Having seen an official part/order number (SC14012 or SC14014 with 16GB micro SD Noobs software) including what looks to be a real photographic image in a recent (2016/02/27 "Computer World" March 2016 issue) weekly mail-out from CPC the Retail Consumer arm of Farnell, who are one of the Official UK retailer of Raspberry Pis I am asking what differences there actually are between it and the 2B?

Side by side photo of upper board surface of Pi 3 and Pi 2Side by side photo of lower board surface of Pi 3 and Pi 2

From the information I am able to glean from that image and the accompanying text:

  • The processor is a 1.2 GHz Arm7 BroadComm BCM2837 (c.f. 900MHz BCM2986 for the 2B and the BCM2835 {at either 700 MHz, 900 MHz or 1 GHz} for every other model before) It is a 64-bit core whereas previous RPis have a 32-bit core.

  • Wifi and Bluetooth LE is provided by a BroadComm BCM43438 device (not previously reported BCM43143) that has been placed on the bottom of the PWB (between low-number pins end of GPIO connector and SDCard slot) with an on-board antenna on the top - there may be pads in position for an external connection but if fitting such a thing was to be attempted some other components (SMD links/capacitors) would have to be added/removed - there is not any official support for this and it could possibly mess with the regulatory approval of FCC et al. This omission may become an issue for those wanting to enclose the unit in a metal or metallised box!

  • Improved power management - "...allowing it to power more demanding USB peripherals."

  • The "Act" and "Pwr" LEDs have been moved to the other side of the DSI connector compared to the 2B and the two pin "run/reset" header seems to have moved from adjacent to the DSI connector to the other side of the 40 Pin GPIO connector between that and the outermost Pair of Stacked USB connectors. This is to provide the real-estate on the board for the antenna for the Wifi/Bluetooth.

  • I failed to spot that J5 is the JTAG header used to flash the GPU core and is identical to the RPi 2!

So: I would expect different (better) Power Supply requirements and different/extra drivers for the WiFi (but they may already be on hand for previous users of the Official RPi WiFi adapter)!

What else differences are users aware of in practice?

  • Can you add the picture? Feb 27, 2016 at 19:48
  • No - UK Copyright would probably prevent it as I'd have to scan it in.
    – SlySven
    Feb 27, 2016 at 19:56
  • Lots of info on the FCC site, photos at fccid.io/document.php?id=2912426
    – joan
    Feb 27, 2016 at 20:06
  • 4
    Why would you not put the answer part in an answer, you know, Q&A style ;) ...and why would they come forth with a new Pi when they cannot supply the Zero in sufficient quantities?
    – Ghanima
    Feb 27, 2016 at 21:25
  • 1
    I don't agree with your statement of the BCM43143 for Wifi. the Pi site states wifi and BT is done seperately by the 'BCM43438 wireless “combo” chip'
    – EDP
    Mar 1, 2016 at 6:29

3 Answers 3


This posting shows the March cover of The MagPi which claims that the Pi-3 is 64 bit.

I sure hope that it has USB-3

enter image description here

  • i wouldn't count on that...
    – Ghanima
    Feb 28, 2016 at 8:04
  • Ermagherd the future is now! Anyways, do we have any indication of USB 3.0 support? From BCM2837's datasheet maybe? I haven't checked it yet. "I sure hope that it has USB-3"~HeatfanJohn
    – Aloha
    Feb 28, 2016 at 11:37
  • 1
    Odroid xu4 has usb3 Feb 28, 2016 at 16:09
  • 1
    The USB functionality seems to be provided by the BCM43143 which seems to be a 4-port USB Hub with Ethernet and 802.11b/g WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy provisions. Somehow I do not think we will be getting USB3 support from it (none of the connectors seem to be blue!) Despite this Broadcom device having been used in the Official Raspberry Pi WiFi adapter (+HUB?) previously it has proven impossible to me to actually find a datasheet for the Device - which sadly seems to be Broadcom's policy of withholding the details that would be useful in FOSS circles...
    – SlySven
    Feb 28, 2016 at 23:21
  • Deleted one of my erroneous comments! Note that the prior one is also wrong about the BCM chip.
    – SlySven
    Mar 9, 2016 at 1:55

Comparing the 3B to the original 2B, the following differences are encountered:

A boardcom bluetooth/wifi chip has been added connected to the SoC over SDIO (for the wifi) and serial (for the bluetooth).

The LEDs and run header have been moved to make space for the wifi/bluetooth circuit (on the bottom) and it's antenna (on the top).

The SoC has been replaced with a new model that sigificantly increases the clockspeed and replaces the A7 cores with A53 cores. Initially only 32-bit kernels were available but later 64-bit ones also became available.

Some time after the 3B was released a new revision of the 2B was released that had the newer SoC from the 3B.


Farnell kindly provided a brief pdf.

Edited version of Farnell's information sheet for the RPi3B

  • The PDF is empty.
    – Aloha
    Feb 28, 2016 at 11:33
  • It wasn't when I click it, here's what it said. Technical Specification: Broadcom BCM2837 64bit ARMv7 Quad Core SBC at 1.2GHz 1GB RAM BCM43143 WiFi Bluetooth (BLE) on board 40pin GPIO 4 x USB2 ports 4 pole Stereo output and Composite Full size HDMI CSI camera port for Pi camera DSI display port for connecting the Raspberry Pi touch screen display Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data Upgraded switched Micro USB power source (now supports up to 2.4 Amps) Expected to have the same form factor has the Pi 2 Model B, however the LEDs will change position
    – Stu
    Feb 28, 2016 at 11:35
  • snag.gy/OrJyY.jpg and snag.gy/bCrQU.jpg
    – Aloha
    Feb 28, 2016 at 11:42
  • 1
    @SlySven, the chip is on the bottom near the microsd slot Feb 29, 2016 at 23:29
  • 1
    @SlySven, top-right in the picture of the bottom of the PI3 only. It's looks light grey in the photo Mar 1, 2016 at 5:48

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