Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM and Raspberry Pi OS

Raspberry Pi foundation has launched a Raspberry Pi 4 variant with 8GB RAM and renamed its OS to Raspberry Pi OS.

Looks like a lot is happening at Raspberry Pi, an almost a year back they launched the new high performance Raspberry Pi 4 with 1 / 2 / 4GB RAM options, just a month back Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera for $50 and now a new Raspberry Pi 4 8GB variant and Raspberry Pi OS :), wow!

What is new in Raspberry Pi 4 8GB

As mentioned in their blog, it seems they were always wanted to have a 8GB variant(see the inclusion in their manual :)) as the SoC can address upto 16GB DDR RAM, just that till now a 8GB was not available in the market.

See the 8GB RAM chip on the board below:

Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM and Raspberry Pi OS 3
Image Credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation

So, why anyone would need 8GB RAM?

If you are a developer work on projects involving videos, browser based application for your user, want to implement crazy Computer Vision, AI or Games, this much of RAM is very useful.

Or if you are power user, has lot of server load, want to use your Raspberry Pi as a PC with lots of browser tabs open, want to use some graphic application, bugger RAM is definitely required.

Is that only RAM or something else also in this new board?

Raspberry Pi’s blog post say, they needed to update the power supply section to supply some extra current to the new RAM chip but other than that everything is almost same.

In one of the comments on the blog post Eben Upton mentioned the following about the changes:

From memory:

  • USB-C compatibility fix
  • Moved WLCSP component to top side for robustness
  • Silk screen changes for manufacturability
  • Silk screen changes for compliance marking

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4?

Great, news guys, Eben Upton responded to one of the comments in the blog post:

He even responded to my comment ;), check here.

Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM and Raspberry Pi OS 4

I am super excited and eagerly waiting for Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module to be launched soon. I hope it will be the same form-factor with more USB ports, on module Ethernet, more UARTs 😉

What about 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS, why that?

The default operating system image uses a 32-bit LPAE kernel and a 32-bit user-land. This allows multiple processes to share all 8 GB of RAM, the only limitation is, a single process can use no more than 3 GB of RAM. For more applications/use-cases this is not a problem.

But, the power users, who want to be able to map all 8 GB RAM into the address space of a single process, need a 64-bit user-land.

There are plenty of options already out there, including Ubuntu and Gentoo.

From the blog post: Both 32-bit and 64-bit operating system images have a new name: Raspberry Pi OS. As our community grows, we want to make sure it’s as easy as possible for new users to find our recommended operating system for Raspberry Pi. We think the new name will help more people feel confident in using our computers and our software. An update to the Raspberry Pi Desktop for all our operating system images is also out today, and we’ll have more on that in tomorrow’s blog post.

You can find a link to the new 64-bit image, and some important caveats, in this forum post.

I hope you have enjoyed this post.

You can read my other blogs or interesting embedded system articles here where I share some of the practical tips for embedded system design.

I help embedded engineers and start ups build reliable and successful embedded products and providing professional services as embedded system design consultant. If you need any help please let me know here.

Happy Learning to you!

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