back to article Raspberry Pi Foundation serves up an 8GB slice of mini-computing goodness

Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, has confirmed a doubling of the diminutive computer's RAM to 8GB for £74. Rumours of the upgrade have been swirling for some time, not helped by its appearance in the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B compliance leaflet. The update comes on the eve of the Pi 4's first birthday and …

  1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    Further back than that....

    RPiOS64 *should* run on a Pi2Bv1.2, since it uses the same SoC as the Pi3B/Pi3B+.

    1. Danny 14

      Re: Further back than that....

      74 is starting to get pricy though. Most people will still need storage and a PSU. Possibly a case. This is starting to get into NUC territory.

      Dont get me wrong, I like raspPi, our XIBO clients are rasp pi running from the USB of LG panels, but the next batch of XIBO displays are actually NUCs now.

      1. zebm

        Re: Further back than that....

        You could always get a cheap chromebook and run Ubuntu on it with Crostini

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Further back than that....

        I think this is probably near the high end of prices the foundation will want to target, because if they go higher, they'll start being similar to other computing devices. Still, the small computing devices you can buy for £74 or thereabouts are going to have nothing on an 8GB Pi 4. Most that I have found at slightly higher pricepoints are Intel Atom-based things with a whole 2GB (4GB if you find the one place selling them on clearance). Meanwhile, it's still lower than the price for a low-end laptop unless you're entering the used market. If your use case can benefit from the extra memory, this probably offers it at one of the best prices out there. If it can't, the 4GB version is available for significantly less.

        1. Steve 53

          Re: Further back than that....

          £75 is about the sort of price you'll start to see second hand NUCs. You're probably looking at a 3rd or 4th gen celeron or i3 with 4gb of ram at that sort of money, possibly with an older 120gb SSD, but if you're usecase is a linux server or desktop, you don't mind a bit higher power consumption and don't need GPIO (Which is probably more useful on a Pi Zero) then it'll run rings around it.

          Of course I'm comparing new with second hand, but RPi tends to be for pragmatists..

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Further back than that....

      in theory, all you need is a 64-bit capable processor which _is_ what the later RPi2Bs were using.

      However, for the OS to work properly, the hardware peripherals need drivers, and configuration for all of that is in the configuration files (DTB) and overlays (DTO). If these do not exist within the 64-bit OS, then you'll have to make your own, including corresponding device drivers if the hardware is even slightly different. I've done this kind of work for FreeBSD and it's not for the faint at heart. Additionally, it may not be compatible with the video core stuff [which on the RPi 2 might not be able to load a 64-bit kernel]. I have run FreeBSD's 64-bit kernel on the RPi 3, and it seems to work ok with some minor caveats. Official support for FreeBSD would be nice from the RPi foundation but they haven't done this much and sometimes just "change things" and expect everyone else to react.

      But yeah those hardware config files, the rough equivalent of a Plug & Play BIOS setup on a PC, are crucial to getting the OS to work. And it's hardware-dependent, so it's unlikely the 2 will ever be supported (officially) with 64-bit.

      Info on this can be found here and elsewhere: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/device-tree.md

      1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

        Re: Further back than that....

        I think you missed the point. The Pi2Bv1.2 uses the *same* SoC as the Pi3B/Pi3B+ (just a stepping difference, and last I heard, the older boards now use the newer stepping, anyway). So if RPiOS64 will run on a Pi3B or Pi3B+, then it will run on a Pi2Bv1.2. Just slower due to reduced clock speed.

        And bear in mind that the Pi2Bv1.2 boards are still being made.

        Note that this expectation does *not* include the Pi2Bv1.1--which aren't made any more--as they used the 32-bit only BCM2836 rather that the BCM2837.

  2. werdsmith Silver badge

    We asked Upton when we might expect to see a 16GB variant, but have yet to receive a response.

