I've tried to search for this online, but other than a few posts on the Raspberry Pi blog, I can't find an official source of the design documentation for the hardware.

It was my understanding that the entire project is Open Sourced. Is this assumption true and, if so, where can I get the hardware design documentation?

2 Answers 2


It is not true that the whole device is open source.

Regarding documentation on the Broadcom chip there are three questions on the official Raspberry Pi FAQ that address this point directly.

What hardware documentation will be available?

Broadcom don’t release a full datasheet for the BCM2835, which is the chip at the heart of the Raspberry Pi. We will release a datasheet for the SoC which will cover the hardware exposed on the Raspi board e.g. the GPIOs. We will also release a board schematic later on.

But I want documentation for [hardware X]!

Other documentation may be released in future but this will be at the Foundation’s discretion.

But I demand the documentation for the chip. Give it to me!

To get the full SoC documentation you would need to sign an NDA with Broadcom, who make the chip and sell it to us. But you would also need to provide a business model and estimate of how many chips you are going to sell.

The schematics for the boards were posted to the Raspberry Pi blog on the 19th of April 2012.

  • 1
    I see. That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.
    – RLH
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 16:09

The schematics can be found here (Blog entry with link to PDF schematics).

  • Thanks @Alex. Is there a source that may have additional design documentation? In other words, assuming I wanted to source out an RPi on my own, is there any additional information that I would need to make that happen and is it available on an official site? I may not have asked this correctly in my question above, but that's the real information that I'm looking for.
    – RLH
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 13:03
  • This is rather unrealistic, as obtaining the Broadcom chip is rather difficult. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 13:04
  • Well, I ask because assuming this wasn't for a homebrew project, I wanted to know do a bit of research to determine what all would be need to make my own device (assuming a mostly-unlimited budget.) I thought the whole device was open source. Some components may be difficult to get, but I'd imagine that at some level they are still accessible, assuming you had the right connections. ;)
    – RLH
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 13:08
  • Can you include the schematics in this answer? That way it is always here.
    – user46
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 14:37
  • @AlexChamberlain ooh sorry, I started drafting my answer before you posted yours. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:13

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