2015/02/02

Raspberry Pi 2 Launches: Faster And Stronger

The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B single board computer launched today with a quad core ARMv7 CPU and 1 MB SDRAM.
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B -- Top

Compared to the B+ version, the new Pi will be more capable as a primary or secondary desktop PC and should give users:
  1. Smoother web browsing
  2. Better viewing of videos
  3. More responsive experience when writing computer programs
  4. Smoother operation when running multiple programs at the same time
  5. Ability to run a wider variety of operating systems, with Ubuntu distro likely to be developed in the near future [Update: Snappy Ubuntu Core is currently available] and an Internet of Things version of Windows 10 (not the consumer x-86 version of Win 10) in late 2015 or early 2016
The primary technology changes in the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (Feb 2015) vs its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi Model B+ (June 2014), are:
  • 900 MHz Quad core ARMv7 vs 700 MHz single core ARMv6 CPU
  • 1 GB vs 512 MB SDRAM
Pi 2 is backwards compatible with earlier Pis, has the same form factor as the B+, the same 5V power requirement and is still only $35.

The Arstechnica article gives a pretty good overview of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B tech specs:
SoC: Broadcom BCM2836 (CPU, GPU, DSP, SDRAM)
CPU: 900 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 (ARMv7 instruction set)
GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV @ 250 MHz
More GPU info: OpenGL ES 2.0 (24 GFLOPS); 1080p30 MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoder (with license); ​1080p30 h.264/MPEG-4 AVC high-profile decoder and encoder
Memory: 1 GB (shared with GPU)
USB ports: 4
Video input: 15-pin MIPI camera interface (CSI) connector
Video outputs: HDMI, composite video (PAL and NTSC) via 3.5 mm jack
Audio input: I²S
Audio outputs: Analog via 3.5 mm jack; digital via HDMI and I²S
Storage: MicroSD
Network: 10/100Mbps Ethernet
Peripherals: 17 GPIO plus specific functions, and HAT ID bus
Power rating: 800 mA (4.0 W)
Power source: 5 V via MicroUSB or GPIO header
Size: 85.60mm × 56.5mm
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B -- Bottom
Weight: 45g (1.6 oz)
The ARM entry in Wikipedia gives an overview of the ARM family of microprocessors. For more info on specs for the various Pi models, see the Raspberry Pi hardware documentation webpage.

Pi B+ production is planned to continue because of a significant commercial sales volume. The Model A version is expected to be upgraded to the new Broadcom SoC, but that will likely happen in 2016.

You can order the Raspberry Pi 2 now from element14 / Newark, from RS Components and from Adafruit, but other Pi vendors such as SparkFun and Amazon didn't appear to have it listed yet.

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