    Didn’t ask in the right place, from the official blog comments:

    “ I’m going to wait for the 16 GB varian to come out. I hope that it wouldn’t go above $100, fingers crossed.”

    Raspberry Pi Staff Eben Upton — post author

    28th May 2020, 5:39 pm

    I think you’re unlikely to ever see this.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Doesn't really surprise me. At some point, lots of memory isn't so useful unless paired with enough processing, and they can't do much more of that without running into major thermal or power problems. I'd imagine that many memory-intensive tasks one might want to do on a pi-style machine will become processor-limited rather than memory-limited. In my case, most memory-intensive things I do involve either running VMs or manipulating large databases, both of which also require a lot of processing.

      1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

        The BCM2711 (SoC on the Pi4) can address 16GB of RAM. So, for those applications that can use that, without needing a faster processor, it would make sense. The question becomes: Will the marketplace support a 16GB Pi4B? Collectors alone *might* be enough to do that, especially with people that simply want bragging rights. See adage about fools, money and the parting thereof.

        It does beg another question, though...How many PCs are out there with processors running at or about 2GHz and having 16GB installed?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          I don't know how we would find that out, but completely anecdotal evidence from my experience is that rarely happens. I have 16 GB in my laptop, but it's an Intel processor at 2.9 GHz (from a while ago). Other machines I've set up tend to have faster processors if they are paired with that much memory.

          You are correct that it is certainly possible. The question is how many people can really use it, because if the Pi foundation thinks it's not that many, they have little reason to make one. They're probably not making much more profit on high-memory versions, and even a small manufacturing run means risk if they can't sell them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I think you’re unlikely to ever see this."

      Micron currently do a variety of LPDDR4 RAM chips with the 64Gb chip being the largest at present.

      I believe this is on third-generation 64-layer 3D NAND - if so, the 128-layer fourth-generation processes expected later this year should provide for 128Gb chips and a 16GB model assuming the current global economy supports such a product versus extending the life of third-gen products.

      1. Steve Todd

        Erm...

        LPDDR4 isn’t a type of NAND flash memory, it’s SDRAM, a different kettle of fish and not to my knowledge implemented on a multi-layer process like NAND flash.

  3. Major

    640K ought to be enough for anybody

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      640 Kelvin is the temperature the next generation of Raspberry Pi is going to run at if it keeps upping the hardware like this.

      1. Glen 1
        Coat

        They don't call it the P4 for nothing

        IGMC

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "640 Kelvin is the temperature the next generation of Raspberry Pi is going to run at"

        Fahrenheit 451, shirley?

        1. tony2heads

          640K

          according to google 640K=692F

          1. Alister

            Re: 640K

            Whooooooosh!

            1. J. Cook Silver badge
              Go

              Re: 640K

              I'm assuming that's the sound it makes when it melts the case it's put in? :)

              *wanders off to source a fan and duct for his PiCade*

  4. theOtherJT

    I just wish they'd unlock the PCIe pins.

    It has them. They're in there. You have to desolder the USB controller to get at them. Come on guys, give us a pin header. Please? Think of all the cool things I could build if I could actually get at the PCIe lanes. I'd even take a "If you close this jumper it will disable the USB ports" to get at it.

    1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

      Re: I just wish they'd unlock the PCIe pins.

      What you want is the upcoming CM4.

  5. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    New Raspberry Pi 4 update beta lets you boot from a USB mass storage device

    New Raspberry Pi 4 update beta lets you boot from a USB mass storage device

  6. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    We asked Upton when we might expect to see a 16GB variant, but have yet to receive a response.

    > We asked Upton when we might expect to see a 16GB variant, but have yet to receive a response.

    He probably hasn't replied because his eyes are still rolling. Couldn't you think of a better question to ask?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: We asked Upton when we might expect to see a 16GB variant, but have yet to receive a response.

      He has said that there won’t be an 16GB pi 4 but also said that a 16GB pi 5 was a good bet.

