Raspberry Pi has launched its next-generation Raspberry Pi 4.

It has been designed to be significantly faster and a more capable version of the industrial single-board computer.

Offered in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB variants, Raspberry Pi 4 can serve both as a low-cost, low-power embedded controller and as a full-featured Linux workstation. For the first time it will be possible to both develop and deploy industrial IoT applications on a single common hardware platform.

Combining Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac wireless networking, and Bluetooth 5.0, with a full set of standard serial interfaces, Raspberry Pi 4 is intended as a bridge between the physical world and the network. It can serve as a leaf node in an IoT network, or as a data aggregator for a large network of even lower-cost sensors. With a powerful quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor running at 1.5GHz, it can perform sophisticated local processing, reducing upstream bandwidth requirements, and helping to address privacy concerns in distributed machine-learning applications.

The ability to decode high-dynamic-range 4Kp60 HEVC video, and to drive two simultaneous HDMI displays at resolutions up to 4K, means that Raspberry Pi 4 is better suited to multimedia applications, according to the company. Examples include digital signage, where one unit can now control two independent panels, and high-end thin client installations.

A high level of backward compatibility facilitates migration of existing Raspberry Pi powered systems to the new model.

Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton said: “Just as we help make coding more accessible for consumers, we also aim to democratise digital innovation in businesses and public services. Today, over 50% of our $35 Raspberry Pi units are destined for industrial and commercial use; Raspberry Pi 4 builds on this success, providing greatly increased performance at the same low cost. We aim to create equality of opportunity across our digital economy, by providing a low-cost platform for technological innovation that is accessible to every organisation, from start-ups to multinationals.”

Raspberry Pi 4 is available to buy today from Raspberry Pi’s licensee partners element14 and OKdo, and from its global network of approved resellers.