The Smaller, More Powerful Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

It’s that time of year again, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation has some new hardware for you. This time, it’s an improved version of the Raspberry Pi Model A, bringing it the speed and power of its bigger brother, the Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+.

The Raspberry Pi Model A is the weird middle child of the Raspberry Pi lineup, or maybe it’s the Goldilocks choice. It’s not as powerful and doesn’t have the USB ports or Ethernet jack found in the latest revision of the family, the Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+, and it’s not as small or as cheap as the Raspberry Pi Zero W. If you’re running a Pi as just something that takes in power and spits out data on the GPIO pins, the Model A might be all you need.

The full specs include:

  • Broadcom BCM2837B0 Cortex A-53 running at 1.4GHz
  • 512 MB of LPDDR2 SRAM
  • 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2/BLE
  • Full size HDMI
  • MIPI DSI display port / CSI camera port
  • Stereo Output and composite video port

In short, we’re looking at a cut-down version of the Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+ released earlier this year, without an Ethernet port and only one USB port. The wireless chipset is hidden under a lovely embossed can, and until we get our hands on this new model and a pair of pliers, we’re assuming this is a CYW43455, the Cypress chipset found in the Pi 3 B+.

The price of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ will be $25 USD, with availability soon at the usual retailers. Since there’s no such thing as a Pi Zero 3 yet, if you’re looking for a powerful Linux computer, with wireless, in a small form factor, you’re not going to do much better than this little guy. You could of course desolder a Pi 3 B+, but for now this is the smallest, most powerful single board computer with good software support.

164 thoughts on “The Smaller, More Powerful Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

          1. If power is your concern then RAM isn’t the issue, it is one of the least power consuming parts of a Pi. The CPU and WiFi are going to be chewing though significantly more power

      1. My Robot is running the original A+ (256 megs) where I run a web server and also build all the tools on it. And that’s with no swap disk on. The same for my weather system. I mount the sdcard over smb to a folder on my PC. Edit code on the PC and shell in to build and test it. 256megs is plenty. My B3+ (1GB) is my web development server with all the php debugging tools installed, also my svn server. Also running some other random things that I have tried out. . Currently using just 80 megs at idle…

    1. Does anyone know if the BCM2837B0 is a PoP part for RAM, or whether the LPDDR is hiding somewhere the press shots aren’t making obvious?

      A number of the earlier rPis were PoP; which makes the prospect of resoldering the RAM from the top of the CPU without hitting anything a trifle hair raising(though I suspect possible); but the SoCs on those had the PoP ‘look’ of a part packaged and labelled like a BGA RAM chip because that’s exactly what was stacked on top of the CPU. This one has the metal heat spreader with Broadcomm markings which(while it doesn’t mean PoP is impossible) you usually see on processors without anything stacked on them.

      If so, it would still be fun BGA rework; but at least on pads that aren’t actually part of the CPU’s package.

      1. pine64 does a 7 slot backplane for their SOPine compute module, not massive but good to start playing with, Ive seen projects planed for the raspberry pi compute but none actually made.

  1. It seems Raspberry Pi foundation tries to keep up with the direct concurrent Orange PI.
    The Orange Pi Lite 2 has more or less the same specs and size and price, but also:
    + IR receiver
    + one USB3 host port
    + TWICE the amount of RAM (1GB)
    – DSI LCD screen interface

    Would they have spec´ed it with 1GB RAM, the Pi would be a winner…

    1. How is the software support these days? Honest question; I’d be delighted to receive a positive answer, as you certainly don’t buy rPis because the occupy the bleeding edgr of the price/performance curve.

      I see Armbian has the lite 2 marked as ‘work in progress’, with notes suggesting that mainlining of kernel and u-boot is happening, rather than dead; but still in process and that Allwinner’s fork is up to their usual standards of freshness and Android focus.

      If it’s really not that bad, fantastic(and please do tell, I might take another crack at an Allwinnet widget); but if it remains…quirky…that’s a serious issue for low volume projects, where you just aren’t buying enough units for the hardware savings to end up worth your time.

      Looking back on my days of cursing wifi chipset support under Linux it always feels weird to go to Broadcomm for a well supported option; but such is the way of the world.

      (In this vein some of the Pine64 stuff is perhaps even more aggressively priced for the features; but reports on build quality, much less BSP, have unnerved me there.)

      1. IMHO the big problem with the Orange Pi models is their erratic designs. For example, the original Orange Pi Lite has a 40 pin header just like a Raspberry Pi but for some reason it’s backwards. Now the Orange Pi Lite 2 has a 26 pin header and the pins shifted towards the edge enough to make any custom hat no longer fit. Just plain irresponsible physical design changes that you don’t see with the Raspberry Pi.

    2. I just used an Orange Pi Zero for my garage door project, and the biggest problem I had was trying to get the wiringpi Python module working. There are repos that will get you pretty far, but there is still some hacking involved to get it to work with your particular Orange Pi version. The Armbian community does a greate job, but it is not at all the turn key experience of a Raspberry Pi.

      BTW, I have 6 python programs, Supervisorctl, and the mosquitto MQTT server running in 512 MB with any problem. You youngins have to remember there was a time when 512 MB was a lot of memory.

