Exactly four years after the releasing of the popular Raspberry Pi B Raspberry Pi Foundation comes with a new generation of their minicomputer. Raspberry Pi 3 delivers increased performance and also new 64-bit architecture. Board connectivity is also enriched with Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n. All this while maintaining the original dimensions of the board, the original location of connectors (identical to RPi 2 and RPi B+) and maintaining software compatibility.
Raspberry Pi 3 is newly based on Broadcom BCM2837 SoC. This SoC includes a quad-core Cortex-A53 (1.2GHz), based on the ARMv8 architecture. ARMv8 brings a new 64-bit instruction set AArch64, but still retains compatibility with older 32bit (ARMv7) instruction set in form of AArch32 instruction set. Graphics core has remained the same, it is still a VideoCore IV. However, its clock speed now increased from 250MHz to 300MHz. Identical GPU core and backward compatible CPU architecture enables Rapberry Pi 3 to run the original Raspbian operating system without any major problems.
The long-awaited improvement is the also built-in wireless connectivity. Both, Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi 802.11bgn conectivity are provided by new Broadcom BCM43438 chip. Chip doesn’t use USB for its connection with the SoC (USB is already a bottleneck sometimes), but is using SDIO (for WiFi) and UART (for Bluetooth). However, considering busses speed, it will be likely impossible to reach full 150Mbit in 802.11n mode (max supported speed by BCM43438).
Price remains the same as for Raspberry Pi 2 – 35$
|CPU||quad-core Cortex-A53 at 1.2GHz|
|I/Os||RJ45 for 10/100 ethernet, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy, HDMI (full size), MIPI-CSI for kameru, DSI connector for display, 1x microUSB for power, 4x USB2.0 host, 40pin GPIO header, 3.5 4-pole jack for audio out and analog. video out|