Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Features Broadcom BCM2836 Quad Core Processor

The Raspberry Pi foundation has finally released an upgraded version of the Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi 2 model B features much of the same ports and form factor as Raspberry Pi Model B+, by replaces Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 processor  @ 700 MHz with a much faster Broadcom BCM2836 quad core ARMv7 processor @ 900 MHz, and with an upgrade to 1GB RAM.

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2836 quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 900MHz with VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2 (PoP)
  • Storage – micro SD card slot (push release type)
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI and AV via 3.5mm jack.
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB for power
  • Expansion
    • 2×20 pin header for GPIOs
    • Camera header
    • Display header
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56 mm

I could not find anything about BCM2836, except it’s quite similar to BCM2835, but with 4 Cortex A7 cores @ 900 MHz (overclockable @ 1.1 GHz), the same VideoCore GPU, and 6 times faster according to Sysbench. Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is also mechanically and electrically compatible with Raspberry Pi Model B+, so enclosure, and add-ons board should still work, although the latter may require some software works. The other implicit good news is that the Raspberry Pi should be finally properly support Android and Ubuntu thanks to its more powerful and recent processor.

Price is really what made the original Raspberry Pi popular, and the large community around it came about thanks to its affordability. So how much more will it cost compare to older boards? Answer: $0 more. Yep, Raspberry Pi 2 Model B will just costs the same $35 plus shipping and taxes according The Register. It should soon show up for sale on Element14, RS Components, and other distributors.

Via Raspberry Pi Australia (Little Bird Electronics)

Share this:

Support CNX Software! Donate via PayPal or cryptocurrencies, become a Patron on Patreon, or buy review samples

60 Replies to “Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Features Broadcom BCM2836 Quad Core Processor”

  1. Hm, you say “…BCM2836, except it’s quite similar to BCM2835, but with 4 Cortex A7 cores…” but the El Reg and Hacker News articles make it sound like it is still ARM11.

  2. @Kelly
    I’ve seen people confused about that, and the Register article itself is super confusing. But I don’t think they could quite get 6 times the performance with the same ARM11, even with 4 cores and a slightly faster CPU clock. More importantly, one guy on the Register article (Zola) seems to have one board, and he clearly mentions it features a quad core Cortex A7 @ 900 Mhz, that he overclocked successfully to 1100 MHz… So I guess that settles it.

  3. I wonder, did Broadcom refuse to sell the RPi SoC to Hardkernel (for the ODROID-W1) because they are phasing out that chip and wanting to move to this new one?

    @cnxsoft: Definitely do a comparison! And don’t forget network and disk I/O – this RPi2 still seems to be doing everything through USB, maybe even a single port. That sucks for performance. The ODROID-C1 at least has on-chip gigabit Ethernet and an extra USB OTG port to distribute the work.

  4. cnxsoft :
    @deets
    That must mean I should write a Raspberry Pi 2 vs ODROID-C1 comparison table…

    If you do, please include a deep detail about the GPIO.
    I bought four ODROID-C1 without knowing the lack of I2S.
    sigh…

  5. Wonder how long it will take before OpenELEC and Kodi supports RaspPi2.

    @cnxsoft

    Yes please write a comparison between Raspberry Pi 2 verses ODROID-C1.

    Please also include benchmark tests and video playback tests if possible.

  6. From a video playback and HTPC (Home Theater PC) media player point of view ODROID-C1 should be much more interesting since it supports hardware video decoding of HEVC (H.264), H.264. VC-1 / VMW9, MPEG-2, VP8, VP9, and even RealVideo8/9/10.

    Even if Broadcom BCM2835 and now BCM2836 SoC hardware supports most of those codecs the Raspberry Pi foundation have disabled many of them in their firmware, and you can as a uder only enable H.264. VC-1 / VMW9, and MPEG-2.

  7. Rpi2 is now available for sale in Australia

    http://au.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/8326274/

    Raspberry Pi 2 Model B SBC

    The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B represents a major performance increase over its single-core based predecessors: up to six times faster in fact. As well as a new quad-core Cortex-A7 processor, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B now features 1GB of RAM memory. The operating system kernel has been upgraded to take full advantage of the latest ARM Cortex-A7 technology and is available with the new version 1.4 of NOOBS software (See Note below). Backward application hardware and software compatibility has been maintained with the Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+/B+.

