form factor boards for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3.
Size is cut down but not the features (most of)
The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ retains most of the features and enhancements as the bigger board of this series. This includes a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, 512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM, and dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2/BLE. The enhancements retained are improved USB mass-storage booting and improved thermal management.
The entire Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ board is an FCC certified radio module. This will significantly reduce the cost in conformance testing Raspberry Pi–based products. What is shrunk is the price which is now down to $25 and the board size of 65x56mm, the size of a HAT.
Source: Raspberry website
Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ will likely be the last product for now
In March this year, Raspberry said that the 3+ platform is the final iteration of the “classic” Raspberry Pi boards. The next steps/released products will be out of necessity and not an evolution. This is because for an evolution to happen Raspberry will need a new core silicon, on a new process node, with new memory technology.
So this new board, the 3A+ is about closing things; meaning we won’t see any more products in this line, in the foreseeable future. This board does answer one of their most frequent customer requests for ‘missing products’. And clears their pipeline to focus on building the next generation of Raspberry Pi boards.
For more details visit the Raspberry Pi website.