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In last days, Raspberry PI Foundation gave a great news for Raspberry PI lovers. After moving 2GB boards prices at same value of 1GB boards, a new board come to market. This new Raspberry PI 4 Model B has 8GB memory!
Starting from first Raspberry PI 4 release, Raspberry PI Foundation had to work hard to upgrade RAM. They had to reduce power consumption, shipping PXE network boot and they are still working on USB boot (the biggest missing feature, in my opinion) and to increase power supply switches.
From CPU chip side, theorically there is no limitation to upgrade RAM up to 16GB.
What about 64-bit?
Raspbian currently uses a 32-bit LPAE kernel and a 32-bit userland. This allows multiple processes to share all 8GB of memory, subject to the restriction that no single process can use more than 3GB. Usually this isn’t a big limitations, expecially for those programs managing multiple processes (for example Chromium). Sticking with a 32-bit userland has the benefit that the same image will run on every board from a 2011-era board to today’s ones.
But power users, who want to be able to map all 8GB into the address space of a single process, need a 64-bit userland. Main options to do it currently foresee using a different OS (see also What Raspberry Pi OS to use article).
However, Raspberry PI Foundation released an early beta of its OS 64-bit operating system image.
Both our 32-bit and 64-bit operating system images have a new name: Raspberry Pi OS.
So, stay tuned for next updates and monitor for new Raspberry PI 4 model B (8GB) board availability!