Raspberry Pi 4 Features Broadcom BCM2711 Processor, Up to 4GB RAM

Long expected, the Raspberry Pi 4 model B has finally launched, and it should not disappoint with a much more powerful Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 processor clocked at up to 1.5 GHz, 1 to 4GB LPDDR4, 4K H.265 video decoding and output support, a proper Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports.

Raspberry Pi 4 comes with all those extra features, but the form factor remains the same, and importantly the price is still $35 for the version with 1GB RAM, making Raspberry Pi alternatives suddenly much less interesting.

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
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Raspberry Pi 4 specifications:

    • SoC – Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARMv8) @  1.5GHz with VideoCore VI GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics
    • System Memory – 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4
    • Storage – microSD card slot
    • Video Output  & Display I/F
      • 2x micro HDMI ports up to 4Kp60 (Currently 1080p60 max. in dual-display configuration, although 2x 4Kp30 is being worked on)
      • 3.5mm AV port with composite video (and stereo audio)
      • 2-lane MIPI DSI display port
    • Video
      • Decode – H.265 up to 4Kp60, H.264 up to 1080p60
      • Encode – H.264 up to 1080p30
    • Camera – 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
    • Audio – Stereo audio via AV port, digital audio via HDMI ports
    • Connectivity
      • True Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
      • Dual band (2.4 GHz/5.0 GHz) 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi 5
      • Bluetooth 5.0 BLE
    • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports.
    • Expansion – Standard 40-pin GPIO header fully backward-compatible with previous Raspberry Pi boards
    • Power Supply
      • 5V DC via USB-C connector (minimum 3A )
      • 5V DC via GPIO header (minimum 3A )
      • Power over Ethernet (PoE) via optional PoE HAT
    • Dimensions – 85 x 56 mm (same as other model B boards)
    • Temperature Range – 0 – 50°C
Raspberry Pi 4 Bottom
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Beside the “true” Gigabit Ethernet port, the good news for people interested in network storage applications is that the shared USB + Ethernet bandwidth is gone, as there’s a separate Gigabit Ethernet transceiver (BCM54213PE), and USB goes through a VIA VL805 PCIe to 4-port USB 3.0 host controller. The latter means BCM2711 comes with a PCIe interface giving the Raspberry Pi foundation some flexibility for future Raspberry Pi SBC’s.

There have been at least two hardware changes that have made the new board incompatible with existing Raspberry Pi cases:

  1. They swapped two USB ports and the Ethernet port to place the latter closer to the PoE header.
  2. They replaced the HDMI port with two micro HDMI ports

So a new case is needed, and here’s the official Raspberry Pi 4 enclosure.

Official Raspberry Pi 4 CaseThe USB-C port should mean issues related to powering the board should mostly be a thing of the past, and the main downside I see from the announcement is that we’ll need to get micro HDMI cables or HDMI to micro HDMI adapters to connect Raspberry Pi 4 to HDMI TVs or monitors. Not a big issue.

Raspberry Pi 4 model B with 1GB RAM sells for the same $35 as the previous model, with the 2GB and 4GB RAM models are coming soon for respectively $45 and $55 with local variations due to taxes, shipping cost, and currency exchange. The board and accessories can be purchased online from Cytron, Element14, RS Components, or other online as well as local distributors.

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