Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi 4: What we know so far

Who's ready for the Pi 4?

If you're ready to get your hands on the Raspberry Pi 4, you're not the only one.

We know what it's like to wait for new hardware to hit the shelves. In the meantime, we'll do what we do best. It's time to talk about what we know, what we don't know, and what we hope to get out of the new Raspberry Pi 4.

Thankfully, we have a good place to start. Raspberry Pi creator and CEO Eben Upton gave us plenty of juicy info in a recent interview with Tom's Hardware. We've taken the liberty of breaking down everything he had to share. So keep reading and get excited!

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SpecWhat we know
NameRaspberry Pi 4
CPUImproved Speed, New Architecture
RAMRAM increase
NetworkImproved network speed
SizeSmaller than 3B+, larger than Zero
New PortsPossible USB-C
Release DateEst. 2020
Price$35 USD

One thing is certain, the new Pi will be called the Raspberry Pi 4. The team isn't creating a new line of Pi’s—this one is definitely a successor to the original. You can expect the reliability of the Raspberry Pi with a nice selection of new features.

It's obvious the team is listening to the community and intends to exceed expectations. Expect more power, improved speed, and additional upgrades for a better overall experience. As with previous editions, the Pi 4 is expected to release with a price tag of $35.

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Faster CPU Speed

The new Raspberry 4 is expected to have a much faster CPU. Previous Raspberry Pi models use 40nm process technology. Improving the existing processor would mean adding larger ARM cores on the side. To avoid this, the new model will feature a complete redesign of the core architecture.

The team is considering a smaller process node to improve performance. When asked for details, they confirmed the new CPUs would be made with 28nm or smaller!

More RAM

More processing speed would make it possible for the Raspberry Pi 4 to support more RAM. Current restrictions cap the Raspberry Pi 3B+ at around 1GB. If the Pi 4 receives the same love as its predecessors, we can expect a nice upgrade to the RAM.

Better network performance

In addition to CPU and RAM improvements, the team is hoping to include improvements to network speed and capability. Raspberry Pi creator and CEO, Eben Upton, confirmed network speed is a priority on the list of upcoming upgrades.

Improved non-multimedia I/O

The Pi is well known for its impressive GPIO pin interface. The team hopes to provide improvements to the speed of non-multimedia I/O on the Raspberry Pi 4.

Size and form factor

"The original form factor is a credit card. That’s the original. Our anchor point is the size of a credit card." - Eben Upton

The Raspberry Pi 4 won't be any larger than the Pi 3B+ (85mm x 56mm x 17mm). There are no plans to add additional ports, giving little reason to scale the board in size.

At the same time, the Pi 4 definitely won't be smaller than the Pi Zero (65mm x 30mm x 5mm). We may see something similar to the Pi 3 A+, but the Pi Zero line is intended to remain separate.

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"There’s some awkward decisions in the pin choice on the [USB-C] connector." - Eben Upton

Upton's team is considering an upgrade to USB-C. This would provide much more power to the Pi—no doubt boosting its potential. But an increase of power also means more heat, meaning Pi owners would have to focus on cooling the Pi more often.

Raspberry Pi's are often used in a somewhat "rugged environment". Dust and debris can create a big problem for USB-C ports. Even just twisting the connector can cause unwanted damage. The team isn't sure the upgrade would be worth the new challenges.

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We'll probably see a new Raspberry Pi model before we see a new Raspberry Pi Zero model. But the good news is, the Raspberry Pi Zero W has been incredibly successful. Obviously, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has noticed this success and is already planning for future iterations. Keep an eye out for more news. The team definitely has new Raspberry Pi Zero upgrades in the works!

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"Although it's $35, it's $35 deflating dollars." - Eben Upton

Raspberry Pi has every intention of keeping the price at $35. It's been an integral part of their business model since 2012. However, the team has noted it's gotten harder to move forward without adjusting for inflation.

Here's a quick table to show how much $35 has inflated since 2012. I included a few popular Raspberry Pi models for reference.

ModelRelease datePrice adjusted for inflation
Raspberry Pi B2012$35.00
Raspberry Pi 2B2015$36.13
Raspberry Pi Zero2015$36.13
Raspberry Pi 3B2016$36.59
Raspberry Pi Zero W2017$37.37
Raspberry Pi 3B+2018$38.28
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When can we expect to have our hands on this new board? As much as we'd love to have a Raspberry Pi 4 this Christmas, it looks like we won't see it this year. The Raspberry Pi 4 is estimated to be released no earlier than 2020.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for more news. And don't forget to pick up a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ to play with in the meantime! We've got plenty of Raspberry Pi projects to get your creative gears turning.