A success story if ever there was one, the Raspberry Pi (a non-profit attempt to teach basic computer science in schools), has now sold over 2.5 million units in two years, despite initial expectations anticipating only a few thousand. The low-cost Linux microcomputer has provided the starting platform for a range of homemade projects. So just think what the credit-card sized gadget could do with a bit more muscle? Well, now you can see for yourself.
The B+ as it shall now be known, features beefed up and better components, yet still keeps its $35 price tag. The board has been reorganised a little: There are now 4 USB ports aligned at the edge, instead of 2, and a micro SD card slot to replace the prior SD card socket, as well as taking up less space on the board. The GPIO has gone up too (that’s general purpose input/output pins, if you didn’t know), increasing from 40 to 26, but due to the same pinout for the first 26 pins, existing projects will still work fine. Four mounting holes have been positioned to make it easier to fix the Pi into place, and composite video has been moved onto the 3.5mm jack. Audio-wise, a new circuit “incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply” to clean up sound, while power consumption is down, despite the Pi featuring the same application processors and RAM as its predecessor. Another significant change is the size, which now measures 85.6 x 53.98 x 17mm compared to its older brother’s 85 x 56 x 17mm, so some daughterboards and cases might not be compatible.
With only 100 in supply in Australia, you’ll need to hurry up if you want to get your hands on one of the gadgets. But no matter how popular the the gizmo gets, I’ll never forget the day my housemate’s mum arrived on his birthday with an actual raspberry pie. “That’s what you asked for, isn’t it?”
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