R731,88. That’s how much, including VAT, you’re going to have to fork out to get your hands on the credit card-sized computer, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which has gone on sale in South Africa.
Developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the Raspberry Pi 3 is the latest in a line of tiny, low-cost computers aimed at the education market and at tinkerers and even businesses keen to use it for a variety of applications.
The latest version of the Raspberry Pi includes a 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, which is typically used in high-end smartphones. The developers said it offers 50% better performance than its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 2, and 10 times more computing power than the original.
There is also integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for first time, which local distributor RS Components said makes it ideal for Internet of things (IoT) development projects.
The board in the new Raspberry Pi is based on the Broadcom BCM2837 system on a chip, which includes the 1,2GHz ARM processor and a BCM43438 combo connectivity device, which provides 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy.
A dual-core multimedia co-processor offers 1080p video decoding at 60 frames per second, making it suitable for use in building an Internet-connected home entertainment system — a popular application for previous Raspberry Pi models.
The Raspberry Pi 3 boots from a microSD card and uses the Noobs (New Out Of the Box Software) installation manager. The standard Raspbian operating system installed comes bundled with a range of productivity applications, and programming tools including Node-RED. Users are free to install other operating systems.
“This visual tool provides support for wiring together hardware devices, application programming interfaces and online services, making the board ideal for the rapid development and prototyping of IoT projects,” RS Components said.
Other specifications include a 40-pin GPIO (general purpose input output) connector; four USB connector port; full-HD HDMI; 10/100 Ethernet; 3,5mm audio jack and composite video; camera (CSI-2) and display (DSI) interfaces; and microSD card slot. Power input to the board is via its micro-USB socket requiring an external, plug-in power supply unit.
RS Components said it is selling the Raspberry Pi via its website at R642 excluding VAT; internationally, the computer sells for US$35 before taxes. — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media