      1. This made me think of my first computer, an Ohio Superboard with 4K RAM. I wrote a program that if you input the date and time, latitude and longitude, it would give you the declination and right ascension of all the planets. Eventually I upgraded by adding another 4K, cost $60. In 1978, 512MB was a cabinet full of floppy disks.

        1. Thanks for the flashback. The Superboard was my first computer too. I also remember doing the 4K upgrade, and in fact just stumbled across a couple of those old 2114 RAM chips in my junk box and had to google them to see what they were. Google led me to an OSI SB / C1P repair manual and took me down memory lane. (pun intended?)
          I don’t know if I ever took advantage of the full 8K. That would have taken too long to load and store on the cassette tape!

      1. I’m not a lawyer or expert on fcc certs but looking at 15.102.b.4 it says “the resulting equipment combination is authorized under Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity” blah blah blah. So as I understand it as long as the parts that radiate (wifi, BT, processor, etc) have certifications then OPI just needs a Verification of Conformity. I may understand it completely wrong and you may be 100% right, why dont you tip the FCC I’m pretty sure the current administration would love to have one more bargaining chip in their pocket. Also remind them that Baofeng’s are completely illegal and anyone who owns one needs to do some jail time.

        1. “as long as the parts that radiate (wifi, BT, processor, etc) have certifications”

          That’s my point exactly. OPi has never produced such certification for their intentional radiators. I’d love to see an FCC ID because I wanted to embed the OPi into my product. Had to go with the more expensive RPi to stay legal.

          “why dont you tip the FCC”

          I’m not that petty. Just pointing out that this company is taking “yuuuge” risks.

          1. Took me a few minutes but I found below a plain-english description of the rule requiring the Wi-Fi and BT be certified, not just verified[0].

            There’s also this HaD article. Bit out of date; germane to our conversation, just replace “verification” with SDoC which was added last year, combining both the previously-used Verification and DoC processes:
            https://hackaday.com/2016/09/19/preparing-your-product-for-the-fcc/

            The FCC article:

            Equipment that does not contain a radio transmitter and contains only digital circuitry – such as computer
            peripherals, microwave ovens, ISM equipment, switching power supplies, LED light bulbs, radio receivers, and TV interface devices – is subject to approval using the SDoC procedure with an option to use the certification procedures.[1]

            For equipment that contains both unintentional radiators (e.g., digital logic circuitry)[2] within an end product and intentional radiators, the unintentional radiator portion can be generally authorized under either SDoC or certification while the intentional radiators (e.g., radio transmitters) contained in the equipment is typically required to be certified.[3]

            [0] https://apps.fcc.gov/kdb/GetAttachment.html?id=Sge4TP9Xk74qw7eKmI6TdQ%3D%3D&desc=896810%20D01%20SDoC%20v01r01&tracking_number=203240
            [1] See 47 CFR §§ 15.101 and 18.203.
            [2] See 47 CFR §§ 15.3(z) and 15.101.
            [3] See 47 CFR §§ 15.3(o), 15.101, 15.201. Some unintentional radiators do require certification, such as Scanning
            Receivers, Radar Detectors, and Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL) equipment.

  2. 512MB ram is asinine these days.I’d rather have paid a couple more bucks to have a model with 1GB. Even the one 1GB limit the higher end boards have these days is kinda asinine. These things should have 4GB at minimum now a days. And really what is even the point of there being a 64bit chip if you aren’t going to have enough ram >4GB to make use of the address space? Without more RAM going 64bit for the hell of it just means a more bloated code base. 64bit doesn’t provide any other advantages

    1. “64bit doesn’t provide any other advantages”
      So no advantage than additional RAM?

      ..Other than more general purpose registers to juggle data around without having to push it to and from memory.
      ..And being able to handle larger value maths.
      ..And additional instructions
      ..And not forgetting that there’s virtual addressing of RAM which requires additional width.

      But apart from all that, yes, 64-bit doesn’t provide any other advantage :-/

      1. I like 64 bit more than 32 bit, but there are costs. All of the pointers literals etc are double the size. So your executable will be larger. Also the register file is larger.

        Just the register file saving size is four times when you switch task, handle interrupt etc.
        just the ordinary registers (not talking about special like flags, tlb mapping etc)
        32bit ARM 16x 32bit registers -> 64 bytes
        64bit ARM 32x 64bit registers -> 256 bytes

        And not talking about the large SIMD instruction register files. In our OS we are trying to lazy save and restore the SIMD registers as much as we can, but most of the other OSs doesn’t really care about it, and always saves and restores the SIMD registers on task (thread) switch or interrupt handling. (they can be large like x86_64 AVX-512 32x 512bit -> 2048 bytes)

      2. And there are some Bit Twiddling Hacks using 64-bit registers to carry out two 32-bit operations at once or even four 16-bit operations at once (Think along the lines of DSP operations on 16-bit ADC channels).

      3. it cuts down a lot of the overhead of moving data into and out of registers especially for larger data types. what the 64 bit cpu does with one cycle would take a 32 bit chip 2 or more. and thats in addition to the operation you wanted to do.

