alphanumeric
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:49 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
alphanumeric wrote:Take a 3B, remove the Ethernet jack and replace the 4 USB ports with a single low profile full sized one. It should be just about the same size as the current A+ by then. ;) If you have time slip another gig or RAM in please. =)
I would say this is a very considered post and not unintentional.......
Maybe, but I feel like I'm getting flamed for my " If you have time slip another gig or RAM in please. =)" comment. I think I was fine up until that point. I honestly wasn't expecting to get jumped on for that off the cuff remark. That's the way things go sometimes though.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:36 pm

alphanumeric wrote:It's too early in the morning for this, 7 AM here, I haven't finished my first cup of coffee yet.
Just for the record, I meant no disrespect to anybody, including the RPF. I applaud what they do.
6:30 AM here, and I'll try not to be grumpy in this response.
That being said, they are tight lipped about any new product, and for good reason. So guesses, and I'd likes are going to happen. Get over it. And as near as I can tell, "more RAM" is at the top of the wish list. Many people were asking for WIFI for the ZERO. Some said don't waist your time, it will never happen. Not enough room and it will rasie the cost. They will never do it. Well guess what happened? ;)
The Pi3A will be what it will be. The constraint on memory is a hardware limitation of the SoC (specifically of the VC4). So...no Pi will have more that 1GB RAM until--at least--a new SoC is designed, tested, and goes onto boards. This is not expected to happen for one to two more years.

Personally, I don't place more RAM at the top of my list of desired features for the next iteration of Pi. More RAM falls into the "nice to have, but I'm not going to worry about it" category. The top item on my list is a faster I/O bus to reasonably support MSD.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:06 pm

Considering this post was requesting availibility of the RPi 3A, there is no requirements for Pink Ponies with Crystal Balls..


My interpretation of what was said by EU / LU over the last year is that it is a drop in replacement for the RPi 1A+, though it may need a different case due to the underneath of the board will be slightly deeper.

Therefore would not expect WiFI / BT to be included, the only question which has not been addressed is whether it will use the RPi 2B v1.2 BCM2837 SoC or the RPi 3B BCM2837 SoC.
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:57 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:Considering this post was requesting availibility of the RPi 3A, there is no requirements for Pink Ponies with Crystal Balls..


My interpretation of what was said by EU / LU over the last year is that it is a drop in replacement for the RPi 1A+, though it may need a different case due to the underneath of the board will be slightly deeper.

Therefore would not expect WiFI / BT to be included, the only question which has not been addressed is whether it will use the RPi 2B v1.2 BCM2837 SoC or the RPi 3B BCM2837 SoC.
I can see why you think WiFi/BT wouldn't be included, but I disagree about your conclusion. However, that's why I put qualifications around any talk of the Pi3A including the feature.

As for the SoC...a BCM2837 is a BCM2837. Default underclocking the Pi2B2 doesn't change that. The default on the Pi3A could go either way. If the RPF decides that the 1.2GHz is a bit too aggressive (because of the sporadic thermal issues), then they might well go for 900MHz or 1GHz. If the Pi3A is simply seen as an A-series variant of the Pi3B, then a 1.2GHz default would seem to be appropriate.

No matter what, the launch announcement is going to be interesting and warrant a close reading to resolve some of these issues. Or, of course, EU might pull one of his seemingly endless supply of rabbits out of his hat and surprise us all.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:15 pm

It occurs to me to wonder in light of the full import of the Pi0W launch...when the Pi3A launches, will there all be an official Pi3A case? And for that matter, will it (if it comes to pass) or the "normal" Pi3B case acquire additional lids?

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:20 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:As for the SoC...a BCM2837 is a BCM2837. Default underclocking the Pi2B2 doesn't change that. The default on the Pi3A could go either way. If the RPF decides that the 1.2GHz is a bit too aggressive (because of the sporadic thermal issues), then they might well go for 900MHz or 1GHz. If the Pi3A is simply seen as an A-series variant of the Pi3B, then a 1.2GHz default would seem to be appropriate.
Given Liz's recent comments about the A+ selling in huge numbers into industry, I suspect the decision about clock speed might depend heavily on said customers' sensitivities to thermal issues (i.e. are their products already on a tight thermal budget? Would the industry customers have to redesign their products to allow more cooling for the 3A?). I have no guess which way that'll go.

