I recently bought a RPi4 model B for learning the Linux device drivers particularly the Ethernet MAC. I was looking for a documentation, something similar to this one which is for AM335x from TI, but couldn't find it. I am surprised that a giant like Broadcom would not release the documentation for their bcm2711.
If I have mistaken could someone please point me towards a documentation at least regarding the GENet controller on the bcm2711.

1 Answer 1


Yes - we're surprised also - even after all these years!

The sad truth is you'll find no documentation from Broadcom similar in scope to the TI document you've referenced. The closest perhaps is the BCM2711 Peripherals document. By way of comparison, TI's AM335X TRM document weighs in at over 5,000 pages vs. 160 pages for the "detailed document" released by Broadcom/Raspberry Pi organization.

It may not be fair to compare RPi's BCM2711 document to TI's AM335X by volume, but I feel it's entirely accurate to state that Broadcom and RPi.org are quite penurious with their documentation. Worse, they seem to be headed in the wrong direction; i.e. reducing the available documentation; e.g. 1, 2, 3.

There are also the odd, but very useful, bits scattered about the Internet from "the early days" for example, so it pays to search broadly.

  • Thank you for the excellent answer, However, I still had a question in mind. I was wondering, how do other OS vendors like FreeBSD, RISC OS, Windows 10 IoT core, manage to port their existing OS to the new hardware ? Sep 15, 2022 at 7:59
  • @HungryFoolish: They might gain access to the firmware sources through a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) - or a reasonably detailed specification, or ...
    – Seamus
    Sep 15, 2022 at 16:15

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