Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ on sale for US$35

Raspberry Pi Foundation

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The launch, which has been timed to coincide with Pi Day, comes two years after the organization introduced its previous top-of-the-line Raspberry Pi 3 model and one year after the entry-level Raspberry Pi Zero W. It also sells smaller, less powerful products like the Raspberry Pi 1B+ ($25) and 2B ($35), plus the entry-level Raspberry Pi 1A+ ($20) and various Compute Module models.

The key improvements on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ are its processor and networking capabilities.

That said, the foundation says the Pi 3 Model B+ can sustain high performance for much longer periods than its predecessors.

The new Model B+ board is based upon the latest revision of the Broadcom BCM2837 System-on-Chip (SoC) processor running at 1.4GHz, more than 10% faster than the processor on the current Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. The BCM2837 processor is a quad-core device that integrates an ARM A53 processor core cluster running the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set.

Improved Wi-Fi. The Model B+ now features dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) 802.11ac wireless LAN, compared to single-band (2.4 GHz) 802.11b/g/n on the previous model. The Foundation says that the addition of a heat spreader and power integrity tweaks allows for a 200 MHz increase in clock frequency, while also catering for improved accuracy in temperature monitoring and control.

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Lab tests show nearly a 25 percent performance improvement for 2.4 GHz bandwidth over the Model B. Bluetooth has also been updated to version 4.2 in place of 4.0.

Finally: The upgraded Pi also now supports power-over-ethernet (PoE), meaning the device will soon be able to be powered up through its ethernet port, though you'll need to wait for a separate Poe HAT to launch "shortly".

Many of these projects involve setting a Pi up as part of a smart home, where the faster wireless connectivity of the 3 B+ should be a massive help.

As you'd expect, the new board remains compatible with all the existing Pi 3 Model B accessories and retains the $35 price point. The video below has more on the release.

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