On the issue of WiFi, I'm guessing the 3A board will be - mirroring the A+ - a copy of the 3B with the entire section containing the ethernet jack and 4 USB jacks lopped off, and a single USB jack occupying the space vacated by the removal of the hub chip. In that case, WiFi would come along for the ride, unaltered. Unless they like the ZeroW's new in-board cavity antenna enough to redesign the 3A board a bit to add it (at which point we might eventually also see a 3B+ or 3B2 replacing the 3B in production, differing only in the antenna).

Oh, and yeah, bringing up the idea of more RAM magically debuting in the 3A gets an eye roll. It's well known that will require a new SoC, which means the Pi 4 or above, which is at minimum a year or two out. The 3A we will get will still be a very cool device.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:38 pm

i picked my A+ because it would run retropie nicely and i didnt need the extra ports. at the time the zero wasnt released.
but if the 3A does have wifi it will mean i can update my PIGear to be able to be remotely updated from my PITop laptop via vnc or ssh.
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:43 pm

CarlRJ wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:As for the SoC...a BCM2837 is a BCM2837. Default underclocking the Pi2B2 doesn't change that. The default on the Pi3A could go either way. If the RPF decides that the 1.2GHz is a bit too aggressive (because of the sporadic thermal issues), then they might well go for 900MHz or 1GHz. If the Pi3A is simply seen as an A-series variant of the Pi3B, then a 1.2GHz default would seem to be appropriate.
Given Liz's recent comments about the A+ selling in huge numbers into industry, I suspect the decision about clock speed might depend heavily on said customers' sensitivities to thermal issues (i.e. are their products already on a tight thermal budget? Would the industry customers have to redesign their products to allow more cooling for the 3A?). I have no guess which way that'll go.

On the issue of WiFi, I'm guessing the 3A board will be - mirroring the A+ - a copy of the 3B with the entire section containing the ethernet jack and 4 USB jacks lopped off, and a single USB jack occupying the space vacated by the removal of the hub chip. In that case, WiFi would come along for the ride, unaltered. Unless they like the ZeroW's new in-board cavity antenna enough to redesign the 3A board a bit to add it (at which point we might eventually also see a 3B+ or 3B2 replacing the 3B in production, differing only in the antenna).

Oh, and yeah, bringing up the idea of more RAM magically debuting in the 3A gets an eye roll. It's well known that will require a new SoC, which means the Pi 4 or above, which is at minimum a year or two out. The 3A we will get will still be a very cool device.
Originally a RPi 2A was mooted and abandoned, that had no WiFi / BT, so why can not a RPi 3A be based of the 2B v1.2 board design ???

I believe the 2B's have the LEDS in the same place as the A+ / B+. ??
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:25 pm

CarlRJ wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:As for the SoC...a BCM2837 is a BCM2837. Default underclocking the Pi2B2 doesn't change that. The default on the Pi3A could go either way. If the RPF decides that the 1.2GHz is a bit too aggressive (because of the sporadic thermal issues), then they might well go for 900MHz or 1GHz. If the Pi3A is simply seen as an A-series variant of the Pi3B, then a 1.2GHz default would seem to be appropriate.
Given Liz's recent comments about the A+ selling in huge numbers into industry, I suspect the decision about clock speed might depend heavily on said customers' sensitivities to thermal issues (i.e. are their products already on a tight thermal budget? Would the industry customers have to redesign their products to allow more cooling for the 3A?). I have no guess which way that'll go.
All good points...that we have no answers for.
On the issue of WiFi, I'm guessing the 3A board will be - mirroring the A+ - a copy of the 3B with the entire section containing the ethernet jack and 4 USB jacks lopped off, and a single USB jack occupying the space vacated by the removal of the hub chip. In that case, WiFi would come along for the ride, unaltered. Unless they like the ZeroW's new in-board cavity antenna enough to redesign the 3A board a bit to add it (at which point we might eventually also see a 3B+ or 3B2 replacing the 3B in production, differing only in the antenna).
Definitely agree...on all those points. Right down to the Pi3A having the LEDs by the corner away from the GPIO block (like the Pi3B) instead of next to it (like the Pi2B/Pi2B2).
Oh, and yeah, bringing up the idea of more RAM magically debuting in the 3A gets an eye roll. It's well known that will require a new SoC, which means the Pi 4 or above, which is at minimum a year or two out. The 3A we will get will still be a very cool device.
Umm... I'd say 1 to 2 years for the Pi4. Last year at the launch of the Pi3B, Eben said "2 to 3 years", so 1 to 2 years now. The questions that arise, was he being conservative so as not to raise expectations? Was he being optimistic because he knows how good his team is? Or is he right on the money because he knows exactly what he's doing?

