$35 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Launched with a Faster Processor, 802.11ac WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, and Optional PoE

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just introduced a updated version of their popular Raspberry Pi 3 Model B board with a Model B+ that increases the processor clocked up to 1.4 GHz, adds dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.2, Gigabit Ethernet (via USB 2.0 to Ethernet bridge), as well as support for PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) via an external HAT add-on board.

 

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Raspberry Pi 3B+ specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2837B0 64-bit ARMv8 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.4GHz with dual core VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 and 4-pole stereo audio and composite video port
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (via Microchip LAN7515 USB 2.0 to GbE bridge), maximum throughput 300 Mbps), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2 LE (via Cypress CYW43455 based module)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 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
    • PoE via HAT board
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56 x 17 mm

The new Raspberry Pi board is said to improve PXE network and USB mass-storage booting, as well as thermal management thanks to a heat spreader placed on top of BCM2837B0 SoC.

Optional (and upcoming) PoE HAT

Since they’ve only done a few tweaks, software support will remain the same with NOOBS, Raspbian, and the many other available distributions.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is now sold for $35 on Element14 or RS Components, and will remain in production until at least January 2023. The PoE HAT is available on backorder for $20 with stock expected for April 9, at least on Newark.

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blu
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blu

Amazing. The RPI foundation keeps addressing the non-issues, while neglecting the actual issues.

ahrlad
Guest
ahrlad

So they added more high-speed interfaces to share the single USB 2.0 bus?

TLS
Guest
TLS

@ahrlad
Spot on…
But you get shiny bits of metal now as well…

It’s quite impressive they manage to retain the pricing though.

TLS
Guest
TLS

@cnxsoft
But it’s not 100% compatible across the different models though, since they moved from 32-bit to 64-bit with the RPi 3.
I think this is more of a ecosystem issue, i.e. housings, hats etc.

Tomm
Guest
Tomm

Dang, fanless aluminum case not supported, different layout for components.

2GB RAM + improved Micro SD card (faster write and reads by default) are missing 🙁

Mark Birss
Guest
Mark Birss

Wish they instead upgraded LAN7515 to LAN800 to provide USB 3.1 Gen1

http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/ProductCompare/LAN7800/LAN7500

Su
Guest
Su

I’m not sure why they should upgrade to USB 3.1 when the SoC is stuck to one USB 2.0 for all the devices.

-
Guest
-

@blu

Exactly what I was thinking. I was really hoping for giga Ethernet, but instead it’s half-baked. I hope this is a stepping stone to the Pi4 with “proper (not shared)” giga Ethernet.

blu
Guest
blu

@TLS
I don’t think RPF ever moved to 64bit — raspbian is the bastion of 32-bitness, and understandably so, given the amount of effort it would take the foundation to move to 64bit (VC-what?), and upgrade their boards to something above the gargantuan 1GB…

RAM
Guest
RAM

So disappointing, and this thingy suppose to last to 2020 or later… for the future release of the Pi 4 *cough cough*
By the look of things they might not even getting 2 GB RAM. More like 1.5GB RAM LPDDR2.

By the time they release that, most of the other chip maker will be on 4GB standard. And if you can spend $50 on top of the Pi 4. You can get something the Pi is getting in 10 years time. Like can run Windows.

Mark Birss
Guest
Mark Birss

@Su
Yes, indeed. Hope they can better the SoC soon

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Nice, so I were right back in January forecasting ‘most crappy Gigabit Ethernet’ ever implemented soon by RPi folks: https://forum.openmediavault.org/index.php/Thread/18991-New-approach-for-Raspberry-Pi-OMV-images/?postID=166467#post166467

Folks, please understand that all Raspberry Pi since the first one sold 6 years ago are all more or less the same. It’s an old an boring 32-bit processor called VideoCore IV that got one or more crappily integrated ARM cores to the die. All the limitations (only 1 x USB2, only 1 GB DDR2 and so on) are due to this and RPi Foundation can’t change that since they would loose their only asset: backwards compatibility.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Mark Birss :
Hope they can better the SoC soon

Not easy. When they come up with a new SoC they loose backwards compatibility which none of their customers will be able to understand. They would either need new OS images or they can convince Broadcom to add the anachronistic VideoCore IV bootloader crap to a decent SoC design (which I doubt).

