Alex.
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Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:29 pm

Hi all,
today I received the RPis 3B that I bought from my local reseller, but I scratched my head when, opening one, I found this

Image

Yes, it looks like a 3B with 3B+'s SoC (prints on IHS say BCM2837B0).
Turns out it's just a BCM2837 packaged as a BCM2837B0. That's weird! :D

Has anyone else found one of these? What could be the most plausible explaination for this mislabeling?

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:21 pm

The BCM2837B0 is what was developed for the Pi3B+. It's also used on the Pi3A+, and CM3+ modules. I don't find it surprising that it would show up on the Pi3B, as that would be a means to reduce the number of different inventory items needed.

I'll have to keep my eyes peeled...perhaps it will show up on the Pi2Bv1.2, as well.

Or perhaps someone from the RPT would care to comment now that the cat appears to be out of the bag. Are *all* BCM2837 based Pis going to switch to the B0 stepping, allowing the A0 stepping to be discontinued?

Alex.
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:31 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:21 pm
The BCM2837B0 is what was developed for the Pi3B+. It's also used on the Pi3A+, and CM3+ modules. I don't find it surprising that it would show up on the Pi3B, as that would be a means to reduce the number of different inventory items needed.

I'll have to keep my eyes peeled...perhaps it will show up on the Pi2Bv1.2, as well.

Or perhaps someone from the RPT would care to comment now that the cat appears to be out of the bag. Are *all* BCM2837 based Pis going to switch to the B0 stepping, allowing the A0 stepping to be discontinued?
No, it's not a B0, it's the classic BCM2837 but packaged/labeled as as if it were.
I don't think that they're planning to change older models...

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:50 pm

Alex. wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:31 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:21 pm
The BCM2837B0 is what was developed for the Pi3B+. It's also used on the Pi3A+, and CM3+ modules. I don't find it surprising that it would show up on the Pi3B, as that would be a means to reduce the number of different inventory items needed.

I'll have to keep my eyes peeled...perhaps it will show up on the Pi2Bv1.2, as well.

Or perhaps someone from the RPT would care to comment now that the cat appears to be out of the bag. Are *all* BCM2837 based Pis going to switch to the B0 stepping, allowing the A0 stepping to be discontinued?
No, it's not a B0, it's the classic BCM2837 but packaged/labeled as as if it were.
I don't think that they're planning to change older models...
What makes you think it's not a B0 stepping? They've never used that packaging for the A0 stepping. Since the silicon was both inverted and mirrored, the "pins" (balls, really, as it's a BGA system) are in the same relative position on both steppings, so they are truly "plug compatible". If the label says "B0", then one must presume it's a B0 stepping chip.

Now it may be the firmware, detecting that it's a Pi3B rather than a Pi3B+ might well default it to 1.2GHz, rather than 1.4GHz. And it might also be that the PCB hasn't changed, so the additional heat sink capability of the PCB isn't there, but none of that prevents it from being exactly what it's labeled as.

As for plans... I would point out that there was no announcement made when the Pi2B went from v1.1 with a BCM2836 to a v1.2 with a BCM2837. This is actually a much smaller change than that and could easily be done "under the radar".

And...just for curiosity...where did you buy it?

andrum99
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:43 pm

Alex. wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:31 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:21 pm
The BCM2837B0 is what was developed for the Pi3B+. It's also used on the Pi3A+, and CM3+ modules. I don't find it surprising that it would show up on the Pi3B, as that would be a means to reduce the number of different inventory items needed.

I'll have to keep my eyes peeled...perhaps it will show up on the Pi2Bv1.2, as well.

Or perhaps someone from the RPT would care to comment now that the cat appears to be out of the bag. Are *all* BCM2837 based Pis going to switch to the B0 stepping, allowing the A0 stepping to be discontinued?
No, it's not a B0, it's the classic BCM2837 but packaged/labeled as as if it were.
I don't think that they're planning to change older models...
The only difference in the B0 variant is the packaging, and the fact it says B0 on it. So if it says B0 then it *is* a B0.

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:52 pm

andrum99 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:43 pm
Alex. wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:31 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:21 pm
The BCM2837B0 is what was developed for the Pi3B+. It's also used on the Pi3A+, and CM3+ modules. I don't find it surprising that it would show up on the Pi3B, as that would be a means to reduce the number of different inventory items needed.

I'll have to keep my eyes peeled...perhaps it will show up on the Pi2Bv1.2, as well.

Or perhaps someone from the RPT would care to comment now that the cat appears to be out of the bag. Are *all* BCM2837 based Pis going to switch to the B0 stepping, allowing the A0 stepping to be discontinued?
No, it's not a B0, it's the classic BCM2837 but packaged/labeled as as if it were.
I don't think that they're planning to change older models...
The only difference in the B0 variant is the packaging, and the fact it says B0 on it. So if it says B0 then it *is* a B0.
The B0 was turned over and mirrored.

