The Raspberry Pi 4 doesn’t work with all USB-C cables

The Raspberry Pi 4 is a great little beast, but Tyler Ward identified a flaw in the USB Type-C connector. The Raspberry Pi Foundation confirmed to TechRepublic that the design flaw is real, and that your Raspberry Pi 4 might not work with all USB-C cables.

It’s not really a dealbreaker, but you can expect a future board revision with a proper implementation of the USB-C protocol. But if you find yourself scratching your head and you don’t understand why your Raspberry Pi is not powering up, now you know why.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released the schematics of the board. And there’s a missing CC resistor that let sophisticated chargers negotiate current with the device.

Given that USB-C is a complicated connector, some cables are electronically marked, which means that they have an integrated chip to support a wide range of devices.

For instance, you can use a MacBook Pro charger with plenty of USB-C devices. The charger just figures out how much power it needs to deliver.

But the Raspberry Pi 4 doesn’t support electronically marked cables, such as Apple’s USB-C cables or Google’s Pixel 3 cables. The device is incorrectly identified as an audio adapter accessory.

Fortunately, it doesn’t damage the Raspberry Pi 4 and it doesn’t create any fire hazard. The device just doesn’t power up.

"I expect this will be fixed in a future board revision, but for now users will need to apply one of the suggested workarounds. It's surprising this didn't show up in our (quite extensive) field testing program,” Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton told TechRepublic.

A simple workaround is to buy a non e-marked cable or charger. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is selling an $ 8 USB-C charger for instance. In my testing, it has been working fine for the past couple of weeks.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

The Raspberry Pi Foundation unveils the Raspberry Pi 4

The Raspberry Pi 4 is here — and it’s an awesome upgrade. Earlier rumors said that it would take a while before a major Raspberry Pi upgrade, but it’s available starting today.

When it comes to physical design, the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B looks a lot like the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, the previous flagship model. It’s a single-board computer with a lot of connectors that is the size of a deck of cards.

But everything has been updated. It starts with a faster system-on-a-chip. The processor now uses the Cortex-A72 architecture (quad-core 64-bit ARMv8 at 1.5GHz). It supports H.265 hardware video decoding for instance.

The Raspberry Pi has been stuck at 512MB or 1GB of RAM for years. For the first time, you can buy models with more memory if you want more memory. The base model still starts with 1GB of RAM. But you can optionally buy a model with 2GB RAM or even 4GB of RAM.

In addition to raw memory capacity, memory transfer speeds should be faster as the foundation is switching from LPDDR2 to LPDDR4.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has already sent me a Raspberry Pi 4 and I plan to run some benchmarks and share the results. I’m just waiting for the Raspbian update as the existing release doesn’t run on the new architecture — I realized that after formatting the microSD card to replace the pre-installed NOOBS operating system with Raspbian Lite (oopsie).

When it come to connectivity, the two big changes are that you now get true Gigabit Ethernet (instead of Ethernet over USB 2.0). It should open up a ton of potential use cases for servers and headless Raspberry Pi devices.

There are now two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. And you now get a USB-C port for the power brick. Bluetooth is also getting an update from Bluetooth 4.2 to Bluetooth 5.0.

The final big hardware change is that the full-size HDMI port is gone. You now get two micro-HDMI ports, which let you plug two 4K displays at 60 frames per second using one Raspberry Pi. I haven’t tested that setup yet. I’m sure it would be fine to run two statics dashboards in your office for instance, but I wouldn’t expect crazy dual-screen performances.

The rest of the specifications should look familiar to anybody who has used a Raspberry Pi in the past. There’s a microSD card slot so that you can put the operating system and user data on a memory card. There’s a 40-pin GPIO header that should be compatible with existing add-on boards.

The product is launching today through authorized Raspberry Pi retailers. The base model still costs $ 35, while the 2GB RAM model costs $ 45 and the 4GB RAM model costs $ 55.

