Raspberry Pi goes 64-bit

February 29, 2016 //By Peter Clarke
Raspberry Pi 3B
Electrocomponents plc, which trades as RS Components, has launched the Raspberry Pi 3B, a version of the famous development board with 64-bit support.

The Pi 3B is based on the Broadcom BCM2837 SoC, which includes a quad-core Cortex-A53 and is capable of 1.2GHz clock frequency. Cortex-A53 comply with the ARMv8A instruction set architecture and support both 64- and 32-bit addressing as well as providing backwards compatibility with the ARMv7 instruction set architecture.

The single-board computer is the same credit-card size as previous models (85mm by 56mm by 17mm) but the processor is 50 percent faster than the Pi 2B and 10 times faster than the original Raspberry Pi. It is also an upgrade in that it has Bluetooth and wireless LAN connectivity integrated on the board making it more suitable for IoT development projects. The board is priced at £24.99 (about $35) plus local taxes.

The BCM2837 SoC runs alongside a BCM43438 combo chip that provides the 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy. BCM2837 also integrates a multimedia coprocessor that provides

· 1.2Gpixels/s of fill rate, 1.8Gtexel/s of texturing rate
· 29GFLOPs of shader compute throughput
· OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 support
· 1080p60 hardware video decoding
· 1080p30 hardware video encoding
· A hardware image sensor pipeline

The Raspberry Pi 3 boots from a micro SD card and uses the NOOBS (New Out Of the Box Software) installation manager. The standard Raspbian operating system install comes bundled with a range of productivity applications, and programming tools including Node-RED.

Most of the other I/O features are the same as previous versions of the Raspberry Pi therefore providing backwards compatibility. A Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module I/O Board will also be available shortly from RS and Allied, enabling OEMs to develop their own Raspberry Pi 3 based solutions for many industrial applications.

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