Raspberry Pi 3 May Suffer Overheating Problems

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently released the latest iteration of its credit card-sized mini computer, the Raspberry Pi 3, to glowing reviews, praising its improved speeds and onboard WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, but on reddit user has noticed that, under certain circumstances, the board might be prone to serious overheating problems, with temperatures approaching 100oC.

Reddit user ghalfacree posted a photo of his Raspberry Pi 3 (above), taken with a calibrated Flir thermal camera, which showed that the computer’s BCM2837 SoC hit temperatures of 97.3oC.

“The new BCM2837 system-on-chip gets far, far hotter than its predecessors,” ghalfacree wrote on reddit. “This image was taken using a calibrated Flir thermal camera while the Pi 3 had been at 100% CPU load – but no GPU load – for five minutes, and registered nearly 100°C (212°F). I confirmed the temperature with a K-type contact probe, and also by poking the chip.”

“Don’t poke the chip. It hurts,” ghalfacree added.

“I’d recommend picking up a small heatsink for the Pi 3, the first Pi that I’d actually say is worth doing so, and if you’re reusing an existing case keep an eye on the temperature – you may need to make a cut-out to increase the ventilation, especially if you’re using an enclosed slice-style case like the original-design Pimoroni PiBow (which has been modified with a heatsink cut-out specifically for the Pi 3.)”

“Oh, and don’t trust the built-in thermal sensor: when that picture was taken, the internal sensor was happily reporting sub-80°C (176°F) temperatures,” ghalfacree warned.

In response to the post, Raspberry Pi 3 co-creator Eben Upton assured customers that they should not experience overheating issues under normal operating conditions, and the reddit post in question was regarding stress testing.

“[C]o-creator of the board Eben Upton has said that – outside of synthetic tests that place the board’s processor under prolonged strain – the Pi 3 is highly unlikely to behave in this way,” ZDNet reports.

New $15 Raspberry Pi Rival Can Output 4K Video

The tiny computer market is hotting up, initially ignited by the Raspberry Pi Foundation – which recently released its smallest  and cheapest computer yet, the Raspberry Pi Zero – and spawning rivals like the Orange Pi, Chip, and Kangaroo. The latest entrant, developed by PINE64 Inc., aims to set itself apart, with its 64-bit processor and 4K video output capability.

The PINE A64, which has already surpassed its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter, boasts a quad-core ARM A53 1.2GHz 64-bit processor and a dual-core MALI-400 500MHz MP2 GPU, capable of 1.1Gpixel/s throughput and 4K HDMI output. It relies on a microSD card of up to 256GB for its boot drive, while additional storage can be added via its two USB 2.0 ports. The A64 supports 10/100Mbps Ethernet. PINE are also offering a ‘Plus’ version of its A64, with up to 2GB DDR3 RAM and Gigabit Ethernet.

The PINE A64 is an open source platform, allowing a user to install pretty much any software of operating system they like, but PINE recommends using either Ubuntu, Android 5.1 Lollipop, of OpenHAB IoT. Using Android, the PINE A64 can become a 4K home media centre, and the board supports Miracast.

The basic PINE A64 package is available for pre-order via Kickstarter for $15, while the A64+ can be bought for $19 or $29, depending on whether you want the 1GB or 2GB version.