Raspberry Pi’s Third Iteration Adds Bluetooth, Wi-FI

Last leap day/year (four years ago today) saw the first launch of the Raspberry PI, which has found great support in the hobbyist community with over eight million units shipped in four years. The $35 motherboard is back with a few more bells and whistles in addition to a faster processor.

Raspberry Pi's Third Iteration Adds Bluetooth, Wi-FI

Raspberry Pi 3 offers a use for an extra keyboard, monitor, and mouse

The Raspberry Pi 3 is fun and it’s just gotten more fun with the addition of Wi-Fi in the form of 802.11n, as well as Bluetooth 4.1, according to a blog post Monday.

At $35 it’s a brilliant little bit of tech for the home. If you simply check Craigslist or hit up a few garage sales you can likely get a working computer together for the $35 plus a few bucks. It’s easy to find people who will part with the needed keyboard, monitor and mouse for nothing more than a willingness to pick it up before they bosh it into the garbage.

It was quite clear from the blog post that Raspberry Pi was quite pleased with their work and they should be:

Exactly four years ago, on 29 February 2012, we unleashed the original 256MB Raspberry Pi Model B on a largely unsuspecting world. Since then, we’ve shipped over eight million units, including three million units of Raspberry Pi 2, making us the UK’s all-time best-selling computer. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has grown from a handful of volunteers to have over sixty full-time employees, including our new friends from Code Club. We’ve sent a Raspberry Pi to the International Space Station and are training teachers around the world through our Picademy program.

In celebration of our fourth birthday, we thought it would be fun to release something new. Accordingly, Raspberry Pi 3 is now on sale for $35 (the same price as the existing Raspberry Pi 2), featuring:

  • A 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU (~10x the performance of Raspberry Pi 1)
  • Integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1
  • Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1 and 2

Raspberry Pi is a learning tool

The Pi is meant to get people interested in both tinkering and computer science and is nothing short of brilliant in the classroom. Application design is a great skill to have and a brilliant manner by which to get kids interested in what could be a career.

“The two main things that people do with their Pi are use it as a PC replacement or use it as an embedded computer,” Raspberry Pi Foundation co-founder Eben Upton told the BBC. “The Pi 3 is doubling down on both those things rather than going looking for new things to do.”

The new edition is powered by a 1.2GHz, 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, a step up over the 900MHz, 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor used in prior releases.

This upgrade makes it 50% faster than the last and 10 times faster than the original.

In order to get the Pi 3 up and running you simply need to download a copy of Raspbian which is the foundation’s official and supported operating system. However, it’s quite easy to run third-party operating systems like Pinet or Ubuntu Linex, the lattering allowing the management of Pi 3 in a classroom environment. Additionally,  Windows 10 IoT (Internet of Things) is offered by Microsoft for use on the board.

You may never use it but have a look. At $35 you won’t break the bank.