The fourth version of the Raspberry Pi has just been released. With a constant sale price (starting from $ 35), the new release presents many new features to keep this fantastic card always in step with the times. In this article you will see its features.
The new Raspberry Pi 4 board
From the previous Pi 3 model most of the components have been updated. For the first time, the Raspberry Pi has achieved the PC performance generally used by customers.
Memory options for the Raspberry Pi 4
This is the first time that different versions of Raspberry Pi 4 are offered, each with increasing memory capacity. We have cards with 1GB, 2GB and 4GB of RAM. This allows you to minimize costs based on user needs.
Let’s look at the current prices of the three versions applied by one of the distributors covering the Italian territory.
As we can see the prices rightly grow based on memory size.
The new features of the Raspberry Pi 4
- 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU (about 3x performance) processor
- 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Dual-band 802.11ac wireless network
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 2 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports
- Dual monitor support, with up to 4K resolution
- VideoCore VI Graphics supports OpenGL ES 3.x
- 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video
- Compatibility with previous Raspberry Pi products
At first glance, the Raspberry Pi 4 card looks very similar to that of previous models. This was a deliberate choice in order to keep the “replaceable” card as much as possible from the previous one. However, some moves have been made, particularly in the position of some attacks. This is to facilitate the arrangement of modern connectors with different shapes and also following the requests and advice obtained by many makers and various users in these years.
The micro-B USB power socket has been replaced with a USB-C. This modification has allowed us to supply the board with an extra current supply of 500mA, thus ensuring that it is able to provide a full and continuous 1.2A current flow, even in full-load CPU systems.
To be able to insert a dual display output inside the card while maintaining its size, the HDMI type-A (full-size) connector has been replaced with a pair of HDMI type-D connectors
Ethernet and USB
Gigabit Ethernet magjack has been moved to the opposite side (bottom right to top right). This is to simplify card routing considerably. The 4-pin PoE (Power over Ethernet) connector instead remained in the same position, this to be able to leave Raspberry Pi 4 compatible with PoE HAT.
A new Raspbian
To support the Raspberry Pi 4, we are opting to upgrade the Raspbian operating system, based on the Debian 10 Buster release. This will lead to many technical improvements and a modernized graphic interface. Moreover with the new release there will be many updated applications such as the Chromium 74 browser.
The Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop Kit
Together with the output of the Raspberry Pi 4 board, the Desktop Kit has been released. This box contains the Raspberry Pi 4 card together with all the accessories necessary for its perfect functioning, such as the power supply, HDMI cables, the official case and a microcard SD with already pre-installed Raspbian operating system. In the Kit there is also the completely updated official basic manual for the Raspberry Pi 4 board
- Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, 4GB
- Raspberry Pi Keyboard & Mouse
- 2 × micro HDMI to Standard HDMI (A/M) 1m Cables
- Raspberry Pi 15.3W USB-C Power Supply
- Raspberry Pi 4 Case
- Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide (English language)
- 16GB NOOBS with Raspbian microSD card
Raspberry Pi 4 chipset
Raspberry Pi 4 is built based on BCM2711, a complete reinterpretation of the BCM283X over 28nm. With this new processor there is a power saving thanks to its smaller size, with the presence of the Cortex-A72, a more powerful core than the previous Cortex-A53. This core is able to execute many more instructions per clock, greatly improving the performance of the new Rasperry Pi 4 version 2 to 4 times compared to that of the previous Raspberry Pi 3B +.
Taking advantage of the increase in performance by the processor, the same was chosen to do with other elements of the board. We have therefore chosen to use a more modern technology with regard to RAM: LPDDR4. In this way it was possible to triple the available band. In addition, all graphics and display systems such as video decode, 3D graphics and display output to support 4Kp60 have been updated.
But wasn’t it supposed to come out in 2020?
In the past, 2020 was indicated as the release date of the Raspberry Pi 4. This is to wait for the release of the market for new revisions of the BCM2711. In fact, BCM2711B0 was commercially available long before the scheduled date and so it was possible to anticipate the times by almost a year.