The new Raspberry Pi Model B+ contains a Cypress Semi CYW43455 chip, which can operate 802.11ac Wi-Fi at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, as well as simultaneous Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Older Raspberry Pi’s used the firm’s CYW43438 802.11n 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo.
The RPi Model B+ was designed after speaking with professional users, according to Farnell – which along with RS Components makes and distributes Raspberry Pi boards. “The 802.11ac transmissions enable superior network performance, faster downloads and better range,” claimed Cypress.
“Achieving reliable wireless connectivity in crowded airwaves is a foremost concern for developers of industrial IoT and smart home systems, which lead us to select Cypress’ 802.11ac combo SoC for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ board,” said Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading. “Our new board democratises high-performance, interoperable and reliable 802.11ac Wi-Fi for use across a huge range of IoT products.”
Although the new RPi 3 B+i has the same 64-bit, quad-core processor as the earlier B version, it now ticks at 1.4 GHz. It also has the same 1-GB RAM, HDMI and four USB ports. Ethernet is now Gigabit, rather than 100 Mbit, but in practice limited to 300 Mbit/s because it comes over an internal USB-2 link. Also new on the Model 3-B+ is an option to receive power via PoE provided a special HAT board is fitted.
The CYW43455 with its dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz radio can operate over 20, 40 and 80-MHz wide channels at speeds up to 433 Mbit/s. The SoC includes Linux open source ‘full media access control’ (FMAC) driver support with enterprise and industrial features enabled, including security, roaming, voice and location. The full SoC is supported in Cypress’ Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) software development kit (SDK).