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Education Open Source United Kingdom Upgrades Wireless Networking Hardware Build Linux

Raspberry Pi 3 Brings Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (i-programmer.info) 97

mikejuk writes: Details of the next in the family of the successful Raspberry Pi family have become available as part of FCC testing documents. The Pi 3 finally includes WiFi and Bluetooth/LE. Comparing the board with the Pi 2 it is clear that most of the electronics has stayed the same. A Raspberry Pi with built in WiFi and Bluetooth puts it directly in competition with the new Linux based Arduinos, Intel's Edison and its derivatives, and with the ESP8266 — a very low cost (about $2) but not well known WiFi board. And of course, it will be in competition with its own stablemates. If the Pi 3 is only a few dollars more than the Pi 2 then it will be the obvious first choice. This would effectively make the Pi Zero, at $5 with no networking, king of the low end and the Pi 3 the choice at the other end of the spectrum. Let's hope they make more than one or two before the launch because the $5 Pi Zero is still out of stock most places three months after being announced and it is annoying a lot of potential users.
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Raspberry Pi 3 Brings Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

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  • Wifi vs USB3/GigE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fishwallop ( 792972 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @11:24AM (#51598337)
    I'd rather see faster IO than built-in wireless. I can easily add a dongle for wifi or bluetooth if I want it, but the current architectural constraints mean the Pi's not a great board for a low-end, low-power file server.
    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @12:18PM (#51598577)

      File server? Given the complete lack of disk based I/O I think "faster" is the least of your concerns and "not great" is a massive understatement.

      I would prefer it doesn't go down this road. All you do is further push the device towards jack of all trades and master of none. Get a proper fileserver board with some serious I/O and leave this as the tinkering development board it should be.

      • by Ramze ( 640788 )

        Fear not. The foundation will continue to sell all versions of the boards as long as decent demand exists. But, you should expect further integration on newer models of all sorts of features. The Pi is intended to be a "jack of all trades" for educational purposes -- mostly for children. The foundation recommends the 1A board for integrated hobbyist projects and the newer 2B for educational institutions and kids (their core target their corporate charter says they exist to serve) exactly because it is

        • It is a bit of a leap. The RPi in all variants have shared a common USB bus for all peripherals. Your network file server may achieve what the name says, (i.e. it can serve a file to a network device) but that's where it's abilities end and the massive limitations of the design start to become apparent. Read from the harddisk and serve a file over the network at the same time? You'll be craving a laptop HDD plugged into your PC via USB2.

          Sometimes infuriatingly slow really doesn't quite say it. I spent a lot

    • Dude, why? Seriously. You can buy COTS stuff for this and if you really want to roll your own, why not simply build something with a cheap motherboard/CPU combo. Under $100 and you'll have radically better performance.
    • If you want that, go with a clone like the Orange Pi [orangepi.org], that's got GigE and bunch of other stuff (built-in flash, a proper barrel jack connector to power things, etc). The only question I'd have about it is compatibility, I really just want a replacement Pi that I can use the same software on, not a new dev.project.
  • and with the ESP8266 — a very low cost (about $2) but not well known WiFi board

    I think everyone who's even remotely into hobby electronics knows what the ESP8266 is. They would also know that it has a tiny TINY microcontroller which can only run rudimentary code on it and puts it more in line with a WiFi dongle than anything else on your list. Speaking of the rest of the list....

    Linux based Arduinos

    Huh? What the hell is a Linux based Arduino?

    • I think everyone who's even remotely into hobby electronics knows what the ESP8266 is. They would also know that it has a tiny TINY microcontroller which can only run rudimentary code on it and puts it more in line with a WiFi dongle than anything else on your list.

      It is capable of a whole lot more than what you give it credit for, see e.g. https://youtu.be/SSiRkpgwVKY?t... [youtu.be] for a very neat example.

      • Don't get me wrong, you can hack a lot on an 8bit microcontroller. But in the summary it's being compared to a 1.2GHz ARM computer with 512MB of RAM.

        They're not in the same league.
        They're not in the same stadium.
        They're not even playing the same sport.

        • Well, true, I certainly don't disagree with you there! The comparison is rather silly, but maybe Timothy was hoping to look smart by name-dropping "nerdy" things?