    Broadcom BCM2836 800MHz ARM Cortex-A7 quad-core processor with VideoCore IV dual-core GPU
    GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
    GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
    1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
    HD 1080p video output
    Composite video (PAL/NTSC) output
    Stereo audio output
    10/100 BaseT RJ45 Ethernet socket
    HDMI 1.3 & 1.4 video/audio socket
    3.5mm 4-pole audio/composite video out jack socket
    4 x USB 2.0 sockets
    15-way MPI CSI-2 connector for Raspberry Pi HD video camera (775-7731)
    15-way Display Serial Interface connector
    MicroSD card socket
    Boots from MicroSD card, running a new version of the Linux operating system (See Note below)
    40-pin header for GPIO and serial buses (compatible with Raspberry Pi 1 26-pin header)
    Power supply: +5V @ 2A via microUSB socket
    Dimensions: 86 x 56 x 20mm
    Firmware looks for add-on boards that comply with the HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) design rules. This allows the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B to set up the GPIO and load drivers to suit an expansion board automatically. For more information see: http://www.raspberrypi.org/introducing-raspberry-pi-hats/
    All RS-supplied Raspberry Pi 2 Model B boards are Made in the UK

  8. still only 10/100 usb ethernet so odroid easily beats it there with gigabit

    For comparisons with odroid, wait until all the raspberry pi software is recompiled for A7 and multiple cores

  9. Maybe also compare to Amazon Fire TV Stick which features Broadcom BCM28155 which uses VideoCore IV GPU/VPU too.

  10. @cnxsoft
    you can also compare the new Rpi and a mini pc powered by Atom Z3735F since

    “For the last six months [RPi foundation has] been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers.”

  11. http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=98338

    According to Wikipedia, Cortex-A5 (CPU used by Amlogic S805 in ODROID-C1) is rated at only 1.57 DMIPS per MHz and the Cortex-A7 (CPU used by Broadcom BCM2836 in Raspberry Pi 2) is rated at 1.9 DMIPS per MHz.

    This in theory roughly translates into any Cortex-A7 CPU being 21% faster than any Cortex-A5 CPU when clocked at the same MHz frequency.

    This means that is theory that Raspberry Pi 2 overclocked to 1250 Mhz if that is possible should have about the same CPU performance as an ODROID-C1 which is clocked by default at @ 1500 Mhz.

    However an Raspberry Pi 2 running only slightly overclocked to 1000 MHz will only be as fast as an ODROID-C1 that is downclocked to 1210 Mhz, so looking at that ODROID-C1’s CPU clearly wins on paper.

    ODROID-C1 also have RTC built-in, and then the question is how ARM Mali-450 GPU compare to Broadcom VideoCore IV (VC4) on graphics too.

    Raspberry Pi’s Ethernet implementation uses USB 2.0 instead of native Ethernet bus like ODROID-C1, and this should mean that ODROID-C1 wins wired network performance on paper too.

    Big advantage for Raspberry Pi over ODROID-C1 is that it have a much larger open source community behind it which means more developers working on optimization which will probably show in the long run.

  12. Some extra software info that was not available this morning:

    * A Snappy Ubuntu Core image is available now and a package for NOOBS (optimized for ARMv7) will be available in the next couple of weeks.

    * Windows 10 – For the last six months we’ve been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers.

  13. @Gianfranco

    Could you please post the output from running “lsusb -t” in your Rpi2?

    I’d like to know if they have two usb controllers now, or if they kept it like with the Rpi1…

  14. @ijobain
    As already mentioned both Raspberry Pi 1 and Raspberry Pi 2 Ethernet implementation uses USB 2.0 instead of native Ethernet bus.

    It basically uses an on-board USB-Ethernet controller instead of requiring you to buy an external USB-Ethernet adapter.