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:48 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote: Originally a RPi 2A was mooted and abandoned, that had no WiFi / BT, so why can not a RPi 3A be based of the 2B v1.2 board design ???
It could, but I think the trend suggests that the Pi3A is much more likely to be a cut down Pi3B than it is to be a cut down Pi2B2. While no one outside of the RPF and RPT know what features the Pi3A will have (or when it will launch)--and none of them are talking--I think it is a reasonable surmise that it will include the WiFi/BT module. The real open question is: What sort of antenna will be used? The chip antenna from the Pi3B would have been the obvious presumption prior to the launch of the Pi0W, but now it might be that the Pi3A will get the resonant cavity antenna, and that a point release of the Pi3B with that antenna is also somewhere in the works. As above, there are several arguments to be made about clock speed. I would add to the mix the possibility that the overheating under load may have been a problem with early production batches and may have since been resolved. (Has anyone had thermal issues with new Pi3Bs recently?) Aside from possible thermal issues under load, for the dominant use (driving commercial/industrial "smart" displays), the only reason I can think of to make a Pi3A be a cut down Pi2B2 rather than a cut down Pi3B is the placement of the LEDs.
I believe the 2B's have the LEDS in the same place as the A+ / B+. ??
I'd have to pull out boards and look, but I think that it's correct the A+ has the status LEDs in the same place as the Pi2B does. Now having checked...yes. The B+, Pi2B and A+ all have the LEDs in the same place, right next to GPIO block.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:49 pm

CarlRJ wrote:Given Liz's recent comments about the A+ selling in huge numbers into industry, I suspect the decision about clock speed might depend heavily on said customers' sensitivities to thermal issues (i.e. are their products already on a tight thermal budget? Would the industry customers have to redesign their products to allow more cooling for the 3A?). I have no guess which way that'll go.
It's fairly irrelevant. Industrial users can easily configure an underclock if heat is a consideration. My guess is 3B clocks so the performance matches the 3B. Maximise the differentiation between A+ and 3A.
CarlRJ wrote:On the issue of WiFi, I'm guessing the 3A board will be - mirroring the A+ - a copy of the 3B with the entire section containing the ethernet jack and 4 USB jacks lopped off, and a single USB jack occupying the space vacated by the removal of the hub chip. In that case, WiFi would come along for the ride, unaltered. Unless they like the ZeroW's new in-board cavity antenna enough to redesign the 3A board a bit to add it
+1
CarlRJ wrote: (at which point we might eventually also see a 3B+ or 3B2 replacing the 3B in production, differing only in the antenna).
I think a 3B2 would need to be a little more radical than that. And I don't know what else a 3B2 could have.

FoTL's considerations are also valid, but that would be a 2A. Is there room for both (2A lower heat and no WiFi/Bluetooth; 3A higher performance with WiFi/Bluetooth)? I can't see the educational justification, unless the industrial uses would generate significant extra revenue.

As far as the 3A is concerned, unless something went wrong in the design and testing (always possible), I'm sure the decisions are well and truly made by now so all speculation is just for the kudos of being the one who thinks the same way as RPF :D :o
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:40 am

CarlRJ wrote: On the issue of WiFi, I'm guessing the 3A board will be - mirroring the A+ - a copy of the 3B with the entire section containing the ethernet jack and 4 USB jacks lopped off, and a single USB jack occupying the space vacated by the removal of the hub chip. In that case, WiFi would come along for the ride, unaltered. Unless they like the ZeroW's new in-board cavity antenna enough to redesign the 3A board a bit to add it (at which point we might eventually also see a 3B+ or 3B2 replacing the 3B in production, differing only in the antenna).
I'm pretty sure there were comments from almost a year ago about test 3A boards being around which might suggest the design was being finalised around the time of the 3B launch (so before the recent 2b2 and zero-w changes). That might just suggest the delay is in having production time rather than waiting on design.

