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Raspberry Pi 3 arrives with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python.
It is capable of doing everything you'd expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing and playing games. 
The new Pi 3 Model B adds Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the board, which opens up a whole world of additional possibilities—making a home media PC should be even easier than before. There’s also an upgraded processor, a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex A53. Sadly, the same 1GB of RAM and 400 MHz VideoCore IV graphics are tagging along, which means video streaming may still be a little hampered.
The best news is the price—the same as the Pi 2, at $35, means it’s still the cheapest thing you can get that runs full-fat Windows. It’s on sale today from Pi resellers.
Exactly four years ago, on 29 February 2012, we unleashed the original 256MB Raspberry Pi Model B on a largely unsuspecting world. Since then, we’ve shippedover eight million units, including three million units of Raspberry Pi 2, making us the UK’s all-time best-selling computer. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has grown from a handful of volunteers to have over sixty full-time employees, including our new friends from Code Club. We’ve sent a Raspberry Pi to the International Space Station and are training teachers around the world through our Picademy program.
In celebration of our fourth birthday, we thought it would be fun to release something new. Accordingly, Raspberry Pi 3 is now on sale for $35 (the same price as the existing Raspberry Pi 2), featuring:
  • 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU (~10x the performance of Raspberry Pi 1)
  • Integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1
  • Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1 and 2

For Raspberry Pi 3, Broadcom have supported us with a new SoC, BCM2837. This retains the same basic architecture as its predecessors BCM2835 and BCM2836, so all those projects and tutorials which rely on the precise details of the Raspberry Pi hardware will continue to work. The 900MHz 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU complex has been replaced by a custom-hardened 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53. Combining a 33% increase in clock speed with various architectural enhancements, this provides a 50-60% increase in performance in 32-bit mode versus Raspberry Pi 2, or roughly a factor of ten over the original Raspberry Pi.
James Adams spent the second half of 2015 designing a series of prototypes, incorporating BCM2837 alongside the BCM43438 wireless “combo” chip. He was able to fit the wireless functionality into very nearly the same form-factor as the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B; the only change is to the position of the LEDs, which have moved to the other side of the SD card socket to make room for the antenna. Roger Thornton ran the extensive (and expensive) wireless conformance campaign, allowing us to launch in almost all countries simultaneously. Phil Elwell developed the wireless LAN and Bluetooth software.
All of the connectors are in the same place and have the same functionality, and the board can still be run from a 5V micro-USB power adapter. This time round, we’re recommending a 2.5A adapter if you want to connect power-hungry USB devices to the Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi 3 is available to buy today from our partners element14 and RS Components, and other resellers. You’ll need a recent NOOBS or Raspbian image from our downloads page. At launch, we are using the same 32-bit Raspbian userland that we use on other Raspberry Pi devices; over the next few months we will investigate whether there is value in moving to 64-bit mode.