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  1. Raspberry Pi 3B+ production is also being "deprioritized." Enlarge / The Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry Pi Foundation Pandemic-driven supply chain problems have prompted the first-ever price increase for a Raspberry Pi product, according to Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton. Acknowledging that the 2GB configuration of the Raspberry Pi 4 and the Raspberry Pi Zero had been particularly hard-hit by shortages, Upton announced that the price of the 2GB Pi 4 would increase from $35 to $45 and that a previously discontinued version of the Pi 4 with 1GB of RAM would be reintroduced at $35. The price increase for the 2GB Pi 4 and reintroduction of the 1GB model essentially reverts the Pi 4 lineup to where it was back in February of 2020, when the Pi Foundation cut the price of the 2GB Pi 4 from $45 to $35, a price cut that it said was "permanent" at the time. The March 2020 issue of the official Raspberry Pi Magazine (PDF) said that the 1GB model had been "retired." Upton expressed hope that the price increase would be "temporary" and said that "we see early signs that the supply chain situation is starting to ease." "These changes in pricing are not here to stay," Upton wrote. "As global supply chain issues moderate, we’ll keep revisiting this issue, and we want to get pricing back to where it was as fast as we can." Shortages of 40 nm chips also mean that the older Raspberry Pi 3B+ is being "deprioritized" in favor of other Raspberry Pi 3 variants; the company keeps manufacturing older products primarily for "industrial and embedded" customers who need to use specific Pi boards for extended periods of time. Upton recommends that in the long term, customers who rely on the Pi 3B+ plan to migrate to the 1GB version of the Pi 4. Supply chain woes lead to a “temporary” Raspberry Pi 4 price hike
  2. Raspberry Pi Foundation unveils a case fan for the Raspberry Pi 4 The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a case fan for the Raspberry Pi 4. The $5 fan is available to purchase starting today and it is built to keep the single-board computer from overheating. Combined with a small heatsink, the fan works with the official case that comes with the Raspberry Pi 4, which was announced last year. It's powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor called Broadcom BCM2711, marking a significant upgrade from its predecessor. That said, the Raspberry Pi 4 can get hot when it runs at maximum performance for a long period and eventually throttles the CPU's frequency to minimize heat, a feature called sprint-and-recover mode. This happens under certain conditions such as when you’re using a case, which can block proper ventilation, or when the computer overclocks to 1.8GHz or higher. Over the last 18 months, the foundation has addressed this issue with power optimization feature that it released in November of last year. While that update fixed the problem in some cases, the overheating issue arises when the Raspberry Pi is used for extended periods. The foundation describes how the new case fan works: "It draws air in over the USB and Ethernet connectors, passes it over a small finned heatsink attached to the processor, and exhausts it through the SD card slot." A test workload that ran with the fan demonstrated that the board managed to keep its temperature below 70 degrees Celsius. The fan is available to purchase for $5 via Raspberry Pi approved resellers in select countries. In the future, the foundation will expand its availability to more territories not yet included in the list. Raspberry Pi Foundation unveils a case fan for the Raspberry Pi 4
  3. Vulkan V3DV graphics are now part of the latest Mesa graphic stack for Raspberry Pi 4's Broadcom VideoCore GPU. The VD3V driver has been tested with Vulkan ports of the original Quake trilogy. Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation Raspberry Pi 4 owners will be pleased to know that Vulkan support is one step closer thanks to the Vulkan driver, V3DV, being merged in the latest version of the Mesa graphic stack for the Raspberry Pi 4. As noted by Linux news site Phoronix, the VD3V driver has been under development for the past year to bring Vulkan support to newer Broadcom VideoCore GPU hardware, especially the Raspberry Pi 4. The VD3V driver has now mainlined in an upcoming version of Mesa, the open-source implementation of OpenGL and Vulkan. The Raspberry Pi Foundation contracted consulting firm Igalia to develop the VD3V Vulkan driver and announced upcoming Vulkan support for the Raspberry 4 at the beginning of the year. The VD3V Vulkan driver promises higher-quality and faster graphics for the single-board computer, extending Vulkan support from already Android phones to the Raspberry Pi 4. However, at that stage the effort had only managed to get a Raspberry Pi to render an RGB triangle, but it was nonetheless a milestone. "Don't hold your breath," Raspberry Pi Foundation co-founder Ebert Upton said at the time. On Tuesday, Igalia's Iago Toral, who's been working on the Mesa graphics driver stack for Raspberry Pi 4, announced that the driver has been merged with Mesa upstream, making it one of the official Vulkan Mesa drivers along with drivers for other graphics hardware. This move means VD3V will be part of all Mesa releases, and anyone who wants to test it can get it from the official Mesa repository. Toral added that the VD3V driver has now passed over 100,000 tests from the Khronos Conformance Test Suite for Vulkan 1.0 and has implemented the full Vulkan 1.0 API. However, he pointed out that more work needs to be done. "Although the CTS is a really complete test suite, it is not the same as a real use case. As mentioned in some of our updates, we have been testing the driver with Vulkan ports of the original Quake trilogy, but deeper and more detailed testing is needed," notes Toral. After this has taken place, Toral plans to test the driver further and iron out bugs and performance issues. As noted by Phoronix, Mesa 20.3, the latest version of Mesa, is scheduled to be released as stable in early December and because it is part of Mesa, it's easier for Raspberry Pi Linux distributions to offer this Broadcom Vulkan driver. Source
