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A Secret Update for the Raspberry Pi 4 8GB

A minor SoC update appears to have been made to the Raspberry Pi 4 8GB...

Raspberry Pi 4 gets a tiny CPU upgrade
Credit: Jainath Ponnala

All of us who have tracked the Raspberry Pi over the years are aware with the numerous versions of the small board and the new processors that have resulted. What's less evident is that small version updates are common over the lifespan of any chip, generally to address problems or fine-tune production processes. They're the same chip, but with a few additional features. When the Raspberry Pi 400 featured a BCM2711 with a newer update than the Pi 4, [Jeff Geerling] didn't notice, and now he discovers the same chip in Pi 4 boards.

Raspberry Pi 4 CPU upgrade
Source: Tom's Hardware

According to St Louis-based software developer Jeff Geerling, the Broadcom SoC in the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B has been secretly upgraded to match the one in the Raspberry Pi 400.

Geerling observed the change after purchasing a new Raspberry Pi 4 (8GB) to replace a damaged board and seeing that one of the chip's model numbers had changed. The BCM2711 is the Raspberry Pi's SoC (System on Chip), which houses the CPU, GPU, and the PCIe connection that links the USB ports. Previously, its model number ended in B0T, but Geerling's new baby has a model number that ends in C0T, which corresponds to the SoC used in the Raspberry Pi 400.

It's understandable that Raspberry Pi would do this, given it reduces the number of different chips they have to purchase and manage, and we can presumably anticipate the new model to trickle down throughout the range - indeed, Geerling shows that this is already occurring. The distinction between the two models, on the other hand, is rather subtle. In fact, it's very so. You might call it granular.

What's new in Raspberry Pi Processor Update?

It's just a minor changes which is nothing to call an update. There are two key changes relating to RAM addressing, which allows the PCIe and EMMC2 buses to access more memory than previously (thus why the new chip appears on the Pi 4 with the most RAM) and some "power gating enhancements."
Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Update
Source: Tom's Hardware
Given appropriate cooling, the Pi 400 operates at 1.8GHz, compared to 1.5GHz on the Pi 4 Model B. As a result, the new processor may provide higher overclocking possibilities. Unless you're working on a project that requires access to 8GB of RAM via EMMC2, you're unlikely to see a difference.

Source: Tom's Hardware

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