I want to experiment with the SoC but I can't seem to be able to find it anywhere, not even documentation or anything else.

PS. Are there alternatives available from Broadcom?

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    Not in small quanities. Jul 15, 2016 at 8:35
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    I guess the minimum order quantity would be 50 thousand or so. Also I'm not sure who owns the IP for the BCM2837. It may be the RPi Foundation.
    – joan
    Jul 15, 2016 at 9:27
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    Removing the SOC from a Pi 3 is likely to be the only way you'd get your hands on an individual part. I've never tried (or seen anyone try) this, but I'd imagine the process to be expensive, difficult, likely to result in multiple failures, and would require a really good rework station.
    – goobering
    Jul 15, 2016 at 9:59
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    Hmm... I was thinking Atmel or NXP(Freescale) might have something equivalent.
    – unom
    Jul 15, 2016 at 11:07
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    I've read before that Broadcom are very un-conducive to this -- as stated above they make big deals with not-small players for specific purposes (i.e., not general reselling), and that's it.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 15, 2016 at 12:34

2 Answers 2


Broadcom does not do business with "small fish". Their MOQ tend to be hundreds of thousands of chips. Furthermore, the Bluetooth/WiFi on WiFi-enabled Raspberries is a seperate chip (BCM43438) which is now being made by Cypress.

That is why the BCM43438 is now known as CYW43438.

A detailed datasheet can be found here.


You can go to a supplier and pick out any MPU that fits your needs, but don't expect raspbian to run without major modifications.

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