Series 13 – Episode 9 – Unveiling the Raspberry Pi 5 with Founder Eben Upton

8th December 2023
Paige West

Paige West speaks with Eben Upton, CEO and Founder, Raspberry Pi about the release of the new Raspberry Pi 5.

The Raspberry Pi platform has predominantly focused on quantitative upgrades, with the last significant feature addition being Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in 2016. The Raspberry Pi 5 embodies this philosophy, offering a performance roughly three times that of its predecessor. It boasts the ability to drive two 4K pP0 displays, double the USB bandwidth, enhanced camera and display bandwidth, and theoretical improvements in Wi-Fi and SD card speeds.

One striking aspect of the Raspberry Pi 5 is its user experience. Upton highlights that this edition is the first where a power user might forget they are not using a standard PC. The improvements in web browsing and multimedia performance significantly blur the lines between a traditional PC and the Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi 5 introduces three new chips: BCM2712, developed with Broadcom; DA9091 ‘Gilmour’, in collaboration with Renesas; and RP1, developed in-house. This in-house development has allowed Raspberry Pi to encapsulate the essential elements of the platform into a single chip, optimising the interface elements like USB and Ethernet, crucial for its role as an Edge computing platform.

The Raspberry Pi 5 comes with an extensive range of new accessories, including a higher current USB-C power supply, a new case with an integrated fan, and a heat sink with an integrated blower. The platform also introduces PCI Express as a user port, a feature that broadens its application scope.

A significant advantage for Raspberry Pi has been its proximity to the manufacturing base in Cambridge. This closeness facilitates iterative design improvements and efficient manufacturing, contributing to the cost-effectiveness of the product.

Upton's inspiration for Raspberry Pi was to reignite the excitement for computing among the young. The initial goal was to address the declining interest in computer sciences and electronics, a challenge even for institutions like Cambridge. Raspberry Pi was a response to this need, and over the years, it has significantly contributed to reversing this trend.

For Upton, the most exciting feature of the Raspberry Pi 5 is the RP1 chip. This in-house developed chip represents a major step in Raspberry Pi's evolution, setting the stage for future developments that maintain functional commonality with existing models while advancing the digital logic components.

To hear more about the Raspberry Pi 5, and much more, you can listen to Electronic Specifier’s interview with Eben Upton on Spotify or Apple podcasts.

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