They’ve done it again. This time with almost no leaks. Today marks the launch of the next model Raspberry Pi, the model C. It’s an upgraded version of the Pi2 model B with some exciting new features.
“People have been whinging since day one about 100 Mbit ethernet. Frankly we’re sick of it.” Says Eben Upton, “But while we were in the Far East recently, we found a new supplier who had some really good value Gigabit chips, with matching ports. We negotiated a deal. As you know, price is a key factor in Pi designs. These guys are new and they wanted their name out there. We thought it was a bit rude, but they offered us the new parts at the same price as our existing ones and they work perfectly with the 2836 as a drop-in replacement, so we had to add the words ‘bitchin’ fast’ on the board. We don’t think anyone will mind too much considering the gains.”
So why have there been no leaks this time?
“We haven’t told anyone this time except Jamie at The Pi Hut and you, and Mike” said Liz Upton last week in a G+ hangout. “No RS, no Farnell, no second tier suppliers. We’re trying something new and community-based here. This is the main reason why Jamie needed a new warehouse. He’s currently holding our full inventory. We expect to sell these by the pallet-load.”
So this is all very exciting, but what does the new model look like? I’ve only got one photo I can share at this time, but it shows the key differences…
All Of The Ports!
The glaringly obvious thing is all those new ports. I’m told most of them are breaking out the ports for the ATMEGA328 that they’ve somehow managed to squeeze on there. The rest are GND, 3V3 and 5V ports. The ATMEGA is running at 5V. There are some logic level shifters on the other side of the board (which I haven’t seen yet. I’m racing off to see Jamie later on so I can get one before YOU – HA!) So now you can get the full Duino experience native on the Pi. I’m not overly worried about Duino sales though because they seem to have forgotten to connect the ATMEGA to the pins (I bet nobody notices though).
The other remarkable new feature is the 4k camera port. I asked Gordon Hollingworth about that.
“It doesn’t say 4k. You must be mistaken. It’s supposed to say AK. I think they swapped a 4 and an A over somewhere. A little accident with the Gerber files, perhaps?”
That begs the question “What is an AK camera?”
“We just don’t know” said Ben Nuttall, helpfully. So I’m still none the wiser about that, but it seems like a new camera may be in the pipeline, which is kind of cool.
- 4k/AK camera port
- ATMEGA328P added with all the ports broken
- “bitchin’ fast” Gigabit Ethernet
- New way to multiplex the A/V port so it can be used as a microphone port at the same time as for speakers. This is a patent pending ground-breaking new technology developed by Jonathan Bell, who nobody’s ever seen a picture of because he doesn’t really exist.
- USB3 – the new network chip also gives us USB3, which is just wowtastic!
What About The Price?
The launch price is £30 from The Pi Hut and you can get one here…
…the first batch is sure to sell out quickly though, so get in there while you can.
Mike ‘@recantha’ Horne has also written a blog post about the new model C.
That’s really all I know about it for now. I hope to have my hands on one later on today and will give you more news as it develops. I have put together a short FAQ though…
Is the Death Flash issue solved?
No! It’s not an issue! Get a life! (Or a piece of Blu-tack, if you REALLY need to use your Pi while taking Xenon flash photos of it).
Do HATs still fit?
Well some do. As long as no components are hanging down onto the new pins you should be OK. If you manage to short out three specific pins on the ATMEGA with a HAT, a chicken circuit on the 2836 unlocks four more experimental cores. This has been dubbed the ‘HAT trick.’
Does device tree work yet?
Good one. Of course not! If only you knew how much work was involved you might be a bit more understanding.
Is it backwards compatible with the previous models?
Yes. Of course.
What about cases?
All existing cases will fit, apart from the ones that don’t.
Epilogue – April 2nd 2015
As many of you gathered, the above was an April fools joke. I’ve decided to leave it exactly as it is so anyone who missed out can still see it. There are a lot of ‘Easter Eggs’ in the photo of the Pi model C. You can get a high resolution view if you click the photo above.
A few weeks ago Jamie, Tim and Mike came up with the idea and Mike asked me for a high resolution photo of the Pi 2 model B. I was well up for the prank, so I sent one over. Mike did a super job on the photoshop work. Last weekend we cooked up a story around it. We were pitching for…
“Implausible, but just about believeable if you’d had a bad night and weren’t firing on all cylinders.”
I put quite a lot of silliness into mine, trying to make it obvious enough. Mike’s “Simon Long quote” about the diagonal task bar nearly made me spit my beer when I first read it, it was so funny.
We didn’t want to upset too many people. In the end, it turns out the more than 800 people signed up to the “let me know when it’s back in stock” list at ThePiHut. How many of those were genuine or people who fell for the joke, WJDK. It doesn’t really matter.
We hope you enjoyed the prank as much as we did. Mike and I both had new daily traffic records out of it. Just goes to show, you can get a lot of traffic by writing a load of BS (I guess that’s what the newspapers have known for years) but it’s not something I’m planning to turn into a career.