Maker Boards Raspberry Pi 4: new cores, more memory, more displays

Ab heute lieferbar: der neue Raspberry Pi 4
Ab heute lieferbar: der neue Raspberry Pi 4

The Raspberry Pi 4 comes with new cores and improvements especially on the peripherals.

Today a new generation of the Raspberry Pi is available. Instead of the four Cortex-A53 cores, the Broadcom chip BCM2711 now contains four Cortex-A72 cores. The clock frequency differs only marginally. While its predecessor Raspberry Pi 3 B+ clocks at 1.4 GHz, the Raspi 4 clocks at 1.5 GHz. For the Cortex A53 cores, however, ARM focused on energy efficiency, while for the A72 cores it is performance. For example, the new Raspberry Pi 4 is expected to deliver two to three times the computing performance of its predecessor. However, the energy consumption does not increase to this extent, since Broadcom has the new SoC BCM2711 manufactured with 28 nm, compared to 40 nm for the predecessor. There are no exact comparative values for the power consumption, but the power supply must deliver a minimum of 5 V/3 A with the Raspberry 4, where the Raspberry 3 still managed with 2.5 A. A fan should still not be necessary, but a heat sink is recommended for heavy loads.

Bilder: 9

Raspberry Pi 4 - The innovations in 9 pictures

What's new on the Raspberry Pi 4? - Here you see it in 9 pictures.

But there are also important innovations in the peripherals: Here it is above all the RAM equipment that should bring a performance boost. In future, customers will be able to choose between 1 (as before), 2 and 4 GB of RAM. The Raspberry Pi 4 is equipped for memory intensive applications in areas such as AI or multimedia, but can also be used with less RAM in cost sensitive IoT applications.

A pro pos Multimedia: The 4-series can now control two independent displays. The maximum resolution is 4K at 60 Hz. The large HDMI connector makes way for two smaller micro-HDMI ports. The graphics unit supports OpenGL 3.0 (previously 2.0) and decodes videos in H.265 (4Kp60) or H.264 format (1080p60). It can compress 1080p video signals up to H.264 at 30 Hz.

Faster I/O

Two of the four USB 2.0 ports will be upgraded to USB 3.0, so that now up to 5 Gbit/s data rate are possible - useful e.g. for SSDs. The USB ports no longer have to share the internal bus with the Ethernet interface, so that Ethernet performance - although still nominally at 1 Gbit/s - should also benefit.

Nothing has changed with WiFi, where there is still dual band with 2.4 and 5 GHz. The SD card slot and a camera input according to MIPI-CSI are also standard. The Bluetooth LE module makes a leap from 4.0 to 5.0. According to the data sheet, the wireless modules are "pre-certified", which should simplify the integration of the Raspberry Pi 4 into end products.

The GPIO header contains additional serial interfaces. However, as these are connected in multiplex mode, the 40-pin contact strip remains downward compatible.

The supply voltage can be supplied either via a USB type C socket or the GPIO header. Peripheral devices can be supplied with up to 900 mA via USB or Power-over-Ethernet (with an optional PoE-HAT).

The downward-compatible GPIO header allows all existing peripherals to continue to be used. However, if existing Raspi users want to update their application with the new board, they will need a new housing with matching recesses and a more powerful power supply because of the other display connectors.