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

TLS :
But it’s not 100% compatible across the different models though, since they moved from 32-bit to 64-bit with the RPi 3.

Software wise it’s 100% compatible since they let the Cortex-A53 cores remain in 32-bit mode. And while a lot of people continually ask for 64-bit RPi support that’s both challenging on this platform (since the main CPU is the old and boring 32-bit VideoCore IV and not the ARM cores! No idea why no one wants to understand/accept this) and also somewhat stupid when the SoC is limited to laughable 1 GB DRAM (since 64-bit software eats up more memory while only providing negligible performance improvements): https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=91&t=192321&p=1281326#p1281326

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Mark Birss :
Wish they instead upgraded LAN7515 to LAN800 to provide USB 3.1 Gen1

The VideoCore IV has only one single USB2 OTG port and this will never change as long as RPi Foundation relies on this platform. What do you want to do with peripherals that are SuperSpeed capable if 1) the host is only capable of ultra slow ‘Hi-Speed’ and 2) all USB receptacles and the Ethernet chip have to share the horribly limited bandwidth of the one USB2 port?

The average RPi buyer still doesn’t realize this ‘shared bandwidth’ limitation, now reads ‘maximum throughput 300 Mbps’ and thinks a RPi would now make up for a nice NAS since +30 MB/s possible. No way, it’s less than 20 MB/s under best conditions since every single bit has to pass the ‘single USB2 port’ bottleneck twice. The horribly outdated SoC is the problem, not the peripherals 🙂

Even if they now again slightly exchanged stuff related to the ARM cores the BCM2837B0 is still the same old and boring VideoCore IV that was designed in 2011 or maybe even 2010.

Mark Birss
Guest
Mark Birss

@tkaiser
Yes, agreed.

Which product can you recommend that offers form example a PCI Express slot and USB3 ?

Tomm
Guest
Tomm
Freddy
Guest
Freddy

@tkaiser

> The average RPi buyer still doesn’t realize this ‘shared bandwidth’ limitation,

The average RPi buyer is not *YOU* @tkaiser.

You’ve never understood or appreciated the market the RPi is aimed at, so why do you (and others of your ilk) routinely bore everyone to death with your SBC “insight” and demands that the RPi should be a frickin’ supercomputer for $35?

If the RPi (even this 3+) isn’t for you, why not just ignore it, eh? Your rants reveal you to be such a fanboi.

Tomm
Guest
Tomm

https://www.gearbest.com/raspberry-pi/pp_400625.html

Anyway, heatspreader on top of SoC doesn’t fit with that fanless type.

And LAN component is moved.

manuti
Guest

@Mark Birss
Maybe in Raspberry Pi 4

manuti
Guest

@cnxsoft
The Flirc cases maybe not.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Mark Birss :
Which product can you recommend that offers form example a PCI Express slot and USB3 ?

Depends always on the use case of course. If headless operation is an option you get both (and real Gigabit Ethernet + real SATA) on an EspressoBin for example. With ‘general purpose’ use cases in mind maybe one of the many (soon to be released) RK3399 boards fits your needs?

Inder
Guest
Inder

@TLS
But the Raspbian OS is still 32 bits, so in terms of software compatibility, the change of word length does not change a bit!

