Raspberry Pi 5: as fast as two Pi 4s combined

The new single-board computer Raspberry Pi 5 it was officially presented at the end of last September. As we saw in the article dedicated to the presentation of the new Raspberry board, the “update” just revealed doesn’t make you tear your hair out but is still proposed as a good step forward. Especially for those who are looking for performance.

If you were about to purchase one or more Raspberry Pi 4s for a project that requires performancethe suggestion is to wait a few more weeks until the new card is available on a global scale.

Raspberry Pi 5: double the performance compared to the previous generation

Within any benchmarkIn fact, Raspberry Pi 5 is two or three times faster than a Pi 4. These certainly very encouraging results are the result of the use of the SoC Broadcom BCM2712which bases its operation on four ARM A76 cores at 2.4 GHz. A clear improvement compared to the ARM A72 cores at 1.8 GHz of the previous Pi 4 board. Thanks to the implementation of ARM cryptographic extensionsAES encryption becomes even 45 times faster.

Also there memoria DRAM operates at double the clock speed, the graphics section offers approximately doubled performance while the new controller WiFi present inside the Broadcom SoC allows a throughput double. Even the interface of the scheda SD it can run at double the speed, reducing startup times to around 8-10 seconds.

The two lines MIPI for camera/display allow imaging activities on the card or the simultaneous management of an external camera and display. The Raspberry 5 board can also handle due display HDMI 4K a 60 Hz.

The downside: higher power

According to what was communicated by the Raspberry foundation, the new card costa in itself a handful of euros more (in dollars no more than five). However, Raspberry Pi 5 may require fino a 12W of power compared to the 8W of the Pi 4 board. Thus, users may have to invest in a power supply updated and study ways to manage the heat generated when the system is significantly busy.

Raspberry Pi 5 heats up and in some situations it may even be necessary to add a solution active cooling, therefore based on a fan. The same case official for Raspberry Pi 5 in fact provides an active heat sink in the upper part and a series of openings, also in the lower area.

The good news, however, is that Raspberry Pi 5 integrates a power subsystem refurbished: DA9091 power management chip can generate eight separate voltages and supply 20A to the SoC. Developed in collaboration with Renesasthe DA9091 chip includes a real-time clock unit, supports Power Delivery via USB-C and facilitates the choice of the most suitable power supply. The power buttonFurthermore, it finally sweeps away all the “artisanal solutions” developed by various people maker During the years.

The big news: PCIe support

With Raspberry Pi 5, users can take advantage of a single PCIe 2.0 lanemade available via a connector flat-flex. There is therefore a need for a adapter to connect the connector with the various peripherals you want to use.

Jeff Geerling found that although Raspberry Pi 5 is not certified to support data exchanges via PCIe 3.0, the interface almost always operates at the speeds of this more updated standard. With one unit SSD NVMe connected to the Raspberry Pi 5, Geerling measured 450 MB/s using the default setting. By editing just one line in the file /boot/config.txtthe researcher was able to achieve almost 900 MB/s. This automatically activates the PCIe 3.0 modenot officially supported.

Chiplet architecture

According to Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi, his company was among the first to propose what is now called a model of architecture chiplet. In 2016, Raspberry Pi was already way ahead: the custom component called RP1 (interface/southbridge chip) performs several key functions, helping to improve the performance and features of the card.

Upton describes it as an integral part of the chiplet model: RP1 is responsible for the interface between the Broadcom SoC and the other components on the board. It also provides support for specific features such as PCIe interface, power management as well as other connectivity and control features.

The Broadcom SoC can be thought of as a “very fine-grained” device that is responsible for offering the computational power to the Raspberry board. This chip is then combined, thanks to RP1, to manage everything else: Ethernet, USB, MIPI, analog video, USART, I2C, I2S, PWM and GPIO. The connection between the SoC and the RP1 chip is via PCIe (16 Gbps).

The opening image is taken from Raspberry’s post and portrays a Pi 5 board with the heatsink active.


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