  4. Price slashed for 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 due to more affordable RAM The 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 is now available for $35 down from $45. The Raspberry Pi Foundation which creates the spartan board computers is celebrating the eighth birthday of its original Raspberry Pi board. Aside from general goodwill, the price reduction was made possible thanks to the falling prices of RAM. In its announcement, the Raspberry Pi Foundation said: “The fall in RAM prices over the last year has allowed us to cut the price of the 2GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4 to $35. Effective immediately, you will be able to buy a no-compromises desktop PC for the same price as Raspberry Pi 1 in 2012. … “We’re going to keep working to make Raspberry Pi a better desktop computer. But this feels like a great place to be, eight years in. We hope you’ve enjoyed the first eight years of our journey as much as we have: here’s to another eight!” The post points out that back in 2011, the idea was to have a computer that cost just $35. While the foundation achieved this, it came with compromises. Over the years it has been able to remove more and more limitations of the hardware and believes that its 2GB Raspberry Pi is suitable for day-to-day usage. With the price cut down to $35, the foundation has achieved its original goal, it’s also worth noting that that with inflation, $35 in 2012 is nearly $40 today. The price cut will remain in effect permanently now, though, the 1GB and 4GB variants remain at their original prices of $35 and $55 respectively. If you want to grab one of the price-reduced Pi boards just head on over to the company's website and hit ‘Buy now’. Source: Price slashed for 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 due to more affordable RAM (Neowin)
  5. Raspberry Pi admits to faulty USB-C design on the Pi 4 "I expect this will be fixed in a future board revision," says co-creator. The Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry Pi The Raspberry Pi 4 was announced two weeks ago as a major new upgrade to the line of cheap single-board hobbyist computers. The Pi 4 featured a faster CPU, options for up to 4GB of RAM, and a new, modern USB-C port for power delivery. The Pi 4 was the Raspberry Pi Foundation's first ever USB-C device, and, well, they screwed it up. As detailed by Tyler Ward, the Raspberry Pi 4 has a non-compliant USB-C charging port and doesn't work with as many chargers as it should. Thanks to the open nature of Raspberry Pi (even the schematics are online!), Ward was able to discover that Raspberry Pi just didn't design its USB-C port correctly. Two "CC" pins on a USB-C port are supposed to each get their own 5.1K ohms resistor, but Raspberry Pi came up with its own circuit design that allows them to share a single resistor. This is not a compliant design and breaks compatibility with some of the more powerful USB-C chargers out there. Whether your USB-C charger works with the Pi 4 has to do with whether it uses an "e-marked" cable. E-marked cables are fully featured USB-C cables with chips inside that negotiate power management, accessory modes, data rates, and other communication specs. Since the Pi 4 USB-C port is wired incorrectly, these smart cables will detect the Pi 4 as an "Audio Adaptor Accessory" and refuse to charge them. Usually, e-marked cables are more expensive and come with larger, higher-powered items, like a USB-C laptop. Benson Leung, an engineer at Google and one of the Internet's foremost USB-C implementation experts, has chimed in on the Pi 4's USB-C design too, with a Medium post titled "How to design a proper USB-C™ power sink (hint, not the way Raspberry Pi 4 did it)." "Instead of trying to come up with some clever circuit," Leung writes, "hardware designers should simply copy the figure from the USB-C Spec exactly[emphasis his]. The Figure 4–9 I posted above isn’t simply a rough guideline of one way of making a USB-C receptacle. It’s actually normative, meaning mandatory, required by the spec in order to call your system a compliant USB-C power sink. Just copy it." The Pi 4 is not the first high-profile device to get the USB-C spec wrong. The Nintendo Switch also has a non-compliant USB-C port and has issues with certain USB-C cables as a result. After reports started popping up on the Internet, Raspberry Pi cofounder Eben Upton admitted to TechRepublic that "A smart charger with an e-marked cable will incorrectly identify the Raspberry Pi 4 as an audio adapter accessory and refuse to provide power." Upton went on to say, "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." The "suggested workarounds" are to just use a non-e-marked cable, like the official Pi 4 charger. We reached out to Raspberry Pi about this issue and were told a board revision with a spec-compliant charging port should be out sometime in the "next few months." Source: Raspberry Pi admits to faulty USB-C design on the Pi 4 (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link.)
