Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Released

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
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The Raspberry Pi Foundation officially launched their new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B on 29th February 2016.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B has two advantages over it’s predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B:

  1. The new model uses the later Broadcom BCM2837 System-on-Chip (SoC), which includes the following updated features:
    • ARM Cortex-A53 64-Bit Quad-Core CPU, running at 1.2 GHz
    • Broadcom VideoCore IV BCM2763 GPU, running at 400 MHz (3D-Core at 300 MHz)
    • 1 GB LPDD2 SDRAM, running at 900 MHz
  2. The new model adds the Broadcom BCM43438 wireless “combo” chip, which in-turn adds the following functionality:
    • IEEE 802.11n 2.4 GHz WiFi
    • Bluetooth 4.0 with Low Energy support

Otherwise, the new board is essentially the same and the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.

A Raspberry Pi 3 Model A is expected to be produced later during 2016, using the same form factor as the previous Raspberry Pi Model A+.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation are stating that thanks to the increased clock speed and various “architectural enhancements”, the Raspberry Pi 3 has “a 50-60% increase in performance in 32-bit mode versus the Raspberry Pi 2, or roughly a factor of ten over the original Raspberry Pi”.

One thing I find very unfortunate, however, is that the Raspberry Pi Foundation have still not addressed the USB/SoC limited bandwidth issues in their current design. All communications between the SoC and devices connected to the USB 2.0 hub is via a single USB 2.0 480 Mbps channel. This includes the Ethernet network interface, and potentially the WiFi and Bluetooth interfaces (yet to be confirmed). Many people, myself included, would like to see the network interface(s) connected directly to the SoC rather than using an Ethernet to USB bridge.

Although the minimum power requirements remain the same, the recommendation is now for a 5 Volt 2.5 Amp adapter if you plan to connect a number of USB devices to your Raspberry Pi.

Users will still need to run the 32-bit release of Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi 3, as plans for a 64-bit release are a while off – if at all! This is something the Raspberry Pi Foundation will be investigating over the coming months.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is available from the normal resellers. If you are in Australia, I can recommend AusPi Technologies.

Comparison Table

Raspberry Pi
Model A+
Raspberry Pi
Model B+
Raspberry Pi 2
Model B
Raspberry Pi 3
Model B
SoC Broadcom
BCM2835
Broadcom
BCM2836
Broadcom
BCM2837
CPU ARM1176JZF-S
700 MHz 32-Bit
Single-Core
(ARMv6)
ARM Cortex-A7
900 MHz 32-Bit
Quad-Core
(ARMv7)
ARM Cortex-A53
1.2 GHz 64-Bit
Quad-Core
(ARMv8)
GPU Broadcom VideoCore IV
BCM2763 250 MHz
VideoCore IV
BCM2763 400 MHz
3D-Core 300 MHz
Memory 1 256 MB 512 MB 1 GB LPDDR2
450 MHz
1 GB LPDDR2
900 MHz
USB 2.0 2 1 4
Video Input Camera Serial Interface (CSI)
Video Output HDMI 1.4
Display Serial Interface (DSI)
3.5mm TRRS jack (composite video)
Audio Input I2S
Audio Output HDMI 1.4
3.5mm TRRS jack (analogue audio)
Storage MicroSD slot
Ethernet 3 None 10/100 Mbps
SMSC lan9514-jzx
WiFi None 802.11n 2.4 GHz
BCM43438
Bluetooth None 4.0
Low Energy
BCM43438
GPIO 40
Power Rating 200 mA (1 W) 600 mA (3 W) 800 mA (4 W)
Power Source 5 V from MicroUSB or GPIO Header
Dimensions 65 mm x 56.5 mm 85.6 mm x 56.5 mm
Weight 23 g 45 g
Released November 2014 July 2014 February 2015 February 2016
1 Memory is shared with GPU
2 USB 2.0 ports provided using on-board USB hub connected to SoC via a single USB 2.0 channel.
3 Ethernet adapter is connected to third/fifth port of the USB hub.

Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

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