    2. The memory controller in the SoC only supports a maximum of 1GB. Changing it is a major task as it involves upgrading the VideoCore portion as well. This is why they’ve milked the existing design so much with incremental upgrades but not done anything with the RAM for a long time.

    3. 512M? That’s plenty of RAM. In fact swimming in RAM. I don’t know how I could even use it all for what I use RPIs for. Loading the lite version of Raspbian, and using headless works great. Even the 1.4Ghz speed is overkill. The one thing I wish the boards had was at least a couple of analog pins, rather than have to either buy a hat, or wire up a A/D chip.

    4. What application do you have in mind? Are you one of those people who just uses it as a general purpose PC, because that’s what’s really asinine.

      If you want a cheap-ass linux board with great support, this is perfect. You can do all sorts of things with half a gig. If you want four.. no, eight–no wait 64GB of ram!–well there’s plenty of high-powered boards at correspondingly high prices for that. A pi isn’t really intended to run Chrome with 34 tabs open, you know.

  3. “bringing it the speed and power of its bigger brother, the Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+.” then
    “It’s not as powerful [as] the latest revision of the family, the Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+,”

    Which one is it?

      1. I wish the Pi foundation would stop this with the pricing. You can almost never find them for the price they say. My guess is the pricing they say is their wholesale price to re-sellers buying them in lots of hundreds or thousands for resale. They really should start advertising an MSRP instead, and hold their official re-sellers to actually selling boards ALONE for this MSRP. PLEASE STOP WITH THE BUNDLES!!!!!!!!! I already have more than plenty USB chargers SD cards and other accessories for these damn things.

        1. If they want to also provide bundles, fine. But if a re-seller is out of boards alone, then they should be out of boards to bundle as well. I’m sure these re-sellers are buying like 1000 boards, setting aside 100 of them for board only sales and putting the other 900 into bundles.

          Oh sorry we are out of the $35 Pis that we are selling for $45, but look over here we have a bundle of a Pi, chincy power supply, no name sd card and chincy case for $100.. Such a great deal. a $35 Pi and probably $10 in chincy chinese crap accessories for only $100!!!!

        2. The reputable outlets in my country don’t sell then because their a liability. False price advertising is an offense here.

          Smaller outlets take a chance and sell them in small quantities with these “bundles”.

          If they ever become available in quantity here then I am going to buy lots of them and an Arduino to make a skeet launcher.

          The Arduino can be the brains of the launcher and the Raspberry Pi’s can be the targets.

    1. Adafruit has them in stock right now for $25. Just ordered one. Sure, shipping could be cheaper, but it’s still better than $47 before shipping like Element14! https://www.adafruit.com/product/4027

      They also had Pi Zero and Zero W models in stock for $5 when those first came out so I was able to buy one and enjoy tinkering with it while watching others complain about lack of availability at launch.

    1. My wish would be for a Pi-3 but with different connectors. (or you can update the processor/ram and call it a 4!)

      Let’s get that height down! Replace all those double-decker USB jacks with single height ones. What previously were the top jacks don’t have to be eliminated completely though. Just make them accessible as pin headers.
      – or –
      USB-C might be ok too. Please, none of that fiddly, delicate USB-mini or micro crap though. Actually while we are at it how about replacing the power input jack with something a bit more DIY-friendly like 2.5mm screw terminals (no larger, we are trying to get size down, not up). Or.. since I know that micro-sized power input is probably popular just give us a couple pin headers to use for those of us who don’t like it. Yes, I know, there already are pins for power in the existing header but I’m asking about one that does not bypass the protection diodes.

      Then of course, there’s the Ethernet jack. When someone wants to make a pi smaller it’s the first thing to go. Why is there no miniaturized standard for Ethernet yet??? Maybe the Raspi Foundation can be the one’s to finally make such a standard. Find some connector, maybe something modeled after USB-C but different enough not to be confusing would be great. Or.. something like an X-Jack. Anybody remember those? Are the patents expired yet?

      If they don’t want to mess with changing the Ethernet standard then how about just not soldering in the Ethernet jack but also leaving a straight row of pads where pin headers can be added for those that want Ethernet but also need a skinnier board.

      Of course I am pretty sure they are never going to do these things. But.. why not at least offer a board where the usb and ethernet connectors are not already soldered in?

      1. Umm no, lets not appleify the PI. Please stick with industry standard connectors. The mini USB/HDMI ports are why I stay away from the Pi Zero, by the time you add in dongles to convert these to their normal size counterparts you are left with a rats nest of dongles that take up more space than if you just went with the Pi A/B to begin with.

        The X-Jack was crap back in the day. Too many delicate moving parts to break in a small amount of time. I am not sure there was ever an X-Jack for ethernet. I couldn’t imagine it being very successful with the extra strain a bulky cat6 cable would put on the connector. It worked for telephone modems because the telephone line is not very bulky with the need for only a 2 conductor lightweight cable.

        Not to mention the full size connector works because it gives a place to hide the ethernet magnetics. This is yet another part that would have to fit somewhere on the board using an x-jack style connector.

      1. lol burn.