  6. The Raspberry Pi 4 launch site runs on a Pi 4 cluster High-profile WordPress hosting on 18 Raspberry Pi single-board devices. The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B has launched. It's a pretty big upgrade from the Raspberry Pi 3, with the company claiming that the device can provide "desktop performance comparable to entry-level x86 PC systems." OK... but how does it perform as a server? Individually, the answer is just about what you'd expect. While the Pi 4B is an enormous all-around upgrade from the 3B+, it's still a Raspberry Pi at its heart. The former model's DDR2 RAM has been upgraded to DDR4, the new Cortex A72 CPU is anywhere from double to quadruple the speed of the older A53, and the gigabit Ethernet adapter isn't hamstrung by a USB 2.0 bus anymore, so it can actually push a gigabit worth of traffic. This is fantastic for a starting-at-$35, passively-cooled bittybox... but it's still very anemic compared to, for example, a humble i3-8100T. Enlarge / Sysbench CPU is a decent metric for estimating real-world performance. Data drawn from Tom's Hardware for the Rpi 4B and from OpenBenchmarking.org for the Intel i3-8100T. Jim Salter But where you can't scale up, you can scale out—and that's precisely what www.raspberrypi.org has done. The launch site for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is mostly running on a cluster of 18 of the little devices themselves. Fourteen handle PHP code execution, two serve static files, and two run memcached. Cloudflare is still handling the brunt of the raw network traffic, though, and the database—by far the heaviest storage load on a WordPress site—isn't running on the little Pi cluster, either. This is clearly a PR stunt writ large—no sensible sysadmin would want to have to maintain this thing as-is, and the most difficult bits still aren't running on Pi hardware at all. As Late Night Linux's Joe Ressington noted, the site appears to have been intermittently down on launch morning as well. Mythic Beasts initially blamed CDN host Cloudflare for the outage; Cloudflare later contacted Ars to attribute the brief downtime to a severe BGP error Verizon made this morning. Regardless of hiccups, I strongly respect Mythic Beasts' hustle. Getting this thing working in the constraints the team had—deploying an 18-system cluster in a few hours on unfamiliar hardware, with a beta OS distribution, to handle the pressure of a massive hardware launch campaign—is a real achievement. As for the Raspberry Pi 4 B itself—it's a compelling design. This is a Pi model that hangs with high-end single-board devices like the Odroid N2 while keeping the bottom-dollar price Pi enthusiasts are used to. If you're in the market for a single-board hobbyist device—and you can find one in stock this close to launch day—it looks like the Pi 4 B is the one to get. Listing image by Mythic Beasts Source: The Raspberry Pi 4 launch site runs on a Pi 4 cluster (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  7. Raspberry Pi 4 Launched with 4K Support, Up to 4GB RAM The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just announced the Raspberry Pi 4, a new generation of the barebones computer that promises PC-like level of performance thanks to a series of highly-anticipated upgrades. The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is supposed to be no less than 3 times faster than its predecessor thanks to a 1.5 GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU, which can be paired with a choice of three different RAM configurations. This is the first time the Raspberry Pi is offered with more than one memory option. The base model offers 1GB RAM, while the mid-range configuration comes with 2GB RAM. The top-of-the-range is equipped with 4GB RAM. This new Raspberry Pi model also offers dual-monitor support at resolutions up to 4K and boasts 4Kp60 hardware decoding of HEVC video. It’s equipped with two USB 3.0 (one used for power) and two USB 2.0 ports, while also boasting full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0, and dual-band 802.11ac wireless networking. The spec sheet, which you can find in full at the end of the article, is certainly impressive for a device so small and so affordable. The Raspberry Pi Foundation sticks with its signature $35 price level for the Raspberry Pi 4, but because it’s offering more than one SKU, the upgraded versions are a bit more expensive. The 1GB RAM version thus costs $35, and adding another 1GB RAM increases the price by $10. The 4GB version costs $55.More changes under the hoodWhile the spec sheet is typically the one getting all the attention, there’s more to discover under the hood. For example, the device features new power connector, as the engineering team replaced microUSB with USB-C. “We’ve moved from USB micro-B to USB-C for our power connector. This supports an extra 500mA of current, ensuring we have a full 1.2A for downstream USB devices, even under heavy CPU load,” Eben Upton, Chief Executive Raspberry Pi Trading, explains, Other upgrades also concern the display support, which required an overhaul thanks to the addition of dual display output. “To accommodate dual display output within the existing board footprint, we’ve replaced the type-A (full-size) HDMI connector with a pair of type-D (micro) HDMI connectors,” Upton explains. The Raspberry Pi 4 also comes with new accessories, like cases, power supplies, and cables, but also with an upgraded desktop kit which costs $120 and comprises the device itself, an official case, a PSU, mouse and keyboard, a pair of HDMI cables, the Beginner’s Guide, and a 32GB microSD card. A 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU (~3× performance) 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM Full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet Dual-band 802.11ac wireless networking Bluetooth 5.0 Two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports Dual monitor support, at resolutions up to 4K VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video Complete compatibility with earlier Raspberry Pi products Source
