New Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Launched

On the heels of last year's launch of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B comes this year's Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and it's going to be BIG

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Just over a year ago the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, a significant upgrade over the previous Raspberry Pi models (see my 10 Reasons why the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is a killer product). That model has been a resounding success with over 5 million units shipped and had resulted in a huge wave of projects and products that use Raspberry Pi technology as well as a remarkable number of operating systems that support the board (see my Ultimate guide to Raspberry Pi operating systems, Part 1 and Ultimate guide to Raspberry Pi operating systems, part 2).

Not content to rest on their laurels, the Raspberry Pi Foundation today announced their latest model, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which is, as of today, available in the US from element 14.

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Raspberry Pi 3 Model B top view

So as not to make you wait, without further delay, here are the specs of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B:

  • Broadcom BCM2837 64Bit ARMv8 Quad Core Processor powered Single Board Computer running at 1.20GHz
  • 2GB RAM 1GB RAM*
  • Upgraded switched power source up to 2.5 Amps 
  • Wi-Fi built in
  • Bluetooth LE built in
  • 40 pin extended GPIO
  • CSI camera port for connecting the Raspberry Pi camera
  • DSI display port for connecting the Raspberry Pi touch screen display
  • ethernet port
  • 4  USB 2 ports
  • Stereo audio and composite video port
  • Full size HDMI port
  • Micro SD port
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Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

The higher clock speed as well as moving from a 32-bit to a 64-bit architecture will be a huge performance increase as will doubling the memory to 2GB. The upgraded power source is also a great improvement because it means you can attach more power-hungry USB devices.The other really big thing about this new board is having Wi-Fi and BLE built-in which makes the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B effectively IoT-ready out of the box and, not surprisingly, Windows 10 IoT Core is available for the new board..

displayconnector

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B showing (front left to right on the front edge) the GPIO header and the DSI display connector with the Micro SD card port underneath 

Finally, there are two more killer features of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B: For all of the improvements and additions the board has the same form factor as its older brother, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, and the same pricing, $35!

pifront

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with (from left to right on the front edge of the board) the 5V micro USB connector, the HDMI port, the CSI connector, the audio/composite video port, and the Ethernet port with the 2 by 2 USB ports behind that

Along with the availability of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, element14 is launching three new accessories:

  • A 16GB NOOBS Micro SD card so you can get started quickly and easily
  • A 2.5A Raspberry Pi power supply  
  • A new Raspberry Pi 3 case

And if you’re considering the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B for custom and embedded applications, element 14 offers an OEM design service.

So, let’s compare the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with its predecessor: 

Feature
Raspberry Pi 3 BRaspberry Pi 2 B
Processor
Quad core Broadcom BCM2837
64-bit ARMv8
Quad core ARM
32-bit Cortex-A7
Clock
1.20GHz
0.90GHz
Wi-Fi
Built in
Additional hardware required
Bluetooth LE
Built in
Additional hardware required
Ram
 1 GB*
GPIO
40 pin
DSI display port
Yes
CSI camera port
Yes
Ethernet port
 1 x 10/100Mbps
USB 2 port
4
HDMI port
1 x HDMI rev 1.3 & 1.4
Micro SD port
1
Analog stereo and composite video port
1 x 3.5 mm TRRS jack for PAL and NTSC
video shared with stereo audio out 
New and improved features are highlighted.
 

For many projects the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B will be a painless, drop-in replacement with a lot more power. It will also open up new opportunities for developers and trigger even more innovation in the Internet of Things world. For a small single board computer, it's sure becoming a big deal.

* The amount of RAM stated by element14's representative prior to the launch was 2GB. The RPi 3 has, like its predecessor, 1GB of RAM. Apologies to anyone who was mislead.

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