Xalius
Guest
Xalius

I fear that the addition of the new wifi module and the GbE PHY in the USB hub will make the power problems of the RPi even worse… also while before you had more or less no contention issues with the Ethernet on USB due to it’s low bandwidth, the network interface can now saturate the USB bus and if you have some storage class device attached – it will be probably worse than before if there is no traffic shaping for mass storage/ethernet…

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

manuti :
@Mark Birss
Maybe in Raspberry Pi 4

Why should they choose USB Ethernet in an upcoming incompatible RPi 4? If they will ever move away from a SoC designed in last decade (VideoCore IV) to one that has been designed in this decade then why should this new SoC be that limited as the VC4 is? If they switch to an incompatible modern SoC I would assume the feature list contains native Gigabit Ethernet, a memory controller capable to deal with more than 1 GB DRAM (DDR2) and everything else that’s more or less standard today on ARM SoCs.

But that’s exactly the problem they face: moving to another SoC means becoming incompatible to the existing one which also greatly affects software support situation (one of the results of VideoCore IV being an old design is of course mature software support today. Choose a new SoC and this might just look like it was back in 2012 with VC4)

Tomm
Guest
Tomm

I would suggest to use 3A atleast (even they say 2.5A should be okay)

Tomm
Guest
Tomm

@manuti
Flirc case is okay, as only SoC is covered.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Xalius :
the network interface can now saturate the USB bus and if you have some storage class device attached – it will be probably worse than before if there is no traffic shaping for mass storage/ethernet…

This is exactly what’s happening with external Gigabit Ethernet adapters connected to an RPi today. As soon as the access patterns affect disk and network at the same time performance drops drastically compared to Fast Ethernet. This affects tasks like opening/closing small files as well as overall sequential write performance dropping from ~9MB/s with Fast Ethernet to lower numbers with GbE. Though as long as the writes go to filesystem buffers/caches this is not noticable of course and up to 30MB/s are then possible:

http://kaiser-edv.de/tmp/lGtv38/Bildschirmfoto%202017-04-04%20um%2011.55.09.png

(please not that the same effect happened in this benchmark. The ‘read performance’ is just pushing data from RAM to network since the test size was too small and the entire 300 MB fit into the 1GB DRAM)

But I would assume this problem gets addressed maybe even at chip level inside the LAN7515?

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Tomm :
I would suggest to use 3A atleast

Why? You would need to increase input voltage maybe to even 6V to be able to feed that high amperage to an RPi: https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/12/05/libre-computer-renegade-sbc-features-rockchip-rk3328-processor-with-up-to-4gb-ddr4-ram-crowdfunding/#comment-549684

BTW: The Micro USB connector is still rated for 1.8A maximum (for a reason). I would fear to burn my fingers touching Micro USB jack or receptacle when trying to get 3A through those laughably tiny contacts 🙂

Brett Cooper
Guest
Brett Cooper

Gigabit over USB2 bridge… something tells me this will be slow especially when you are also accessing other USB drives/devices. Looking forward to seeing benchmarks.

Mark Birss
Guest
Mark Birss

@tkaiser

Headless for OpenWRT / Linux. Im looking at using CJDNS (either with SoC encryption support or for example a Silicom PESC62-RoHS Security Protocol Processor adapter – will need adapter to convert to PCI-E x4)

So will maybe try a Gemeni Lake X86 baord (NUC or Motherboard) also

So will look at the ESPRESSObin (it offers OpenWRT support)

Thank you for your recommendation

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Mark Birss :
SoC encryption support

Well, the older RPi 3 does not support ARMv8 crypto extensions (AFAIK the only two 64-bit ARMv8 SoCs that miss this feature are Broadcom BCM2837 and Amlogic S905 on ODROID-C2 and NanoPi K2) which can have a huge impact on AES performance if this matters for you. Without those crypto extensions AES performance is magnitudes lower than with, see for example https://forum.armbian.com/topic/4583-rock64/?do=findComment&comment=37829

The SoC on the aforementioned EspressoBin supports both ARMv8 crypto extensions and an own Marvell proprietary ‘5Gbps Security Engine’ — mainline kernel support has been added recently and you find some information here.