  8. Back in June, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced their newest single-board computer, the Raspberry Pi 4. This tiny PC packs a quad-core Cortex A72 SoC from Broadcom and up to 4 GB of DDR4 memory at a very attractive price. While aimed at emerging markets for folks new to computers, the Pi really caught on with retro gamers and "makers" in general from the start. The latest Pi has a whole lot more computing horsepower than the last iteration, but software support hadn't quite caught up—until just now. The LibRetro team released Lakka version 2.3 with a ton of new features, a retro gaming focus, and perhaps the most important is official support for the Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B If you're not familiar with Lakka, this open source project represents the LibRetro team's efforts to create a dedicated retro gaming operating system. Lakka supports many different hardware platforms from old Raspberry Pi single-board computers, to full-fledge PCs with standard x86-64 CPUs and the usual assortment of graphics cards. If you happen to run Lakka on a more powerful system, you'll get access to emulators for lot more systems, including Dolphin for Nintendo GameCube and Wii emulation and, new with version 2.3, a PlayStation 2 emulator that's still in the early stages. The Lakka website has step-by-step instructions to download and install the operating system on a bootable SD card or USB stick, depending on your platform. Lakka's interface is similar to Sony's XMB on PlayStation 3 Sega's $80 Genesis mini might be hitting stores today, but it only plays a selection of games for a single system, and some folks really enjoy the do-it-yourself approach. On the other hand, basic Raspberry Pi 4 kits start at around $60, but you'll need to supply your own controller and SD card. You can also find bundled DIY kits with the SD card as well of course. Regardless, once you do that, however, you'll have access to a polished front end for emulating tons of systems, from Atari's heyday with the 2600, all the way up to Sony's PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo 64. ROMs images aren't included, of course, so what to play is entirely up to you, and of course be careful to respect copyright. We took Lakka 2.3 for a spin on our Raspberry Pi 4 with 4 GB of memory and it's pretty impressive. Early beta versions were plagued with issues like huge audio delays and screen tearing, and the Wi-Fi didn't work out of the gate. All of that has been resolved with the official release. We also had no problem pairing an8bitdo SN30 Bluetooth controller with the system, though Bluetooth pairing still requires a little ssh work via a Linux or Mac terminal or with PuTTy on Windows. After setting a hotkey to get back to the menu via the 8-button controller, we were off to test out some games. Streets of Rage 2 on the Genesis ran great SNES games ran great in the current SNES9x core. On the Pi 3, SNES9x 2005 was the best mix of accuracy and performance, but it really lacked a little bit in both areas. The latest core, however, ran everything we threw at it at a full 60 frames per second, including SuperFX games like StarFox. Genesis games already ran pretty well in PicoDrive and Gens, and they were no trouble for our Pi, either. Older systems now run at full speed with RetroArch Run Ahead, which spawns a second instance of the emulator to try to predict performance and reduce input lag, and makes the system much more responsive. While it's expected that those emulators would run well, we were more interested in more recent systems. Our SN30 didn't have enough buttons to fully play Sony PlayStation or Sega Saturn games, but it had enough to at least see how they ran. We were rather surprised to discover that Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast was quite playable on the Raspberry Pi 4, but before we knew it we were racing from customer to customer picking up fares and racking up the big money with a D-pad. If you added an Xbox or PlayStation controller to a Raspberry Pi 4 running Lakka, you'll be in for a good time. While not perfect, Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast was very playable Smraza Raspberry Pi 4 Case With Built-In Cooling And Power Supply, Just $16.99 If you're interested in building your own retro setup using a Raspberry Pi 4, you can get full kits from Canakit on Amazon. The best value for the dollar kits around include the Pi itself, a case, heat sinks, the official Raspberry Pi USB-C power adapter, a mini HDMI cable, and a small fan. You can get a Pi 4 with 1 GB of memory for $60 or bump up to a Pi 4 with 4 GB of RAM for $80. While we've focused on the ubiquitous single-board computer, Lakka 2.3 also adds support for ROCKPro64 and plenty of other features. Check out the Lakka 2.3 announcement for a full list. Source
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