Raspberry Pi 3 Latest News & Update: Altair Rolls Out LTE Chips For Miniature Computer; IoT Applications Now Enabled

By Arianne Gift , Updated Dec 02, 2016 10:44 AM EST

Raspberry Pi 3 is now capable of supporting low-throughput cellular connections and let users control devices over long distances. Altair recently announced that ALT1160 Category 1 LTE chip on the Raspberry Pi 3 testings have been successful, and is now available on the market.

According to PCWorld, the LTE chip will be integrated into many add-on expansion boards from various third-party partners. The LTE chips will be available from $15 to $20 each, although Altair will offer discounts when orders are made in bulk, said Eran Eshed, co-founder of Altair. In addition, software and drivers needed for its LTE chips to work on Raspberry Pi 3 are also ready for release.

More Functionality For The Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi 3 devices are incorporated into robots, drones, smart devices, and other gadgets. However, its Wi-Fi support limits its communication range. With the integration of the ALT1160 Category 1 LTE chips on the device, users will be able to control the device despite being halfway around the globe.

Furthermore, The Raspberry Pi 3 will have enhanced mechanisms. For example, users will be able to access video surveillance cameras over cellular networks and can control robots from miles away.

Raspberry Pi 3 Is IoT-Ready

The LTE chip integration will also enable IoT applications, said founder of Raspberry Pi Eben Upton. According to Altair's official website, the Raspberry Pi 3 will have the capability of remotely controlling industrial IoT equipment to leverage highly mature, carrier-certified and mass market deployed software.

The chip streams data at 10Mbps, which is considered slow, given both Apple and Samsung devices are capable of delivering up to 600Mbps. Being an IoT device however, lesser bandwidth for communications is required; plus, battery life is prolonged. Upton said that there is n plan yet to integrate LTE directly into the Raspberry Pi 3, so users will have to purchase third-party modems and attach them to the board.

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