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 😉
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 😉
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 😉
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 😉
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