Wrt BCM2837B0 on the new RPi and ARMv8 crypto extensions I thought I simply ask those who could know already: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=207888

theguyuk
Guest
theguyuk

The other reason they do not change the SoC is that no other SBC builder can get the SoC. It ties, padlocks the buyers into RPI software, hardware and excludes competition. Other SBC maker have to use other SoC brands, designs.

If I recall correct, the original SoC which inspired RPI is a media player SoC ( think Roku box or bottom end Now TV box , white original. Low specs).
Hence the original was never designed with more than one USB in mind. Bits have been bolted on and parts tinkered with, hence it is a home brew monster now.
Only the exclusive use of the SoC give RPI their market, IMHO

chewitt
Guest
chewitt

@manuti The flirc case is a slightly tighter fit than before as the heat spreader adds about 0.5mm, but it fits. I’ve been using the Kodi case with a test sample for the last month.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Brett Cooper :
Gigabit over USB2 bridge… something tells me this will be slow especially when you are also accessing other USB drives/devices. Looking forward to seeing benchmarks.

Me too: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=207897

willy
Guest
willy

tkaiser :

Mark Birss :
Which product can you recommend that offers form example a PCI Express slot and USB3 ?

Depends always on the use case of course. If headless operation is an option you get both (and real Gigabit Ethernet + real SATA) on an EspressoBin for example. With ‘general purpose’ use cases in mind maybe one of the many (soon to be released) RK3399 boards fits your needs?

There’s also the Clearfog Base which is pretty decent and comes with an enclosure now. The price is of course much higher but might be OK depending on your use case.

willy
Guest
willy

Freddy :
You’ve never understood or appreciated the market the RPi is aimed at, so why do you (and others of your ilk) routinely bore everyone to death with your SBC “insight” and demands that the RPi should be a frickin’ supercomputer for $35?
If the RPi (even this 3+) isn’t for you, why not just ignore it, eh? Your rants reveal you to be such a fanboi.

Well, with this product not improving over time, the gap between its capabilities and all other boards is significantly increasing. People want to use it for everything so it needs to be generally decent. Nowadays, 1GB RAM makes it too small to run a browser. The outdated CPU cores make it too slow for computer vision. The shrinking I/O bandwidth makes it out of question for any server-like activity or a basement NAS. This new optional fan makes it unsuitable for any domestic use case. And the 2.4A over micro-USB (1.8A max) will cause lots of spurious freezes and reboots making it painful to troubleshoot for newbies. What remains ? Blinking an LED ? That’s easier done with an Arduino and it really teaches you much more about computer science. I’m sorry but @tkaiser is right. RPi is from the previous century and while it has attracted a huge amount of people to embedded products, it has also made many of them believe that ARM-based products were unsuitable for anything serious, which is sad considering the large choice of serious competing designs now.

Steve
Guest
Steve

@willy

Yep – though the RPi foundation’s core aims are still education – not flogging hardware for profit.

The Raspbian ecosystem with stuff like NOOBs etc. usually ‘just works’, and has a much better ‘novice experience’ than a lot of the other ARM boards which are less well developed in software terms.

The huge numbers of Pis out there compared to pretty much every other SBC, and the massive number of developers, means you end up with a much better experience in lots of areas.

I’ve got ODroid C1, C2, HC1 (and had a U2). I’ve got a Rock64. All these boards are more powerful – but they have a lot more sharp edges to cope with too… (The amount of time it took to sort an HDMI issue on the C2 was terrible. A similar issue on the Pi was solved in days – not months…)

Adding better (and 5GHz) WiFi makes a lot of sense (and that isn’t sharing the USB 2.0 bus), though the GigE stuff is a bit more contentious I guess (but in some ways better to have it than not have it). If the heat spreader removes the need for a heatsink in more cases that’s also a good move. Allowing PoE to be added simply is also a neat solution – particularly coupled with network PXE booting.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

willy :
This new optional fan makes it unsuitable for any domestic use case.

