Raspberry Pi 5 - What to Expect and When

12th May 2021

Raspberry Pi 5. Will it even be called that? What could the next generation Raspberry Pi SBC bring? We round up the most intelligent preview points.

With no official release date yet set by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, there is some speculation (and guesswork) on what the next version of the Raspberry Pi single board computer could look like in the world of embedded systems.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is not saying very much about what will be released in its next generation single board computer module. In fact, we can say with certainty that we do not know when the next Raspberry Pi will be released.

The user forums have little or no preview information to share on what specification might be included in the next generation Pi hardware version. Likely, users would be booted out for engaging in such idle gossiping!

In March 2021, LinuxHint did publish an article with some intelligent guessing on what could be included in the new Pi 5 based on emerging hardware standards and roadmap progressions, and some obvious technical challenges some of the early versions of Raspberry Pi faced.

Move over Raspbian, enter Raspberry Pi 5 OS

One thing that the informed LinuxHint journalist Glynis Navarette believes is almost certain is that the new Pi 5 will run the Raspberry Pi 5 operating system, Debian-based, this new OS can run on both 32bit and 64bit systems, and has the ability to power 64 bit applications. So long Raspbian!

2Ghz CPU and counting upwards

When it comes to the CPU that will power the Pi 5, Navarette also expects that the quad core Broadcom-ARM processor will be used but that CPU speed might accelerate past 2GHz. In terms of boosting system memory on board, the new Pi 5 could sport as much as 16Gbytes of the latest generation LPDDR5 SDRAM. A new cooling system might also accompany the extra power and performance.

USB C in sharp focus

Engineering improvements could be made to the onboard heating system and the design of the USB C power port. In fact, the USB C power supply should be greatly improved in the Pi 5 given that the design was revised and corrected in revised boards of the current Pi 4 model. USB 3 ports will likely also be supported in the new model for backwards compatibility with devices that are using the older ports.

Could eMMC enter the scene? A microSD card that is currently used to hold the operating system and provide storage, and there is a possibility that this could be supplanted by the faster read read/write capabilities of eMMC memory and the greater data protection and storage durability it would bring. eMMC would be integrated into the board if this is the case.

Connectivity gains Gigabit Ethernet and dual band wi fi were both major advancements for the latest generation Raspberry Pi, and these great connectivity options will likely remain for the Pi 5 when it releases to the market.

Dedicated to the display

Display interface may also be a big area of focus for the Pi 5 with the possibility of dual display output through 2 ports via a HDMI interface. It is also speculated the 4K video playback refresh rate will remain at 60 Hz, even with two monitors connected. Bluetooth and Bluetooth for low powered devices support is taken as a given these days and so we can expect the 5.2 version to be supported.

Conclusion

In summary, the Raspberry Pi Foundation remains tight-lipped on what the next generation Pi SBC will look like. There is little to go on in the forums from engaged users but an analysis of historical design challenges and the naturally progressing hardware roadmap can help paint a picture of what we might expect in the next generation Raspberry Pi.