Why The RP1 Is The Most Important Product Raspberry Pi Have Ever Made

We’ve had about a week to digest the pending arrival of the Raspberry Pi 5, and it’s safe to say that the new board from Cambridge has produced quite some excitement with its enhanced specifications and a few new capabilities not seen in its predecessors. When it goes on general sale we expect that it will power a slew of impressive projects in these pages, and we look forward with keen anticipation to its companion Compute Module 5, and we sincerely hope eventually a Raspberry Pi 500 all-in-one. It’s the latest in a line of incrementally-upgraded single board computers from the company, but we think it conceals something of much greater importance than the improvements that marked previous generations. Where do we think the secret sauce lies in the Pi 5? In the RP1 all-in-one PCIe peripheral chip of course, the chip which provides most of the interfacing on the new board. Continue reading “Why The RP1 Is The Most Important Product Raspberry Pi Have Ever Made”

Raspberry Pi Reveals A Little About Their RP1 Peripheral

The Raspberry Pi 5 is the new hotness from the Cambridge-based single board computer vendor, thanks in part to its new wonder-chip peripheral that speeds up much of its interfacing with the world. The RP1 hangs of the CPU’s PCIe bus and takes on many functions previously in the SoC, and those curious about it now have a little bit of information. Eben Upton has posted an article about the chip, and there’s a partial datasheet and a video in which the engineers talk about the chip as well.

The datasheet is intended to help anyone wishing to write a hardware driver for a Pi 5, and they admit that it doesn’t reveal everything on the silicon. We don’t expect them to put this chip up for sale on its own because doing so would enable their competitors to produce something much closer to a Pi 5 clone. It does reveal a few nuggets, though; there are a couple of Cortex M3 cores for housekeeping, and alongside all the interfaces we know from earlier boards it has, perhaps most interestingly for Hackaday readers, a 12-bit analogue-to-digital converter. This has always been on our Pi wishlist and is a welcome addition.

So, if you read the datasheet and watch the video below, you’ll learn a lot about the interfaces and how to talk to them, but not quite so much about the full workings of the chip itself. They hint that there’s more to be released, but since the Pi people have a history of not letting go of the family silver, we won’t expect the keys to the kingdom.

Have a read of our Pi 5 launch coverage.

Continue reading “Raspberry Pi Reveals A Little About Their RP1 Peripheral”