The new Raspberry Pi 4

Yesssssssssss!! The new Raspberry Pi 4 is here and it brings us more CPU power and more memory, and this is definitely good for Zynthian Project. Audio synthesis and processing are hungry tasks πŸ˜‰

But i don’t like everything on the new RBPi-4…

First, i don’t like the way some changes have been introduced without warning the RBPi community, specially those developing products/kits based on RBPi. The RBPi-4 has been launched by surprise with a completely new connector layout. Current cases doesn’t fit the new RBPi4. I think this kind of changes should be announced in advance, simply by courtesy. Also giving good estimations about release dates would be nice. Advancing the launch more than 6 months from the latest estimation date is quite odd ..

I definitely love the USB-C connector for power supply, although i also would like the implementation of voltage negotiation instead of sticking on 5V. Modern power supplies are already capable of working at 9 or 12 V, and this allows to transfer more power with less current (Amperes): thinner cables, higher efficiency, etc.

The USB-3 and true Gigabit ethernet are also good improvements, but i don’t understand why they flipped the connectors. Although I prefer the former layout, the new one is not an issue and i could change my mind in the future πŸ˜‰

Regarding the 2 mini-HDMI connectors, i definitely don’t understand the reasons. The standard HDMI connector is more robust while the use cases for 2 monitors are currently “quite rares”. Anyway, i hope to see interesting applications very soon πŸ˜‰

Of course, some people is asking me about new cases for the RBPi-4 and a Zynthian Kit based in RBPi-4. I’m working on it from day 0, but it will take some time. Designing and manufacturing aluminum cases is not so fast as developing/integrating new software features. Preparing kits takes some time too. So, don’t be awaiting a new case or a RBPi4-based zynthian kit before 2020 πŸ˜‰

Until then, you still can build easily your zynthian using the RBPi3-based kits. and update to the RBPi-4 kit when available. An RBPi-4 update kit will be available for Kit-v2 owners!

Finally, although i had preferred that the new RBPi 4 worked with Raspbian Stretch, i understand the reasons and think it’s positive to stay on the edge, so … as soon as we (the zynthian community) knew about the launch and realize that Buster is the new Raspbian and it’s needed for the RBPi-4, we started to work on a Buster-based Zynthian SD-image. I don’t intend to work on new Zynthian features until the “Aruk Buster” SD-image is ready.

Stay tuned & Enjoy

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1 year ago

I’m an enthusiast Pianoteq user. I can wait to get a Pi4 with Zyinthian. Keep up your excellent work!

Anthony Lott
Anthony Lott
11 months ago

Is this Pi4 model primarily for those who wish to expanunit. Standalone synthesizers if the unut? I’m getting the Zyn for fx, mainly. So I should be fine with the v3, yeah?