Raspberry Pi 3 Debuts Spoting Quad-Core Cortex-A53 CPU, Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Posted by at 10:49 am on February 29, 2016


The new Raspberry Pi 3 launched with built-in Wi-Fi and up to ten times the performance (SysBench) and four times the RAM of the original Raspberry Pi chip, which was released four years ago.

The first Raspberry Pi had a 700 MHz single-core ARMv6 CPU, 256 MB of RAM, a Broadcom Videocore IV GPU, and an SD slot (or a microSD slot on the enhanced versions). The foundation has sold 8 million Raspberry Pi 1 units so far, making the Raspberry Pi the UK’s all-time best-selling computer.

Now, the foundation launched the Raspberry Pi 3, which brings a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU that should be roughly 50 percent faster than the Raspberry Pi 2 CPU thanks to a 33 percent increase in clock speed and other architectural improvements gained from moving to an ARMv8-A CPU. The 64-bit mode isn’t enabled, though, and the foundation will investigate over the next few months whether there is value in enabling it.

The Pi 3 is better positioned as a more complete out-of-the-box IoT platform, as it now comes with built-in 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, and developers don’t have to buy extra wireless dongles to connect to it anymore.

The BCM2837 SoC that powers the Raspberry Pi 3 comes with a VideoCore IV GPU, just like the older Raspberry PI chips, and the reason for that is that it’s the only publicly documented GPU. The foundation said it wants to make its chips even more open in the future, so unless other GPU makers unveil the documentation for their GPUs, it likely won’t move away from Broadcom’s GPU.

The new board will go on sale today, and it will be available for $35 from resellers such as element14 and RS Components.

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