Although it hasn't been released yet, the Raspberry Pi 4 should be packed with new and improved features from the current Raspberry Pi 3.

The Raspberry Pi has been popular for developers working in fields from gaming to robotics, and it has also made an appearance in classrooms – with the Raspberry Pi Foundation providing 15,000 microcomputers to schools around the UK in 2013.

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With rumours ranging from a 2018 release date to being delayed to next year, read on to find out what the Raspberry Pi 4 features might be and for what we know so far.

Read next: Fun Raspberry Pi projects for beginners

When will the Raspberry Pi 4 be released?

The Raspberry Pi 3 was launched in 2016, and there has been speculation that the Raspberry Pi Foundation - the charity responsible for the computer - will release its next Pi, the Raspberry Pi 4, in 2019.

However, this has not been confirmed. Plus the Raspberry Pi Foundation just released a new and improved Raspberry Pi 3 in March 2018, bringing improved wireless connectivity and processing power.

So that should tide most of us over until it is released. However, we should note that the new Raspberry Pi 3 - while it's great - is still only an update of features, not a brand new shiny board!

So, back to the Raspberry Pi 4. The founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation Eben Upton has previously told IT Pro that there could be production challenges due to limits around the 40nm silicon manufacturing process - in short, that an alternative manufacturing method or improvements in silicon processing might be needed to fit more on the machine.

So with the release date hardly set in stone - maybe 2019, maybe not - how will the Raspberry Pi fare in the specs department? 

Raspberry Pi 4: Specs and features

To understand what the Raspberry Pi 4 might have under the bonnet it's useful to run through a potted history of Raspberry Pi so far.

The first Raspberry Pi launched in 2012 and sold 5 million units by 2015, when the second-edition Raspberry Pi 2b was released.

Each edition of the Raspberry Pi has, naturally, enjoyed a hardware upgrade. The Model B and Model B+ flavours of the Raspberry Pi 1 have 512MB of RAM with a 700 MHz ARMv6 singled core processor, while the Raspberry Pi 2b featured 1GB of SDRAM, an ARMv7 quad-core processor with a speed of 900 MHz and four USB 2.0 ports.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is yet to reveal the hardware features for the Pi 4, although logic tells us that after three years of the Pi 3 it's reasonable to expect some significant hardware upgrades.

This could mean more memory, for example. The Pi 3 has 1GB of RAM, so the Pi 4 might contain anything between 2 - 4GB of RAM, plus a speedier processor.

Another possible upgrade would be fitting the Pi 4 with USB Type C ports, to boost transfer speeds and do more with less.

A partnership between Google and Raspberry Pi has also led to speculation that the Pi 4 could be fitted with powerful artificial intelligence features such as facial recognition and natural language processing.

For more expected features, read here.

Raspberry Pi 4: Pricing

The Raspberry Pi 4 is likely to stick close to the cheap and cheerful price that it's known for - even with a significant rehaul we think it's unlikely to stray from its unique selling point: an affordable and versatile miniature PC.

Right now the new Raspberry Pi 3 will set oyu back £35, hardly breakignhte bank so it's hard to see the foundation putting out an elite expensive board. 

This is what we know, for now, but we'll keep you updated with any changes and further announcements.