Raspberry Pi 3 Board is Powered by Broadcom BCM2837 Cortex A53 Processor, Sells for $35

Raspberry Pi 3 board was first found on the FCC website, and thanks to various other leaks we had a pretty good idea of the board specifications including a Broadcom 64-bit ARM processor coupled with 1GB RAM, WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as basically the same features and ports as Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. But with the fourth anniversary of the Raspberry Pi Model 1 board, Raspberry Pi 3 has now officially been launched, and you can now purchase the board for $35.

Raspberry Pi 3 Board Description (Click to Enlarge)
Raspberry Pi 3 Board Description (Click to Enlarge)

Raspberry Pi 3 specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2837 64bit ARMv8 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2GHz with dual core VideoCore IV GPU @ 400 MHz supporting OpenGL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode. Capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 and 4-pole stereo audio and composite video port
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n up to 150Mbps and Bluetooth 4.1 LE (BCM43438 module)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports (with better power management, allowing higher power peripherals), 1x micro USB port for power
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin GPIO header
    • MIPI DSI for Raspberry Pi touch screen display
    • MIPI CSI for Raspberry Pi camera
  • Power Supply – 5V up to 2.4A via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56 x 17 mm

So the specifications were more or less as expected from the leaked information we’ve received before the official release, and people hoping for 4K or H.265 video decoding will be disappointed. The new processor is said to be 10 times faster than BCM2835 processor found in the first Raspberry Pi Model B board, and it’s likely it can handle 1080p H.264 @ 60 fps using software decoding. The VideoCore IV GPU’s subsystem is now clocked at 400MHz and the 3D core at 300MHz against 250MHz for previous “Raspberry Pi processors”.

Since they’ve basically kept the same features as Raspberry Pi 2, beside changing the Cortex A7 cores to 64-bit Cortex A53 ones, and adding built-in WiFi and Bluetooth via a BCM43438 module, firmware support is basically the same with various Linux distributions – Raspbian being the recommended distro – and Windows 10 IoT.

You can now buy Raspberry Pi 3 on RS components for £26.75 (~$37) with over 30,000 boards in stocks right now, as well as Element14, Pimoroni and ThePiHut. A Raspberry Pi 3 Model A without Ethernet, and BCM2837-based Compute Module 3 are also planned for later this year.

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