      He answered this question on the official blog comments.

  7. Scott 26

    Wooohooo - this is great news... another RPi to sit in my desk drawer

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "another RPi to sit in my desk drawer"

      OpenHab - just a thought.

      Playing with tasmotas here

  8. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    Pi a great project

    The Raspberry Pi reminds me of the BBC Micro (models A and B) of the 80's. They were excellent devices and met their dual purpose of education and general functionality. I acquired a Torch Disk Pack which piggy backed a Z80 on the base 6502. Not only was this combination very capable but also I had hours of amusement using xForth; I set myself the task of decompiling the editor software for which source was not provided and being able to recompile faultlessly thereafter.

    Nowadays, the Pi 4 gives good service as host for Kodi connected to a 4K TV.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: Pi a great project

      I assume you're aware that the people behind the BBC Micro went on to develop the RISC processor which ended up as the ARM - as in the thing that powers the Pi?

      If you ever get a chance to see the BBC drama "Micro Men" then do it - one of the better things that Auntie produced.

    2. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

      Re: Pi a great project

      That BBC Micro naming is *why* there are A and B series Pis...dating back the the Model B and Model A. They've just gotten a whole lot better in the last 8 years.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Pi a great project

        "That BBC Micro naming is *why* there are A and B series Pis"

        Where's the raspberry Electron?

        1. a pressbutton

          Re: Pi a great project

          I remember that

          An era when if you listed the program to screen, it scrolled slowly enough to be able to read

          (was that the Atom?) - modern inkjet printers print faster(!)

          that was all ruined by the BBC micro and its super speed

          .... shuffles off slowly.

        2. Uncle Slacky

          Re: Pi a great project

          That's what they should have called the Pi Zero.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Pi a great project

      The reason that Pi doesn’t remind me of BBC Micro is because in 1982 the model B was way out of my price league at £399, a months wages for some families then.

  9. Anomalous Cowturd
    WTF?

    What happened to the Pi Zero W?

    None available from any of the official UK stockists, and Amazon are asking for almost thirty quid.

    Taking the piss.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: What happened to the Pi Zero W?

      They're quite popular, and there never seem to be enough manufacturing runs. They've been one per order basically everywhere since release. I guess the manufacturing capacity has been focused on the 4 instead and supply for the others has suffered. I'd check smallish resellers as they probably ordered in bulk and may have a few in stock. Amazon and similar general selling sites will never sell such a thing at list price.

    2. Joe Bryant

      Re: What happened to the Pi Zero W?

      The Pi Hut claims to have them in stock for a tenner. https://thepihut.com/products/raspberry-pi-zero-w

      1. Mark #255

        Re: What happened to the Pi Zero W?

        Yes, I got one last week from them, along with a HifiBerry DAC+ Zero, for a music player.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: What happened to the Pi Zero W?

      They come into stock often, just put your email in the notifier. I buy on average one pi zero per month.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The zero is being used to fight covid-19.

    https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/309301-the-5-raspberry-pi-zero-can-power-ventilators-to-fight-covid-19

  11. druck Silver badge

    Damn!

    My wife bought me a second 4GB Pi 4B for my birthday only weeks ago.

    I'm not quite running 64 bit Raspbian on it yet, but nearly. I'm using the 64 bit kernel with 32 bit userland, and using Raspbian-nspawn-64 to run 64 bit stuff in a systemd container.

  12. Mr JBS

    Update Request

    8Gb of Ram sounds great. However the 1Gbit hardwired Ethernet only is getting long in the tooth. Would like to see the next major iteration provide 2.5Gbit, 5Gbit, and 10Gbit hardwired Ethernet capabilities as well. The 10Gbit Ethernet speed would certainly need to have thermal issues addressed. Not sure if same holds for 2.5Gbe and 5Gbe. This would be a great leap forward which Pi wouldn't need to address again for possibly 5 years or longer.

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