World’s Thinnest Raspberry Pi 3 By Pimoroni

World’s Thinnest Raspberry Pi 3 By Pimoroni

In the early September, this year, Pimoroni has introduced the thinnest version of the Raspberry Pi 3. For this, they removed the extra pins and ports without which you can still use this fastest model of the Raspberry Pi family at its peak performance. Let’s check in detail.

Why would you require thinning down the Pi 3?

We know that a Raspberry Pi is a single board computer which easily available and quick to set up. It’s maybe the tiniest computing board in the world, but even such small size can create a little bit of mess when you can only access to a too small space in your project setup.

How Pimoroni thought?

Pimoroni tried to solve this issue by cutting the size of the Pi 3 board without much affecting its features and usage. For example, if you are connecting your Pi 3 wirelessly with the internet, then there is no need for an Ethernet jack. In the same way, if you are using an Ethernet LAN connection, then you can safely remove a full-sized USB port.

How Pimoroni did it?

As mentioned on the blog on Pimoroni, they cut down all the extra(!) and unwanted ports and components from the Raspberry Pi 3 device.  

  • We all know that the Raspberry Pi models come with extended metal rims enclosed at the ends of the ports of Ethernet & USB. The designers unrolled these and pulled out all the plastic guts.
  • Then, the unwanted GPIO pins had been desoldered from the board. With the help of the hot air gun, they removed plastic rolling from the pins to remove them individually.
  • The DSI, HDMI, and CSI connector come with thick metal than the other parts of the circuit board. So, it was a bit hard to remove them even with the hot air machine.
  • At last, the desoldered places were cleaned up and guess what? A new slimmed down version of Pi 3 got an introduction to the world.

Ohh, what? Did they trim down the software too?

Pimoroni left nothing to be questioned off, and they not only thinned down the hardware of the Raspberry Pi 3 but also disabled the removed components from the Raspbian – the official Raspberry Pi Operating System.

The removed parts like HDMI, Ethernet & USB are not having any need of the software support from the Pi. The following codes can help to disable the drivers of them:

sudo sh -c “echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/soc/3f980000.usb/buspower”  

tvservice -o  

The successful run of both these commands will not only disable the removed ports but also help to save the power by cutting down the current at 180mA from 260mA!

But, wait. Isn’t that mean you got a Pi Zero?

NO, not in reality. The first and most significant difference is that the Pi Zero does not have the capability of connecting wirelessly to the internet. Also, the Pi 3 has super fast Quad-Core processor than any other Pi model.

There is a much similarity in the size and shape of both the boards after the Pi 3 has been stripped down, though. But, there is no any match between the performance and efficiency of Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi Zero.

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