        Why do people always expect so much? People are so damn demanding. It’s a lower-spec pi that’s still modern and a bit smaller and significantly cheaper than the 3 B+. But does it have time-traveling capabilities?? What about a nuclear laser, when can I get one of those?!

        It’s a right-size solution for certain projects. Nothing more, nothing less. If people want to buy a deluxe VR-ready SBC, the intel NUC is available.

  4. Interesting toy, but if you want real processing in a micro computer, try the NVidia TX1 or TX2, even a board with an Intel Skylake. I build imaging systems and found the Raspberry products insufficient for my work.

    1. I had a similar problem the other day. I bought a brand new hammer, but it’s rubbish for unscrewing screws, almost like it was designed for a different use or something. Unbelievable. I’m outraged.

  5. I really admire all the whining around Raspberry Pi and Arduino. How come having an option to buy something or not is a problem? As for the amount of RAM or other missing features my point is that hacking is also working around limitations.

    1. Then you missed the point.

      It’s not about the 512MB limitation or any other poor features of the product.

      It’s that most intelligent people have some personal integrity and dispise deception and manipulative marketing techniques.

      Put simply, honest people hate dishonest people.

          1. So what you end up with is this –

            The Raspberry Pi really is a crappy SBC but it’s worth it because it’s dirt cheap … except that it’s not dirt cheap and therefore not worth it.

      1. “…most intelligent people have some personal integrity and dispise deception and manipulative marketing techniques.”
        “…Put simply, honest people hate dishonest people.”

        Do you mean, just as a hypothetical example, someone who would design a 300 Mbps ethernet and then actively promote, and send out sales and marketing literature to the entire world–ESPECIALLY TO people who review their product– which claimed that their design was a “Gigabit Ethernet’ design??

        Of course, no one would ever do something like that, but yes, I your point is well taken. Let’s all be thankful for an honest and ethical electronics-design world, and the people who comprise that world.

    2. The problem with “hacking” is there are still real limitations to these devices. The SOC cannot address more than 1GB of ram even if you manage to successfully upgrade the ram. Not a risk free affair for even an intermediate user of a hot air gun.

      In this day and age of everything being an interpreted language *cough* python *cough* java. 512MB, even 1GB does not cut it any longer. Want to use this thing as a “mini desktop” good luck, as soon as you launch the browser and load any kind of modern bloated web page there goes what remained of the minuscule amount of RAM these things have. Oh just setup some swap space? Well say goodbye to your SD card in about a month of use.

      1. I don’t see a problem here. I certainly don’t buy a RPIs, Beagle Bone Blacks, Arduinos for running desktop apps. Already have a Ryzen 5 2600 based system for that. Ie. Don’t pick up a hammer when you need a drill. For an embedded app that controls lights, servos, motors, etc, you have more than enough power/memory in any of the RPIs. When I needed more than the RPI could give for the problem I was addressing, I bought a odroid xu4. Yep, cost me more too.

        You can write a ‘lot’ of Python or C code in the memory that is left over from what is being used by the Linux OS! Add in access to ethernet/wifi/usb/GPIO/I2C/Serial and add-on boards…. You have a very capable platform for automation and control.

    3. The people whining are people who can’t build anything with development boards and instead just try to use them as a replacement for their laptop, then gripe and moan that a $25 circuit board doesn’t browse facebook as well their macbook did. It’s so stupid.

      It’s twenty. Five. Bucks. No, it’s not a PC replacement. Everybody please try not to lose your damn minds just because you have to pay tax and shipping (You really just can’t satisfy people can you? Is the Rapsberry Pi foundation supposed to develop teleportation tech and lobby for tax reform too? FFS) and please don’t try to use it as a web surfing machine. You’re doing it wrong. Pick up a soldering iron and actually build something for once.

  6. Introducing “new” product with no benefits–as you say, it’s that time of year. Again.
    And never fixing old problems…Does your “Gigabit Ethernet tun at full gigabit speed yet? Has the PoE design been changed to a real power supply, or does the ‘official’ fix of the bad design–excuse me: “official re-design–still consist of of poor hack–“hey, just add some more caps and an inductor; yup, that oughta do it…” (Eben Upton should have let Hackaday readers design the PoE HAT in order to get a really good design). Is there a reason for the highly-hyped 64-bit processor yet?
    Here’s a clue for you: the Raspberry Pi group is out of steam with this old design–simply look at their ‘breakthrough, dynamite, blockbuster” improvements they’ve resorted to introduced in order to keep your pulse racing.
    Maybe there’s a reason for all the activity surrounding the concentration on publishing magazines.

    When Eben Upton repairs the worst design decision ever foisted on the public–a computer ostensibly designed for 8-year-olds-which randomly destroys its operating system because it has no “on-off” switch, NO method of the simplest of shut-down procedures, then you’ll have a real story. Don’t hold your breath; this problem has existed since day one, on EVERY RPi, and Upton refuses to even talk about it–and always has–for six and one-half years.

