MC Hobby distributes the Raspberry Pi 3 - ARMv8 1.2 Ghz, 1Gb RAM, WiFi & Bluetooth integrated, 4 USB ports and GPIO 40-pin. 100% retro-compatible.
What could be better after Pi 2? Well, The Pi 3 proposes to bring us a Pi 2 with some additions that many of us will appreciate. The Pi 2 was already much faster than the Pi B... well, the Pi 3 will do even better.
Always equipped with 1Giga of RAM, our Pi 3 is now equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth interface. A real plus, enough to facilitate the realization of connected projects, robotics or smart objects. A simple WiFi router... and let's go.
The tour de force, is that we have additional WiFi and Bluetooth features and always keep the 4 USB ports completely free! Great!
And now that it's equipped with 1Giga of RAM, Pi leaves the world of the "toys" to become a real small desktop PC!
The second biggest update concerns the replacement of the Pi 2 processor BCM2836, 900Mhz, 32 bits) by the BCM2837 on a Pi 3.
The BCM2837 is still a QuadCore but in ARMv8, 64 bits and cadenced at 1.2Ghz. The 64-bit transition will only have an impact in applications involving computational operations (this is discussed). With a clock frequency of 1.2Ghz, the frequency increases by 33%. If it will not be as breathtaking as the move from Pi B+ to Pi 2, it will remain very valuable in every day life and more particularly for the emulators Retro-Gaming, the 3D rendering, scientific computing, image processing, etc.
As already demonstrated by the Adafruit Pi 2 test bench, the power gain compared to the Pi B+ was already breathtaking... it will be even better on the Pi 3.
Best of all, the Pi 3 keeps the same shape (same Form Factor) as for Pi 2 and Pi B PLUS.
This means that all your HATs and connections on the card remain the same. 99% of cases and accessories remain compatible between Pi-3 and Pi-2 / Pi-B-Plus :-)
Energy management and new power supply
The Pi 3 has better power management on the card. This will also allow you to use more powerful USB peripherals. Many Makers will appreciate being able to connect an external hard drive (even a 3 1/2") without being confronted with a setting "Power Protection" (Over Current) of the USB interface because it refuses to provide the current necessary for your peripheral (see our article for more information).
The Pi Foundation also recommends the use of a 5V 2.5 Amp power supply. It is also necessary to provide WiFi consumption (current peaks that can reach 2 ampere intermittently).
The increase in frequency also causes an increase in heat dissipation (squared of the frequency increase)... This energy dissipated in heat must come from somewhere (the power supply).
Only good reasons for needing a more powerful power supply.
Compatibility of the cases
The Form Factor Pi 3 being identical to Pi 2, you can use your existing cases with Pi, they are compatible in size.
However, the LEDs have been moved on the card to provide place for the WiFi antenna. This means that you will not see them flashing in your old case unless it is translucent.
If you want to see your LEDs blinking on your Pi 3, we recommend turning to the new official Pi 3 case.
Our frosted case can accommodate the Pi 3 and you will see the LEDs flashing.
Our Pi Box crystal case can accommodate the Pi 3 and you will see the LEDS flashing.
Our SQCase Clear case can accommodate the Pi 3 and you will see the LEDs flashing.
WiFi and Bluetooth
WiFi support is provided by the BCM43143 chipset and the ceramic antenna is integrated in the card.
Bluetooth support is in version 4 (Bluetooth Low Energy). If BLE is very energy efficient, its main interest is its Bluetooth specifications are much less restrictive. Since we are interested in Bluetooth BLE breakout, we noticed that the realization of interfaces is singularly simplified. You can more easily make a Bluetooth sensor network... just as you can easily control your Pi via Bluetooth using dedicated applications available on your SmartPhone.
Our only regret is the lack of µFL connectors that would have eventually allowed to place an external WiFi antenna to increase the range.
New processor = new distribution
The new processor on the Pi 3 in 64 bits suggests that you will need to create a new SD card with your recent operating system (Raspbian, Arch, XBmc, Noobs, etc). We don't imagine the Foundation to release a 64 bits processor but not exploit the progress that it offers. Similarly, recompiled codes/binaries will not work at full speed (as long as it can run). These binaries will need to be recompiled for the new processor (this should not be a problem for many users).
New vs Retro-compatibility
Here is a brief reminder of what's new:
- Broadcom BCM2837 ARMv8 processor - 4-core - 64 bits
- Clock frequency of 1.2GhMHz (+33% compared to Pi 2)
- 1GB RAM (always)
- WiFi integrated to the card (BCM43438)
- Bluetooth Low Energy integrated to the card
- A power supply of 2.5 Amperes power supply is strongly recommended for this Pi model
- A new official Raspberry-Pi 3 case (although the old ones remain compatible.. except display of the LEDs)
What's inherited and retro-compatible from Pi B PLUS and Pi 2
- Two Step-Down switching voltage regulators to power the Pi in 3.3V and 1.8V.
These regulators are much more powerful, see this product to learn more about this type of regulator.
- 5V Power supply: features reverse polarization protection, a 2A fuse and hot plug/unplug protection (so you can plug/unplug your USB devices without resetting the card)
- The new USB/Ethernet controller introduced on the Pi B Plus and preserved on the Pi 2.
- 4 USB ports with power management for energy-hungry USB devices.
- The same GPIO connector with 40 pins.
The first 26 pins correspond exactly to the 26 pins of the original model + 9 additional GPIOs and 2 pins for EEPROM identification.
You can either use it with the new Cobbler-PLUS or TCobbler plus.
- The composite video output (NTSC/PAL) is now integrated into a 3.5mm 4-pole audio Jack plug (see corresponding cable).
- A connector for Micro SD card.
- 4 fixing holes on a rectangular layout
- The same Form Factor (card size): 85mm x 56mm
- Same micro USB power connector
- The same software is still available - you like Raspbian Jessie, Noobs, etc... all these OS is still there (but you have to download the latest version).
- The same HDMI port
- The same connector for the Pi-Camera and DSI display connector.
Raspberry Pi® and its logo are registered trademarks of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
More information on wikipedia.
The Raspberry Pi III card equipped with BCM2837 processor (4-core, 64 bits), 1Giga (1024Mb) of RAM and WiFi+Bluetooth integrated.
Here are some direct links:
We only sell on physical stock. When you place an order with MC Hobby, you will be delivered without having to wait for an indecent time.