Well, the fan is really optional and based on what they showed should really not be needed. They closed the gap to cheap ‘competing’ devices by copying their design: the RPi 3 B+ is said to use the PCB’s ground plane as giant heatsink for the first time and they also use ‘fancy’ stuff like an I2C accessible PMIC (that’s what we’ve seen on an $15 Orange Pi PC already years ago). Quoting James Adams, Chief Operating Officer, Raspberry Pi: ‘The MxL7704 has allowed us to improve both the output currents and efficiency of the power rails on the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ as well as reduce the overall cost of the power-chain by removing the need for external sequencing and monitoring components (as compared to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B).’

So this new RPi implements sane DVFS for the first time and thus can reach higher clockspeeds for a longer time even without a heatsink (since the PCB design helps now too).

RPi is from the previous century and while it has attracted a huge amount of people to embedded products, it has also made many of them believe that ARM-based products were unsuitable for anything serious, which is sad considering the large choice of serious competing designs now.

Yep, this makes me sad too, especially when thinking about OMV or the ‘NAS use case’. Approx. 2000 RPi users download each month my OMV image not realizing that they chose the worst board possible for this use case. And in the forum exactly the same people then argue that it’s x86 for great NAS performance since ‘ARM sucks’ (while ‘RPi sucks’ is the correct term).

Currently thinking about whether to ‘upgrade’ the OMV image for the new RPi 3 B+ (the new voltage regulation requires a new ‘firmware’ of course so that the VC4 can talk to the PMIC via I2C and then some proprietary stuff — safe_mode_gpio=8 — has to be added to /boot/config.txt to instruct the totally undocumented RTOS running on the primary VC4 CPU to do whatever magic). Maybe a better idea is to simply drop support for the entire platform…

manuti
Guest

@chewitt
Lucky guy having test units!!!

crashoverride
Guest
crashoverride

I see the April Fool hoaxes started early this year. This one is the best ever!
😉

(sarcasm)

Jerry
Guest
Jerry

I’ll expect this to sell more units for pure NAS use than all the competing dev boards in total.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

tkaiser :
Wrt BCM2837B0 on the new RPi and ARMv8 crypto extensions I thought I simply ask those who could know already: raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=207888

So the results are: ‘new’ BCM2837B0 lacks ARMv8 Crypto Extensions as before so everything AES related will perform really poorly. It’s also funny that the openssl benchmark numbers done with RPi 3 B+ are much lower than those from a RPi 3. But that’s (not so) surprisingly just the result of the RPi (under)powering sh*t show related to Micro USB. Thank you RPF for again ignoring the problem instead of fixing it. The recommendation for a Micro USB PSU with 2.4A is just insane given the countless RPi users running frequency capped due to crappy Micro USB and suffering from undervoltage under load.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Jerry :
I’ll expect this to sell more units for pure NAS use than all the competing dev boards in total.

Yes, me too. And that makes me really sad since I care about users and not RPi Trading’s sales…

nobitakun
Guest
nobitakun

Videocore IV is gonna be proclaimed as the successor of mali 400 lol

I wonder why they don’t just do the migration is a seamless way, releasing a board with the compatible stuff and an alternate one with a new shiny SoC to start creating a solid base. After a couple of years it will have almost everything fixed and they will be able to cease releasing old ones. Simple and clean.

willy
Guest
willy

tkaiser :

Jerry :
I’ll expect this to sell more units for pure NAS use than all the competing dev boards in total.

Yes, me too. And that makes me really sad since I care about users and not RPi Trading’s sales…

Then probably that having a page showing the NAS performance of a few boards with their price will help users realize that the board they choose is the problem, not the architecture. Also maybe a warning at boot on OMV could be instructive, something like “Warning: Ethernet is shared with USB2, this board is not suitable for use as a NAS, please check this url for alternatives”.

Sadly, many competing designs lack an enclosure, making it a big pain to assemble a finished product.