    1. I get your point; I really do!

      But, in all fairness, you might consider that the decision to keep the Arduino header spacing error as a standard may actually be the worst design decision ever foisted on the public. At least the in the electronics hacker world. ;-)

      1. I think you win THE prize for the best new analogy of the Raspberry Pi; even though likening it to a dumbed-down 555 is still extremely apt, it was time for a newer analogy–
        comparing the Raspberry Pi to an Etch-A-Sketch is a stroke of genius on your part; take a bow!
        The only possible down-side to this is the damage it does to the Etch-A-Sketch’s reputation.

  7. I have been buying Orange PI’s pretty much ever since they have come out.
    They were pretty much garbage when they first came out.
    They have gotten a lot better over the years. But very far from perfect now, but better.
    Just better the new OS’s now are better but they still have a way to go.
    One problem I’m have right now is with the blue tooth. It does not want to work or be seen, Mind you I have not tried it in a bit now.
    I have used a round 30 of the Oranges, 2 Banana’s, 4 Raspberry’s. ( Sounds like I’m having a breakfast salad.)
    1st thing for me is the Price per unit over all. And
    2nd of course can it be used for what I want.

    And yes I know I should be putting some of my projects on here. But I have a hard time with my time.

  8. IMHO the orange Pis are much better to play with in every way. Beside the price (which in my opinion does not really count that much for a small quantities).
    Most of the peripherals of the Allwinner cpus are better, like
    you have internal ethernet controller, not this ethernet over usb.
    several uarts, not just one.
    etc. etc.

    But the biggest issue is, that if you decide, that you want to design (or make) your own board, good luck with Broadcom chips. It’s not going to happen. On the other hand making your own Allwinner (like H3) board is a relatively easy task (been there done that).

    So if your are thinking seriously in small embedded ARM system, than go with orange Pi.

  9. I wonder how many of the people who are whining about the price “not being as advertised” shopped at any local electronic stores when they still existed. You know the difference is the the price you pay for shipping, foreign taxes or import fees, etc… right? You know, all the crap that a brick and mortar store would take care of for you and make up for in quantity.

    It’s frustrating because it takes an hour to get there but I still have a Microcenter I can drive to on occasion. Pis there usually go for the regular, advertised price. You can have them the very same day too!

    But go ahead… keep buying EVERYTHING online until there are no local retailers left and all and keep complaining when you have to actually pay something for that sit-on-your-fat-butt order from home convenience. I totally feel sorry for you.

    1. It’s frustrating because they “advertise” wholesale prices instead of an MSRP, because they don’t prohibit bundling them with extra crap from official resale channels.

      It would be like Apple or Samsung advertising their phones as $750 but as soon as you went to any retailer you couldn’t find them for less than a grand because of re-seller markup and taxes. These companies advertise an MSRP and keep their retailers in line about keeping that phone in a general range of MSRP.

      It would be like Apple advertising their macbook at a set price, but finding when you go purchase it retail you cant buy just the macbook anywhere. That all the re-sellers are selling the macbooks with a bundle of dongles and other accessories for hundreds more than the MSRP.

      1. Really? If they can’t design a proper ‘teen-age-hacker power supply’, but only “appropriate” the bad design of a poor-chip manufacturer, who is going to “design” the next member of the Raspberry Pi family? The Raspberry Pi group has such little electronic design expertise that they couldn’t even recognize that what they knew they were ‘appropriating’ from someone else was, in fact, a very bad power-supply design–and they lacked the intelligence and engineering common sense to even check it out., even after committing it to their “design”. They then compounded their ignorance by “fixing” the problem they created with a “fix” not worthy of that word.
        The Raspberry Pi group quite obviously doesn’t have any capable electronics designers. They don’t even have any capable hackers of the quality found on this site. And they have very admirably demonstrated that they most certainly don’t have any electronic design engineers. And please–don’t display your ignorance and indignation by claiming that Eben Upton is an electrical engineer. He has demonstrated time and time again this lack by the “designs” he approves to be released.

  10. Even if you could get it for the advertised price (you cannot), the 512mb cost cutting effort is a deal breaker. The Orange Pi Win Plus A64 Quad-core 2GB WIFI is a much better deal when you factor in shipping and the usual Raspberry Pi Ripoff-reseller markups. A53 is the “cheap” 64-bit ARM variant, but even 2GB is a bit small for this class of processor. I’m on the sidelines until we start to see Allwinner/Orange Pi A75 boards with memory offerings above 8GB, preferably something supporting PC-style DDR4 memory as an expansion option. At that level, we’re moving away from “Pi”-style IoT devices and into real PC competitors and datacenter servers.

    1. Huh, I just bought one off adafruit for $25, also got a $5 pi0 and a $10 pi0w, there are limits to how many you can buy but they are out there. now to figure out what to do with it …..

