Nice: Raspberry Pi 3 gets WiFi and Bluetooth

Monday is a special day for Raspberry Pi founders and team. February 29 marks the fourth anniversary of the first sales of the Raspberry Pi 1, but fans are meanwhile celebrating news that circulated in the media about Model B Raspberry Pi 3.

The Register's Chris Williams, US bureau chief based in San Francisco, reported on Friday that this will be the first in the Pi family of ARM-powered computers to feature built-in wireless.

This is cause to celebrate because those who have Raspberry Pis have had to get wired Ethernet, USB Wi-Fi adapters, or Ethernet-to-wireless gadgets. "Having wire-free networking built into the little single-board computer will be a boon," said Williams.

The Pi 2 Model B is the second generation of the Raspberry Pi. I Programmer Harry Fairhead also wrote on Saturday that the Pi 3 finally includes WiFi and Bluetooth LE.

"About the only thing you could criticize in the current lineup of Raspberry Pi single board computers is the fact that you have to add a WiFi or Bluetooth dongle." A built-in WiFi facility would make it possible to provide an easier experience.

Said Liliputing: "Up until recently, some Raspberry Pi single-board computers have had Ethernet jacks while others have not. But none have had on-board wireless support. If you wanted to connect to a wireless network or Bluetooth devices, you needed to attach a wireless adapter to one of the available USB ports."

Fairhead in I Programmer meanwhile talked about what other things to expect, or not. "Comparing the board with the Pi 2 it is clear that most of the electronics has stayed the same," said Fairhead. "The connectors are unchanged which means that you get four USB sockets and one wired network socket."

Details regarding full specs and price and availability? No word yet but I Programmer said, "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."

Several reports said information about the price of Pi 3 was expected soon. Brad Linder in Liliputing on Friday said "There's no word on how much the new Raspberry Pi 3 will cost, or if there are any changes to the processor, memory, or other specs. But the Raspberry Pi foundation does have a habit of keeping the base price for its flagship products at about $35."

The media found out about this through FCC testing documents

Liliputing summed up features about the upcoming Raspberry Pi 3:

  • It's called the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.
  • It has the same basic design as earlier Raspberry Pi mini-computers.
  • One new feature is built-in support for WiFi and Bluetooth.

The Raspberry Pi team shares this definition. "The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It is a capable little computer which can be used in electronics projects, and for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing, browsing the internet and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming."

Nick Mediati in PCWorld commented on why it is one of "the go-to hardware platforms" for maker and hardware modding communities.

"You can buy a Raspberry Pi model for as little as $5, and you can buy one and set it up for use as an actual, standalone PC. And since they run Linux and support popular programming languages such as Python and C++, it's relatively easy for a programmer to dive right in and get cranking on a project."

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