Introducing the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

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The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ has been launched today by the Raspberry Pi foundation. This new Pi model is a smaller variant of the Pi 3 Model B+.

The Model A boards have traditionally been cut-down versions of the main Model B devices. The Pi 3 Model A+ is no exception. It is basically a Pi 3 B+ with the right-hand side cut off. This makes it smaller, lighter and cheaper but with the loss of the Ethernet socket, USB sockets and some memory. This makes it better suited to some applications and projects.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

The Model A+ should be available for $25 (excluding taxes etc) which will make it $!0/£10 cheaper than a full size Pi 3 Model B+.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ Specification

 

The new device shares many of the features found on the larger B+ :

  • Broadcom BCM2837B0 chipset
  • 1.4GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53
  • 64 bit CPU, 4 cores
  • 512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • 1 USB 2.0 ports (via LAN7515)
  • 40 pin header (26 GPIOs)
  • MicroUSB power connector
  • Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11ac Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1 (Bluetooth Classic and LE)
  • HDMI
  • CSI camera interface
  • DSI connector for official screen
  • 3.5mm jack connector supporting stereo audio and composite video
  • 2-pin reset header
  • Micro SD socket

The most notable differences between the Pi 3 Model A+ and the Pi 3 Model B+ are

  • 512MB of RAM rather than 1GB
  • No Power over Ethernet support
  • Lower power consumption
  • Improved USB mass-storage booting
  • Improved thermal management
  • Smaller footprint
  • Cheaper by $10

GPIO Header

The 40-pin header on the new Raspberry Pi follows the same scheme used on previous boards :

Raspberry Pi 40 Pin GPIO Header

Raspberry Pi 40 Pin GPIO Header

This should ensure compatibility with plenty of add-ons, software and tutorials.

Mechanical Drawing & Dimensions

The overall size is the same as the previous A+ boards :

Dimensions : 65mm x 56mm x 12mm

First Look

Here is a quick look at the board itself :

Power Consumption

I made some quick measurements to see how the power consumption compared to previous models :

ModelDesktop IdleDesktop Idle
(WiFi)
1080p Video1080p Video
(WiFi)
YouTube Video
(WiFi)
Pi A+225mA245mA
Pi 3 A+305mA340mA320mA355mA400mA
Pi B+320mA340mA
Pi 3 B360mA390mA390mA420mA450mA
Pi 3 B+510mA550mA520mA585mA600mA

The Pi’s had a keyboard and monitor connected and were running the latest Raspbian desktop (Nov 2018). I measured the power while playing a 1080p MP4 video via OMXPlayer from a terminal window.

The Pi 3 Model A+ seems to use up to 200mA less than the Pi 3 Model B+.

The WiFi on the newer models was turned on and off using “sudo iwconfg wlan0 txpower off” and “sudo iwconfg wlan0 txpower auto”.

Official Case

An official case will be available based on previous designs.Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ Case

Official Advert

Here is the awesome official advert for the new Pi :

The official announcement was made on the The Raspberry Pi blog.

Buy a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

The new Raspberry Pi is available from the usual suppliers listed on my Buy a Raspberry Pi page.

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