        1. I downgraded the shipping method since I didnt need overnight, still usually get it in 5 days or so, yeah they have some premiums on some stuff but they give to the community to so I’ll pay it.
          ORDER DETAILS
          ITEMPRICEQTYTOTAL
          Raspberry Pi Model 3 A+ Raspberry Pi Model 3 A+ PID: 4027 $25.00 1 $25.00
          Large Enclosed Piezo Element w/Wires Large Enclosed Piezo Element w/Wires PID: 1739 $0.95 2 $1.90
          Raspberry Pi Zero – Version 1.3 Raspberry Pi Zero – Version 1.3 PID: 2885 $5.00 1 $5.00
          Raspberry Pi Zero W Raspberry Pi Zero W PID: 3400 $10.00 1 $10.00
          SUBTOTAL$41.90
          USPS FIRST CLASS$4.15
          TAX$3.45
          TOTAL$49.50

          1. shipping and taxes is what it is, I’d prefer to order more from digikey as they are 50 miles down the road but because of shipping hub districts anything I order from them make a 500ish mile trip, wish they had a hold for pickup option.

        2. 4027(1)
          Raspberry Pi Model 3 A+ PID: 4027
          SID: $25.00 $25.00
          3400(1)
          Raspberry Pi Zero W PID: 3400
          SID: $10.00 $10.00
          2471(1)
          Adafruit HUZZAH ESP8266 Breakout PID: 2471
          SID: $9.95 $9.95
          Sub-Total: $44.95
          United States Postal Service (0.19lbs) (First-Class Package Service – Retail™): Shipping: $4.15
          Tax: $3.44
          Total: $52.54

          $4 for shipping, how will I ever survive.

  11. More memory is needed. Right now, only simple C/C++ programs work. great for trivial projects, but I need Java for more advanced projects.

    “Hello World” compilation needs at least 1GB, and another 4GB for ecplise to even run. Add debugging and you are easily looking at 16GB, which is standard on even low end desktops these days.

    Without Java support, the raspberry pi is relegated to toy programming languages, like C/C++, and toy platforms, like Arduino.

    1. Ha! Yeah!
      Pros who code in C for embedded controllers aren’t really pros, Any microcontroller that doesn’t JIT has no place in mission-critical systems. I personally wouldn’t trust a missile or power plant that didn’t use javascript, java, python, and half a dozen other high-level programming languages.

    2. You are absolutely right, I want my next smart kettle to have jboss application server, Oracle database and of course GUI made with angular and even 1GB Raspberry Pi barely runs it. It takes 3 minutes from plugging it to power to the moment when I can turn it on and turning it on takes at least 20 seconds. Half of the water evaporate before the heater turns off so I’m thinking about some AI to predict when water will boil to start turning-off-procedure sooner.

    3. I hope this is satirical , If anything Java and other interpreted languages like Python are the toy languages, anything mission critical and operating systems are written in C/C++.

      Show me an OS written entirely in Java or Python and i’ll show you the computer with 128GB of Ram that will be required just to boot the kernel. You’ll probably need something like 1TB of ram to actually do anything useful with it.

      1. It’s people shitty coding in these toy languages and shitty coding in markup languages as used in websites why we need a computer with 16/32GB of ram just to browse the web these days.

        1. I got a old c2d laptop with 4gig of ram, first thing after installing a decent browser were to install a decent adblocker and site Javascript manager.
          Otherwise it’d only handle about 5 tabs before croaking.

        1. The internet doesn’t have a problem with real programming languages like C/C++. It has a problem with hack “programmers” i could barely hack themselves out of a wet paper bag without 50,000 lines of python linking 500 libraries together that they copied and pasted from 5000 separate threads off stackoverflow

          That is the sad state of programming these days.

  12. Whats with all the complaints about it not having a power shutdown feature? I was on my 5th or 6th home PC before I seen that feature. These SBC’s are cost optimized for learning, hacking, screwing around with, if you cant wait 30 seconds for the shutdown before you pull the plug then spend the extra bucks for a board that has what you want on it there is plenty of other boards out there. I’ve used Rpi’s and orange pi’s and rarely had a problem using them the way they were designed, I’ve got a RK3328 settop box that has android pulled and armbian running on it ( not pretty but in progress) these boards are not a finished consumer product they are to hack something onto till you break something then you try again.

  13. FYI: https://www.zdnet.com/article/raspberry-pi-clone-rock-pi-4-starts-at-just-39-but-with-powerful-rk3399-chip/

    Seems like Rock Pi RK3399 addresses a lot of the things we want here:
    – 1GB/2GB/4GB LPDDR4
    – eMMC, uSD, M.2 NVME SSD
    – GbE – capable of 940Mbit/s speeds; Model B adds: 802.11 ac, bluetooth 5.0, PoE support – need HAT
    – HDMI 2.0 4k/60, MIPI DSI 2 lanes, 3.5mm jack with mic, HD codec 24-bit/96K audio
    – USB 3.0 OTG (x1 with hardware switch), 3.0 Host (x1), 2.0 (x2)
    – USB C (PD) for power, – 40-pin expansion

    Model A: 2GB: $49, 4GB: $65; Model B: 2GB: $59, 4GB: $75

    1. I agree.

      We are still running Motorola 25Mhz 68332, 1M Ram, 1M Flash based boards to monitor and control substations. We just deactivated a Z-80 based sub-station control system a couple of weeks ago…. Our comm department still uses these Z-80 based boards for comm monitoring (being slowing fazed out now, but…). 512M? 1.4GHhz? And some are complaining? Under $50? Golden age of ‘cheap’ computing is here!!!

