Build Robots

Raspberry Pi 3 Adds WiFi, Bluetooth and a Powerful 64-bit CPU for the Same Price

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

The new Raspberry Pi 3 was released today to celebrate exactly four years since the original board was released. The third iteration of this highly popular development platform now comes with a powerful 64-bit ARM CPU as well as integrated WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity for the same price of US $35. The new board retains backward compatibility with all previous versions and is accompanied by the current 32-bit Raspian OS.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B | Image credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation

The layout is fairly similar to previous Model B boards, real differences however are taking place under the hood. This is the first 64-bit board in the Raspberry Pi lineup, and is built around the Broadcom BCM2837 SoC which integrates a new ARMv8-based CPU. The new board is roughly 1.5 times as fast as the Raspberry Pi 2 in 32-bit mode, according to the Foundation.

This performance increase may be just the right amount as to make the Pi 3 a very solid media center or a pretty usable desktop computer, and it should be more than enough for most robotics project requirements. This has been possible thanks to a more optimized design of the CPU, combined with a 33% increase in clock speed over the Pi 2. And speaking of this, let’s take a look at all the specs of the new Raspberry Pi 3 board.

Quick Specs

  • 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU – the 50 to 60% performance increase, or as much as 10x when compared to the original Pi, is based on results from various synthetic benchmarks, varying depending on features tested. Real world performance will be tested soon;
  • 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM – same as Pi 2;
  • 400MHz VideoCore IV dual-core GPU – clocked 150MHz higher than the previous version. Supports OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenVG, 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s with texture filtering and DMA, 1080p30 high-profile decoding;
  • BCM43438 radio – integrates 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth LE 4.1;
  • 40-pin GPIO header;
  • HDMI 1080p A/V output;
  • 3.5mm jack composite video and stereo audio output;
  • DSI display connector;
  • CSI camera connector;
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports;
  • 10/100 Ethernet port;
  • MicroSD card slot;
  • 5V 2.5A micro USB power connector – it seems that the power source can handle with 0.5A more than the previous version;
  • Runs existing compatible Linux OSes and Windows 10 IoT.

Head to the official announcement to learn more about the board or find out where to buy it. I’ll be ordering mine today.

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