My money would be on the 3A having wifi/bt or possibly having two variants of the same design, one of which doesn't have the wifi/bt parts populated.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:54 am

davidcoton wrote:
CarlRJ wrote:On the issue of WiFi, I'm guessing the 3A board will be - mirroring the A+ - a copy of the 3B with the entire section containing the ethernet jack and 4 USB jacks lopped off, and a single USB jack occupying the space vacated by the removal of the hub chip. In that case, WiFi would come along for the ride, unaltered. Unless they like the ZeroW's new in-board cavity antenna enough to redesign the 3A board a bit to add it
+1
More on this below. We're not the only people who think the Pi3A will have WiFi, and the timing suggests a shift to the cavity antenna.
CarlRJ wrote: (at which point we might eventually also see a 3B+ or 3B2 replacing the 3B in production, differing only in the antenna).
I think a 3B2 would need to be a little more radical than that. And I don't know what else a 3B2 could have.

FoTL's considerations are also valid, but that would be a 2A. Is there room for both (2A lower heat and no WiFi/Bluetooth; 3A higher performance with WiFi/Bluetooth)? I can't see the educational justification, unless the industrial uses would generate significant extra revenue.
I would see an antenna change to the Pi3B as a point release that wouldn't warrant any announcement. The change to the Pi2B--which was nominally a change from the v1.2 to the v1.3--wasn't announced, either. I suspect that the first we'd hear about an antenna change would be someone suddenly posting a "Where's the antenna on my new Pi3B?"
As far as the 3A is concerned, unless something went wrong in the design and testing (always possible), I'm sure the decisions are well and truly made by now so all speculation is just for the kudos of being the one who thinks the same way as RPF :D :o
While looking around for some actual news about the NEC CM3-16, I cam across the following article: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/ras ... -and-more/

To begin with, it answers the question posed by the OP in the subject line, it contains news about the Pi3A. The relevant quote (plus some surrounding material is):
Like the Pi 1 Model A, the board will be a version of the Pi 3 that has no Ethernet and only one USB port, but that sells for a cheaper price. Unlike the Pi 1 Model A, the lack of an Ethernet port and single USB will be compensated for by the inclusion of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity in the Pi 3 Model A.

Speaking in February, the Raspberry Pi co-creator Eben Upton said he expected the Pi 3 Model A to launch in the middle of this year, so a 2017 release date seems likely, however the Raspberry Pi Foundation didn't respond when asked for an update on when the Pi 3 Model A was likely to launch.
Edit to add... Here's some more relevant data from https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/16/ ... eben-upton with the critical quote being...
Will each form factor get updated over time? I'm talking about the A+ and especially the Zero.

EU: Yes. We're planning to bring a Model 3A to market in the near future. This will bring BCM2837 and wireless to the Model A+ form factor.
Zero is trickier, as we're reliant on PoP memory to hit the small, single-sided form factor, and the successor devices are all regular BGAs with discrete DRAM. We can't even bump to 1GB of RAM as the memory controller upgrade that introduced support for >512MB was part of the BCM2836 program. Perhaps in a couple of years if it continues to do well we could justify a chip spin to bring a more modern ARM core to the platform.
Last edited by W. H. Heydt on Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:59 am

mfa298 wrote: My money would be on the 3A having wifi/bt or possibly having two variants of the same design, one of which doesn't have the wifi/bt parts populated.
I don't see two variants as likely since it would add manufacturing complexity without any appreciable gain and the WiFI/BT can be turned off in software. The Pi2B2 reduced the number of parts that needed to be purchased and stocked (plus increasing the volume of the common SoC) by dropping an SoC that it may have been the only device using it, so the economics would appear to favor the Pi2B2 by not two variants of the Pi3A.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:06 am

jamesh wrote:
It raised the cost....!
Sure as heck did! Man, it Doubled it! LOL!

It's importiant to note, the wifi was a 'dang! Where would it fit?' thing. That clever antena fixed a lot of that. The RAM issue is a completely different issue. Now that I think about it, are people realy running out of memory on their PI's? You can do some pretty heavy image processing with openCV and not hit any limits other than processor. What are people doing/expecting?

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:32 am

skspurling wrote:Now that I think about it, are people realy running out of memory on their PI's? You can do some pretty heavy image processing with openCV and not hit any limits other than processor. What are people doing/expecting?
I suspect most of the memory complaints come from those trying to use the Pi3 as a Desktop system with a few other people having issues trying to compile larger/complex applications.