    • The ESP8266 isn't that tiny. It's still a lot better than the ATmega328P used on a basic Arduino and you see tons of people make projects with those. Sure it doesn't have as much I/O pins, DACs, etc but for the CPU/RAM part, it's way better.

      ATmega328:
      8-bit AVR RISC-based CPU running at 20 MHz (16 MHz on Arduino)
      32 KiB flash memory for instructions, 1 KiB EEPROM, 2 KiB SRAM

      ESP8266:
      32-bit RISC CPU running at 80 MHz
      64 KiB of instruction RAM, 96 KiB of data RAM

      • You can actually run the ESP8266 at 160MHz too just fine, no stability-issues whatsoever, and that gives it a whole lot more grunt. The lack of ADCs and I/O-pins and such are a bit of a downside depending on what one is planning to do with it, but then again, one could just use I2C - based extenders for those if one needs them. I have a PCF8574 8 - pin I/O - expander, for example -- if I don't need interrupts on those pins all it takes is the two pins for I2C on the ESP8266, if I need interrupts it's one mo

        • You can actually run the ESP8266 at 160MHz too just fine,

          Stop it with all the knowledge. This is supposed to be a "not well known" board. :-)

      • Why are you comparing it to an 8bit AVR?

        The summary and I are comparing it to a 1.2GHz 32bit ARM with 512MB of RAM.

        • Considering the price difference, the only thing that comes close to the ESP8266 is the Arduino Pro mini clones from China.

          But you're right, compared to the Raspberry Pi, the ESP8266 is tiny. It's all relative.

  • > About the only thing you could criticize in the current line up of Raspberry Pi single board computers is the fact that you have to add a WiFi or Bluetooth dongle

    I don't give a rats ass about WiFi.

    I just want quadcore cpu + 4 GB RAM onboard < $50. I've seen devices north of $125 but nothing for a cheap "cluster" with 4GB RAM.

    What's the point of having a quadcore when you only have 1 GB RAM -- which is split amongst each core. That is only 255 MB / core; not useful for my applications.

    * https://www [raspberrypi.org]

    • I don't care about the overhead of a $5 USB Wifi dongle, the killer is the at the time possibly OK but in perpetuating it totally stupid decision to power the thing from a freaking cellphone charger rather than a 12V barrel jack connector. Anything I build with a Pi that involves attaching USB peripherals tends to end up as a spaghetti mess of a UBEC with splitter to feed the Pi and a powered USB hub hacked up to not backfeed power to the Pi but power the peripherals that the Pi can't power itself. I've e
      • I guess that's one reason this new model includes Bluetooth - so you can throw away your perfectly functional USB peripherals such as keyboard and mouse and replace them with bt equivalents.

  • by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @01:37PM (#51598931)

    Pi2 makes a great Kodi system but falls short on 1080i/p. It needs just a bit more power hopefully this new Pi will do it

    • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Saturday February 27, 2016 @04:16PM (#51599821) Homepage

      Pi2 makes a great Kodi system but falls short on 1080i/p. It needs just a bit more power hopefully this new Pi will do it.

      You aren't overclocking it then, I guess. I use my Pi2 as a Kodi-based media center, usually watching Blu-Ray rips, and I have had no problems whatsoever with stuttering or slowness. The overclocking I've done (values recommended by OSMC) is very gentle, not the kind that puts the board at risk .

      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        if its no risk how come its not stock

        just cause it hasnt fried for you does not mean its no risk for the entire population of the chipset

    • I just wish for board that could handle hevc well, and which contains a player that will play anything that a PC running VLC can.

      • I was really hoping it would have hardware decoding for H.265 too. I'm not sure what the other commenter is complaining about regarding 1080p video though - I've got an original Model B running OpenELEC and it handles 1080p just fine on account of the hardware support for H.264. It would struggle with other formats, I imagine, but other than HEVC what's in 1080p that's not H.264?
  • I run all my network on Raspberry's. They are are a great bit of kit. All you need is to run a decent OS on it -> http://rpi.fatdog.eu/ [fatdog.eu]
  • Wireless for 2$ extra is fine, but I rather see them add SATA to the board. The SD storage is just too slow and too small.

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