While the Raspberry Pi first started as a simple computer designed to teach kids how to code, it has become a versatile device with many different use cases. I’ve been using a few for the past couple of years and I learned a lot about programming, system administration, Docker containers and networking. And it looks like today’s update will be a hit for kids, parents and makers.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

The Raspberry Pi store is much cooler than an Apple Store

The Raspberry Pi Foundation just unveiled a brand new project — an actual store. If you live in Cambridge in the U.K., you can now buy a bunch of sweet Raspberry Pis to tinker and develop some cool stuff.

The Raspberry Pi has always been about making coding more accessible. And a physical retail space fits the bill. The foundation has developed a lineup of insanely cheap computers with an ARM-based processor, a bunch of ports, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The latest flagship model, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ costs only $ 35. But if you want something smaller and cheaper, there are other models for various needs.

Maybe you just need a tiny computer for some internet-of-things project. You can opt for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ for $ 25 in that case. It has a bit less RAM and fewer ports, but it works pretty much like any Raspberry Pi. There’s also power-efficient models that cost less than $ 10 — the Raspberry Pi Zero models.

I never really thought about Raspberry Pi stores. But the introduction video makes a strong case in favor of such a store. The product lineup is getting a bit complicated and it’s always good to be able to talk to someone about your projects.

Moreover, the foundation can use this store as a showcase for some cool examples. You can also buy goodies, such as mugs and plushy toys. Those white-and-red keyboard and mouse look cool too.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is a compact yet powerful Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi Foundation just announced a brand new model. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is basically a flagship Raspberry Pi on a smaller printed circuit board, with a few compromises. It costs $ 25, or $ 10 less than the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

The lineup is getting slightly confusing but bear with me for a second. If you want the best Raspberry Pi, you should get the 3 Model B+. It comes with a 1.4GHz ARMv8 quad-core processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet (max 300 Mbps), USB 2.0 and HDMI.

The new Pi 3 Model A+ is supposed to be a smaller model but with most of the advantages of the Model B+. It has similar specifications except that you get 512MB of RAM instead of 1GB, there’s only one USB 2.0 port and the Ethernet port is gone.

But that’s about it. If you don’t need a ton of RAM or Ethernet, it’s a surprisingly decent mini-computer. Even if you played with a Raspberry Pi in the past, recent models have come a long way. The processor is now powerful enough to run demanding tasks.

Sure, it’ll take longer to transcode a video, unzip a large file or launch an emulated game on a Raspberry Pi than on a laptop. But if you want a fanless computer that runs 24/7, it’s hard to find something cheaper. Docker works pretty well on it, which makes it even easier to maintain if you’re into containers.

If you want to put a Raspberry Pi into a constrained location, the Raspberry Pi Zero models have a slim design and don’t require a ton of power. Those models are much slower though. The foundation still sells older models for those who need to replace old Raspberry Pis with the exact same models — but I wouldn’t recommend buying them.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Raspberry Pi Model B+ arrives just in time for Pi Day 2018

It’s March 14, which means it’s Pi Day for math appreciators everywhere (I appreciate math, I just don’t understand it). To mark the occasion, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has a brand new version of its diminutive, affordable computer for DIY computing enthusiasts, the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

This latest iteration has the same footprint as both the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which means it’s about the size of a deck of cards, but it’s now got a 64=-bit quad core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.2/BLE and Gigabit Ethernet with maximum transfer network speeds of up to 300 Mbps, or three times higher than that of the Model B.

The Pi 3 Model B+ also has one full size HDMI port for display output, as well as four USB 2.0 ports, a microSD port for storing data and running the OS, and support for Power over Ethernet (PoE) with a separate PoE HAT add-on which will be available as an official accessory soon. It’s also got both. CSI and DSI port for connecting Raspberry Pi camera and touchscreen displays.

This version’s new higher clock speed is possible thanks to improved power integrity and thermal design, and the dual-band Wi-Fi included on the board actually already has modular compliance certification, so it’s far easier to integrate his version of the Pi into end products design for consumer and commercial sale without having to do a load of testing and certification on the buyer’s end.

The new updated Pi 3 sounds like a good upgrade for both personal and business projects, and it’s available from Raspberry Pi’s official retail partners via its website.

Gadgets – TechCrunch