  14. Having a blast reading all of the comments on this article. I see a lot of whining from people wanting everything including the kitchen sink for lower cost because they can’t optimize their current project on existing hardware. (when all they need to do is spend a little more to get what they need)Then there are the more sane comments from people actually doing big projects, with less hardware, wondering why those people are whining. Next are the people arguing for the non Raspberry Pi solutions. So, all in all, pretty much the same set of comments as every other “new rPi product release” article ever on Hackaday.

    1. Don’t forget the people shrieking and crying that they also have to pay shipping and taxes on a $25 low-spec linux SBC. It’s pathetic–so obvious that these people don’t really build anything, they just want an impossibly cheap PC to browse the web. With free shipping. And 16GB of free RAM. And screw it, a free RTX 2080 the size of a credit card that runs off 10 watts of power from a wall wart.

      What the hell. No, the Pi isn’t some kind of cheat code to get around buying a PC. This isn’t magic, people. They aren’t summoning lost alien technology from the eighth dimension.

      I feel sorry for the people at the Pi foundation having to deal with such a greedy and delusional crowd.

      1. The people whining are not from your country.

        You simply don’t understand what these cost in other countries.

        When the Pi Zero stock came out, I couldn’t buy one less than $100 in a bundle.

        Then you people say it’s tax , shipping etc when I can buy a tablet computer cheaper than one of these $25 boards.

        Buy hey, that’s because the tablet computer has been chemically treated so that it’s immunize to taxes and the people who sell them use teleporters to avoid shipping costs.

        1. It’s on adafruit for $25 right now. Is that not available in your country? Where is that? Where are you seeing over a hundred for a bundle? For the zero? Come on.

          You realize they don’t have control of those prices, right? They sell it for $25. They don’t do the shipping themselves. They don’t do the bundling either. That’s a reseller; and a truly shitty one at that if they’re bundling a zero for a hundred. Obviously something with higher consumer demand like a tablet is going to be in stock in more places than a development board. Conflating that makes no sense.

          1. This is the reality here.

            It’s mostly because no reputable business wil sell them here.

            In my country, if you advertise something for a price then you have to sell it at that specific price or the government will take your business to court and fine your business hundreds of thousand of dollars, consequently businesses here are not interested in the Raspberry Pi’s bullshit pricing structure. If it were possible to turn a one cent profit by selling these at $25 then I am sure businesses here would sell them.

            That leaves direct importing. Your country has postage/shipping agreements with many countries but not mine. I cant get anything out of the US for less than about $120USD shipping, Most often it’s more like $180USD shipping.

            When people from countries that have no postal/shipping agreement with the US complain, then you think we are complaining about $5 or $10 for the shipping costs.

            That’s not the case at all, we’re complaint about having to pay for the gold plated ship to bring it here.

      2. “Shipping”
        In the US, $9 shipping is ridiculous when I can ship something of that size for $7.20 through USPS. Specifically, using the “Small Flat Rate Box”. (This doesn’t take into account volume discounts.) Adafruit charges $9.10 for Priority Mail on a Pi Zero.

        “Taxes”
        Either let me pay the taxes of my state of residency, or let me vote and enjoy the benefits of where I pay taxes. CA can go piss off. 24% tax, on, for example, prepaid phone plans is absolutely ridiculous.

        The other problem is the requirements that resellers impose. Either you buy an overpriced bundle, or you can only buy 1 Pi at a time. At least when I buy, say, Compute Sticks, I can buy as many as I want at once. So you can’t even amortize the shipping over several Pis.

  15. I’m hopeful that the next major version of the Pi will have USB3. If that comes to fruition, I’ll probably use one as a replacement for the old version 1 model B that I’m using as my router.

    1. But that could then take it out of reach for the target audience, part of the reason it’s made to be cheap is to allow children to break them. Although I do agree that gigabit Ethernet would be good. But only if it can be done at the same price point without causing too much disruption to compatibility.

      USB 3.0 for the win. ;)

  16. The problem with the Pi’s are that they are sitting between two chairs.

    Lets first look at the pros and cons:

    Cons:
    Connectors lost from high altitude, and emergency landed randomly on the board, and making casing difficult.
    Hopeless power control, no power on/off, corruption of SD cards en-mass.
    Micro usb used for power, instead of standard DC jack, or screw terminals, or at least power pins before the protection diodes (also a risk of backpowering from USB ports).
    Narrow power range, should accept voltages between 5 and 12V, so it could be better used on batteries.
    Closed binary blob with proprietary Broadcom code.
    No Sata connection (although I admit this can be considered a bit of a luxury problem).
    No external antenna, making metal casing a no-goer.
    No real Ethernet connection.

    Pros:
    Really good hardware, high build quality
    High availability in large amounts (except the hoax zero (*1)) from several distributors.
    EMC compliant.
    Long time delivery commitment, eg. they promise until 2023 for the 3B+
    Good temperature control on the 3+
    Huge community (probably the absolute biggest pro).
    From an European pow produced within the EU (*2).
    Reasonably pricing, but not extraordinary.