    This is the same as many media players using on-board USB-SATA controllers when the SoC does not support native SATA.

    Doing this however greatly reduces Ethernet performance, but 100 Mbps Ethernet is still good enough for Blu-ray Disc quality H.264 streaming.

  15. Although things like banana pi and orange pi have sata and giga ethernet I suspect they will be pushed out of the market by this.

  16. @stickman
    pi@raspberrypi ~ $ lsusb -t
    /: Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=dwc_otg/1p, 480M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=hub, Driver=hub/5p, 480M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 3, If 0, Class=vend., Driver=smsc95xx, 480M
    |__ Port 3: Dev 4, If 0, Class=stor., Driver=usb-storage, 480M

  17. @ijobain
    Lack of Gigabit Ethernet does not necessarily mean that BCM2836 is incapable of Gigabit Ethernet. It seems to me quite likely that they might have designed additional I/O capabilities into the BCM2836 that were not crucial to their intensions for Pi 2 Model B. Once the Foundation have come to terms with the mountain of new opportunities and challenges that Pi 2 brings, it would not surprise me if BCM2836 turns out to have more tricks up the sleeve.

  18. @Curmudgeon
    I’ve watched an interview with Eben Upton on Make, and they’ve designed BCM2836 with minimal modifications over BCM2835, just changing the CPU, and using an external DRAM instead of PoP in order to keep as much as possible software compatibility with the BCM2835. So it should be the same as far as peripherals are concerned. BCM2835/6 do not support Ethernet at all, so they rely on USB to Ethernet chip, but in theory you’re right, they could use a Gigabit to USB Ethernet chip, it would just be limited to the 480 Mbps USB bandwidth.

  19. @cnxsoft
    Even more likely is that the BCM2836 might be USB 3.0 capable, currently limited to USB 2.0 to avoid anything like the tribulations they had with the LAN9512 hub but able to be fully utilised when/if a suitable hub chip becomes available.

  20. Now the Pi 2 is ARMv7 ¿will we be able to watch youtube (flash) videos on an ordinary browser as one can on an ordinary distribution and PC?

    ¿Or is it that it has do more with the VideoCore GPU itself?

  21. @Harley
    Only conjecture on my part but what makes you so sure that BCM2836 has no undocumented features? Eben Upton used the term “Cortex A7 complex” which is a term that I believe would include I/O interfaces. He also said that POP RAM was not used partly because BCM2836 is a bigger chip which suggests that it probably has more interconnects that might not necessarily be used by RasPi 2 Model B but reserved for future use. As I said, “It’s just conjecture” but …

  22. @Harley
    Although Eben Upton spoke of the BCM2836 as though it is a derivative of BCM2835, it seems to be more closely related to BCM23550 which is currently being sold in a number of phones (incl Samsung Grand Neo) and tablets. If one were fossicking around in Broadcom’s IP inventory for an “A7 complex”, BCM23550 would probably be a good place to start.

  23. Have a Raspberry Pi 2 running but unable to run the basic blink to GPIO Pin11 or 7.The bcm2835.h may not be the same for bcm2836. Anyone else working with the GPIO pins on RPi2?

  24. OK, I have sorted that out…
    For the DOM and GERT software, change the BCM2708_PERI_BASE #define to 0x3f000000 instead of 0x20000000
    and recompile, the blink now works.
    This should also be correct for other software using similar#defines.
    Hope that helps, works for me!

  25. phoenixDownunder :
    Have a Raspberry Pi 2 running but unable to run the basic blink to GPIO Pin11 or 7.The bcm2835.h may not be the same for bcm2836. Anyone else working with the GPIO pins on RPi2?

    phoenixDownunder :
    OK, I have sorted that out…
    For the DOM and GERT software, change the BCM2708_PERI_BASE #define to 0x3f000000 instead of 0x20000000
    and recompile, the blink now works.
    This should also be correct for other software using similar#defines.
    Hope that helps, works for me!

    THANK YOU! This fixed the issue for me as well – Was using GPIO7 on the Pi 512Mb fine, but stopped working after the quad upgrade:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement
Advertisement