Updated Raspberry Pi 3 gets more speed, faster networking

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The Raspberry Pi Foundation on Wednesday announced that it's now selling the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

By way of a quick recap, the Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized contraption that serves as a building block for functional computers - users can construct fully working PCs or machines that control their connected home, for example. The new variant comes two years after the Pi 3 Model B, following the foundation's two-year B+ "evolution" upgrade. According to the foundation, the dual-band wireless LAN is backed by modular compliance certification.

Elsewhere there are improvements to power management and thermals for better sustained performance levels.

It also now offers Bluetooth 4.2 support compared to Bluetooth 4.1, and ethernet networking should be speedier due to the introduction of gigabit ethernet over USB 2.0, though bandwidth is limited to a maximum of 300 Mbps - still, that's three times more than the previous model. The upgraded chip supports Gigabit Ethernet, resulting in performance improvement. Since then we've had many challengers to the Raspberry Pi, and it's fair to say on performance the Pi is falling behind. The chip, which runs at 1.4GHz, throttles down to 1.2GHz if the temperatures exceed 70 degrees Celsius.

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The Pi Foundation will continue to sell the previous Pi 3 model, the Model B, for $35 as well because certain industrial customers still require it. The latest offering can now be ordered online for $35 (same price as before). There are no plans to discount older models or cease production until there's a clear sign demand is drying up. For makers that is a very positive change as it allowed for the entire device to be certified as a radio module under FCC rules - with a significant reduction in the cost of conformance testing Raspberry Pi-based products as a knock-on effect.

Meanwhile, Upton also gave some hint of the Raspberry Pi 4.

While the Raspberry Pi's birthday (and the traditional release date for the newest and best Pi) was a few weeks ago, Pi Day is a fitting enough date for the introduction of the best Pi to date.

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