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64-bit Raspberry Pi 3 with WiFi and Bluetooth

Feb 27, 2016 — by Eric Brown 6,111 views

A Raspberry Pi 3 with WiFi and Bluetooth LE has been spotted on an FCC site. Meanwhile, a MagPi cover advert says the Pi 3 advances to a 1.2GHz 64-bit SoC.

The Register spotted a Raspberry Pi 3 design on the FCC wireless test database. The documentation indicates a “Raspberry Pi 3” with 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE radios, all freshly approved for stateside usage.

Update: $35, 64-bit Raspberry Pi 3 Officially Unveiled!

Read our updated coverage here.

Meanwhile, a Reddit post that was picked up by CNXSoft cites an advertisement showing the cover of the next issue of MagPi Magazine announcing the Pi 3 with WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 1.2GHz, 64-bit processor.

Raspberry Pi 3 (left) and Raspberry Pi 2
(click images to enlarge; Pi 3 image source: FCC)

The FCC photos show a design that appears to be almost identical to the quad-core, Cortex-A7 Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, which shipped a year ago. The system-on-chip continues to be a Broadcom model, but it’s impossible to say whether it’s an all 64-bit, ARMv8 SoC, such as a quad-core Cortex-A53 design, or a dual-core design, or perhaps even a half Cortex-A53, half Cortex-A7 Big.Little combo. The RAM allotment cannot be confirmed, but appears likely to stay the same at 1GB.

Leaked MagPi advertisement showing upcoming Raspberry Pi 3 cover (note the free giveaway!)
(click image to enlarge)

While many, but certainly not most, Linux hacker SBC projects have moved to built-in wireless, saving their users the pain of having to use up USB and Ethernet ports for adapters, relatively few have advanced to 64-bit SoC ARMv8. The most significant entry here has been Hardkernel’s $40 Odroid-C2, which debuted earlier this month with a design that is similar to the earlier C1+, but with a quad-core, 2GHz Cortex-A53 SoC — the Amlogic S809. There’s no built-in wireless, however.

Front and back views of the Pi 3
(Source: FCC)

The first community-backed, 64-bit PCs was’s $99, octa-core HiKey, which is now also being manufactured and sold by LeMaker. This was followed by the 96Boards-compatible, quad-core, $75 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410c. Both have onboard wireless, but relatively few real-world coastline ports.

Raspberry Pi 3
(Source: FCC)

Another 64-bit contender is Pine64’s Pine A64, a $15 to $29 SBC with a quad-core Allwinner A64, which will soon start to ship to Kickstarter backers. Many more 64-bit SBCs are expected in the months to come.


Further information

More information on the Raspberry Pi 3 may be found at the FCC website and should eventually appear on the Raspberry Pi Blog, possibly timed with its four year (or one Leap Year) anniversary on Feb. 29.

Update: $35, 64-bit Raspberry Pi 3 Officially Unveiled!

Read our updated coverage here.


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2 responses to “64-bit Raspberry Pi 3 with WiFi and Bluetooth”

  1. Stewart says:

    I would really like to see a ‘perfect’ Norton or Kaspersky type of ‘protection’ package for the RPi 2B and the following upgrades in order to be able to purchase safely over the net since the Rpi 2B is my only computer.
    Otherwise with a 32GB Sd card, an external HD and external DVD I have everything.
    What are the chances of Linux being served by the big boys ?

  2. Ricardo J. Barberis says:

    Hi Stewart, out of curiosity: are you using Windows with your Pi?

    I’m not sure Windows x86 malware works in ARM, or if there’s specific malware for these processors so that shouldn’t be a problem for some time (i.e. till ARM gets a bigger market share and malware authors start targeting it).

    I’m sure Linux distros will start to appear for this device in the next weeks.


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