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:11 pm

Larger power supply paths to the CPU cores (to improve stability under heavy load).

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:21 pm

It's defo. a B0. Economies of scale and all that.

I'll post tomorow on any specifics. If I remember to ask.
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Alex.
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:27 pm

jamesh wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:21 pm
It's defo. a B0. Economies of scale and all that.

I'll post tomorow on any specifics. If I remember to ask.
Uhm, ok.
But if it's a B0 how can it boot older raspbian images that don't boot on 3B+ (I tested it) ?
Last edited by Alex. on Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:40 pm

jamesh wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:21 pm
It's defo. a B0. Economies of scale and all that.

I'll post tomorow on any specifics. If I remember to ask.
If you remember, how about checking on the Pi2Bv1.2 as well.

drgeoff
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:55 pm

Alex. wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:27 pm
But if it's a B0 how can it boot older raspbian images that don't boot on 3B+ (I tested it) ?
There is more to the differences between a 3B and a 3B+ than the SoC and AIUI apart from the booting code in ROM and some of the OTP bits the original 2837 and the B0 version are electrically identical.

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:07 am

drgeoff wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:55 pm
Alex. wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:27 pm
But if it's a B0 how can it boot older raspbian images that don't boot on 3B+ (I tested it) ?
There is more to the differences between a 3B and a 3B+ than the SoC and AIUI apart from the booting code in ROM and some of the OTP bits the original 2837 and the B0 version are electrically identical.
That brings up an interesting point... Will the Pi3B now come factory-ready to boot from a USB MSD?

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:23 am

The 3B+ & 3A+ are both USB boot ready. There's no reason to assume that can't happen for 3B.
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:29 am

DougieLawson wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:23 am
The 3B+ & 3A+ are both USB boot ready. There's no reason to assume that can't happen for 3B.
That is not what W.H. Heydt asked.

Quite possibly a 3B using the 2837B0 can be supplied in USB boot ready form. But would whoever has the say, choose to do that?

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:41 am

drgeoff wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:29 am
DougieLawson wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:23 am
The 3B+ & 3A+ are both USB boot ready. There's no reason to assume that can't happen for 3B.
That is not what W.H. Heydt asked.

Quite possibly a 3B using the 2837B0 can be supplied in USB boot ready form. But would whoever has the say, choose to do that?
And, indeed, back when USB boot was in beta, there was talk about having the USB boot bit set in the factory...eventually. Since--at leat prior to this change--that hasn't happened (so far as anyone knows), it is reasonable, I think, to ask if it will with this change.

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:22 am

Alex. wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:29 pm
Hi all,
today I received the RPis 3B that I bought from my local reseller, but I scratched my head when, opening one, I found this

Image

Yes, it looks like a 3B with 3B+'s SoC (prints on IHS say BCM2837B0).
Turns out it's just a BCM2837 packaged as a BCM2837B0. That's weird! :D

Has anyone else found one of these? What could be the most plausible explanation for this mislabeling?
I like this! Hope my fave supplier have this stock soon! Me want one!
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Alex.
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:37 am

drgeoff wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:29 am
DougieLawson wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:23 am
The 3B+ & 3A+ are both USB boot ready. There's no reason to assume that can't happen for 3B.
That is not what W.H. Heydt asked.

Quite possibly a 3B using the 2837B0 can be supplied in USB boot ready form. But would whoever has the say, choose to do that?
Mine isn't USB boot ready

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:40 am

Alex. wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:27 pm
Uhm, ok.
But if it's a B0 how can it boot older raspbian images that don't boot on 3B+ (I tested it) ?
The 3B+ has different USB-Ethernet hub and WiFi chips. I assume the SoC is code compatible and it's the other chips that are the problem for older operating systems.
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:29 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:40 am
The 3B+ has different USB-Ethernet hub and WiFi chips.
& power
& possibly under-voltage detection

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:36 am

Yes the 3B is going to be shipping as standard with BCM2837B0.
The revision code hasn't changed as there are no functional differences that the kernel or firmware need to know about.

AIUI no other changes have been made to the board, so you don't get the extra thermal mass of the 3B+, nor changed PMIC, or anything else.
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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:49 pm

6by9 wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:36 am
Yes the 3B is going to be shipping as standard with BCM2837B0.
The only thing that concerns me here is the manufacturers of third party cases that have thermal pathways direct to the SoC. Some of them have different shims for 3B and 3B+, now they will need to tell people that the newer 3B will need to use the same shim as the 3B+. Some current 3B cases may not be compatible.

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Re: Unusual RPi 3B

Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:48 pm

Alex. wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:37 am
drgeoff wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:29 am
DougieLawson wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:23 am
The 3B+ & 3A+ are both USB boot ready. There's no reason to assume that can't happen for 3B.
That is not what W.H. Heydt asked.

Quite possibly a 3B using the 2837B0 can be supplied in USB boot ready form. But would whoever has the say, choose to do that?
Mine isn't USB boot ready
Thanks for getting back with that bit of information.

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