    One of the biggest problems I have seen over time is that every time a new Pi is introduced Eben Macbeth and Lady Liz are bragging about a so an so low price, stated in dollars.
    But first of all the Pi is made in England, so why the heck state the price in dollars, I can only see it as deliberately making smoke, and camouflaging that the real price is something different – eg. the new 3A+ does actually cost 25$ (with todays exchange rate) at RS here in Danmark and at RS in UK – BUT the price is without VAT, meaning that the end user price actually is at least 25/20 (DK/UK) % higher than claimed.

    In Denmark it is actually illegal to state end user pricing without VAT, so the conclusion is that the 25$ price is, and will never be true, but is only to drag some attention – and trying to raise that on the Pi forum makes Lady Liz very upset.
    To me it is a dishonest way to act.

    *1) The same goes for the Zeroes, primarily a marketing stunt, as they are very hard to get hands on, and only one at the time (making it much more expensive due to delivery) – imo it would be much more fair that the zero was priced around 10 Euro (which in no way is an unrealistic priced compared to eg. Friendlyarm), but available in large quantities – but then the Macbeth’s could not brag about making a 5$ computer.

    And even though the Pi foundation claims we-are-doing-it-for-the-kids, the cold fact is that for each time a RPi goes to a student, thousands are sold commercially.

    So why doesn’t the foundation (the Broadcom outlet) just be honest, and go 100% the commercial way, and if they then want to play with charity, there is nothing stopping them from selling discounted Pi’s for schools.

    *2) As the Brits are trying to destroy the European House, I really hope we will see some competitive product made within the real EU, as it makes logistics much easier inside the EU (for the Europeans, but licensing models in other parts of the world could be an idea).
    Olimex makes some quite good products, but it seems like the development have lost some momentum, so they are still missing something in the lower end with reasonably performance.

    I still stick with the RPi, primarily due to the EMC compliance and the large community, but I am in no way married with the foundation, and imo the foundation really needs to leave the arrogant self-sufficient attitude, and try to focus on how to keep their professional customers – currently there is no obvious competition, but one newer know how tomorrow looks.

    1. I’m a little nonplussed at the Pi as an embeddable platform.

      I have a product on Tindie that embeds a Pi Zero. This is problematic because they’re hard to obtain in commercially useful quantities. I’ve considered redesigning it to use the compute module instead, but they’re triple the price and that’s not counting the additional support requirements on the host board for them. The new A+ is also an option, but it’s double-and-a-half more, and you have to design a larger landing footprint for it so the host board costs more.

    2. I have been under the impression the Raspberry Pi is for-profit now. Raspberry Pi Trading is the company behind the Pi and as far as I can tell it is a for-profit company. They go out of their way to make it all look charitable and for education but that doesn’t seem to be the actual case.

    3. The problem is that the RPi isn’t really target for commercial/industrial use as they artificially the quantities for purchase. Pi clones from China however operates as a real business. They’ll ship to anyone, almost anywhere and any volumes.

      One would have thought that higher volumes can lead to lower production cost for everybody. I think that might screw up their tax status or whatever their personal believes happens to be.

      Proper distribution channels e.g. Digikey, mouser don’t carry them. So that basically means that they sell them at mickey mouse boutique places that make money on bundling. That’s the part that most of us *outside* the US or Europe get ripped off with high shipping costs and unwanted bundling.

    4. Not going to search for the post right now, but the Pi Foundation discusses the price of Pi’s in USD because that is the currency they use to buy all their components. As a result the price they can claim to sell in is locked to the dollar, and they do not need to adjust for currency fluctuations that way.
      Now, I can’t speak for your country, but in the US I can walk into Microcenter stores and buy almost any pi at the claimed price + sales tax (with the exception of when they are out right when a new release happens, since you really can’t expect anyone to be able to handle that kind of surge)
      As for your VAT and other taxes, how can you expect them to advertise a board like this internationally with the VAT for any given region pre-included? Sure, any reseller in your country should add the VAT if the law requires it, but it is a bit silly to expect the PI foundation to advertise it with your taxes included when they write a press release.

      1. “Not going to search for the post right now, but the Pi Foundation discusses the price of Pi’s in USD because that is the currency they use to buy all their components.”

        I read that story to, and it is absolutely bull***.
        The PCB is produced and assembled in UK (afaik Wales), the components are sourced globally and is taxed within the EU, and all salaries are paid in £ – so maybe apart from the Broadcom chip, it makes no sense, what so ever.

        And UK is still a member of the EU, not the 51’th state of the US (although is seems like May is working on it) , so when we consider the above, the prices should in no way be lower in the US than in EU.

        No other (or only very, very few) manufactures in the EU tells the same lame story.

        “As for your VAT and other taxes, how can you expect them to advertise a board like this internationally with the VAT for any given region pre-included?”

        Because it is a English product, actually targeted as a this-is-a-product-for-all-the-children, not for commercial use – and when one sell a product within the EU, the price, as it is a product for end-users SHALL be including VAT.

        Even in the country where it is produced it is in no way possible to buy the product at the price the Broadcom outlet brags about – and that I do consider a dishonest marketing stunt.

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