Everyone knows and loves the Raspberry Pi, but what if the wireless capabilities only got better? The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is here to provide you with the same Pi as before, but now with gigabit and PoE capable Ethernet, as well as better overheating protection for the 64-bit processor. The credit-card-sized computer is capable of many of the things your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word processing and playing high-definition video and games. It can run several flavors of Linux (and even Windows 10 free-of-charge) and is being used to teach kids all over the world how to program… Oh yeah, and it does all that for about $40.
The secret sauce that makes this computer so small and powerful is the Broadcom BCM2837, an ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit Quad Core Processor System-on-Chip operating at 1.4GHz. The GPU provides OpenGL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode. It is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general-purpose compute. What does that all mean? It means that if you plug the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ into your HDTV, you could watch Blu-ray quality video, using H.264 at 40MBits/s.
The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ has four built-in USB ports that provide enough connectivity for a mouse, keyboard or anything else that you feel the RPi needs. But if you want to add even more, you can still use a USB hub. Keep in mind, it is recommended that you use a powered hub so as not to overtax the onboard voltage regulator. Powering the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is easy: just plug any 5V/2.5A USB power supply into the microUSB port. There’s no power button, so the RPi will begin to boot as soon as power is applied. To turn it off, simply shut down the Pi 3 B+, then remove power. The four built-in USB ports can even output up to 1.2A, enabling you to connect more power-hungry USB devices.
On top of all that, the low-level peripherals on the RPi make it great for hardware hacking. The 0.1" spaced 40-pin GPIO header on the RPi gives you access to 27 GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, as well as 3.3 and 5V sources. Each pin on the GPIO header is identical to its predecessor, the Model 3.
As of March 16th 2018, the RetroPie SD image hasn’t been updated for the new Raspbian distribution that was released for the Raspberry Pi 3B+. You will need to manually install RetroPie on a fresh/new Rasobian Stretch distribution. You will not be able to use the provided RetroPie SD image (from their download page). If you want to swap the SD card from your (previous generation) Raspberry Pi directly into the new Raspberry Pi 3B+, according to the Raspberry Pi forum page you will need to upgrade it first, but I have yet to get that working.
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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