In a few things I've tried to setup I have found that 512MB can start to be a bit limiting but rarely had an issue with 1GB.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:49 am

liz wrote:The market for the model A is actually pretty enormous, but it's not you guys: it's almost entirely industrial customers (who tend to order in batches of many thousands at a time). It's a bit of an anomaly, in that you're unlikely to see one in the wild, but there are a lot out there.
It'd be nice to have a rough quotable figure of total number of A+ made - a million ?
We only have the "100k" model A figure ATM
(Thinking in reference to my graph of sales: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=75996#p542883 )
Last edited by mikerr on Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:50 am

mfa298 wrote:
skspurling wrote:Now that I think about it, are people realy running out of memory on their PI's? You can do some pretty heavy image processing with openCV and not hit any limits other than processor. What are people doing/expecting?
I suspect most of the memory complaints come from those trying to use the Pi3 as a Desktop system with a few other people having issues trying to compile larger/complex applications.

In a few things I've tried to setup I have found that 512MB can start to be a bit limiting but rarely had an issue with 1GB.
I use a Pi as a desktop system here at work, sort of. It certainly sitting there doing desktop things (well, 4 of them do). The only issue is multiple tabs on chrome, which, TBH, is Chrome fault for having bad coding that uses too much memory.

So I suspect the only memory issue is when web browsing. Difficult to see what other task people are doing that require such huge amounts of memory.
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:51 am

mikerr wrote:
liz wrote:The market for the model A is actually pretty enormous, but it's not you guys: it's almost entirely industrial customers (who tend to order in batches of many thousands at a time). It's a bit of an anomaly, in that you're unlikely to see one in the wild, but there are a lot out there.
It'd be nice to have a rough quotable figure of total number of A+ made - a million ?
We only have the "100k" model A figure ATM
(Thinking in reference to my graph of sales: )
Not sure, only figure I have recently heard is approx 500k Zero's which could be added to your graph.
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:52 am

Come on the Next A+ will be at Pi3 speeds and have a removable WiFi, I don't know if the 'Cavity' can technically be removed, but it would need to be able to disconnect.
Also there is no reason the design has not changed since it's first inception.
They've pretty much managed to redesign the Zero twice in that time, one of the advantages of having the Sony Wales site I guess.
It's just shuffling things around* not a completely new concept design. They already had the basics for it.

It needs to have everything at the top end, so end customers can have it designed lesser as they need. Slower clock, yep done.
No WiFi or BT, yep taken out etc.
Anyways await and see.

Ebon stated around the ZeroW launch time(MagPi/some other site quoting) they on with the software of education march now and only small itteretions if needed in the hardware.
I guess some stability in the Pi's for a while, but needs will decide.

*I make it sound easy ;-)


(I've bought a nice Pimeroni ZeroW project kit for my son's birthday)

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:52 am

liz wrote:The market for the model A is actually pretty enormous, but it's not you guys: it's almost entirely industrial customers (who tend to order in batches of many thousands at a time). It's a bit of an anomaly, in that you're unlikely to see one in the wild, but there are a lot out there.
I've got two A+ at home, one is currently living in a dinosaur, the other is attached to a 16 x 4 display.

I bought them before the Pi zero came out but the dinosaur uses an audio output (hear it roar!) so the A+ is still useful.

I don't think that I'll be rushing to buy a 2nd 3A (that I will buy one is a given) as I can't think of a use case where I will need the processing power in that small a format. If I do find a use then I'll buy one of course.

If the 3A does get the Wifi and bluetooth as standard then I expect it will become the new default for making dumb TV's into smart TVs.
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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:57 am

From my plots of Pi sticker serials vs date (I love data, me) I'd put the figure for A+ north of 300k out of Wales, plus whatever Embest has produced.

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:05 pm

I just assumed, rightly or wrongly, being called a "3" A, that it would be based on the current "3" B. Seems logical, to me anyway.
If your just going modify another current model, why go backwards? Why downgrade? Modify the current top of the line model.
Just my 2 cents and best guess. :D

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:38 pm

i think the problem with the a3 is the 25$ price target. :)

it makes sense to include wifi/bt. so that's 5$ (as we see with the pi zero w).
it will be a pi 3 so there will be the quad core cpu and that almost requires 1gb ram?

so the only difference to the b3 would be the usb chip and the additional usb ports and ethernet. does that make a 10$ difference?

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Re: any news yet on the PI3A??

Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:42 pm

alphanumeric wrote:I just assumed, rightly or wrongly, being called a "3" A, that it would be based on the current "3" B. Seems logical, to me anyway.
If your just going modify another current model, why go backwards? Why downgrade? Modify the current top of the line model.
Just my 2 cents and best guess. :D
The 2B v1.2 is a downgraded 3B ;)
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