The Raspberry Pi low-cost computer has been given a redesign to offer users access to more input and output (I/O) ports, along with more USB ports and other changes, but will remain the same price.
Available immediately, the Raspberry Pi Model B+ is another hardware revision of the single-board computer, aimed at hobbyists and intended to develop IT skills in the UK. It incorporates numerous improvements that people have been asking for, according to Eben Upton, chief executive of the Raspberry Pi’s engineering team.
“This isn’t a ‘Raspberry Pi 2′, but rather the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi. Today I’m very pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability – at $35 [£24.35], it’s still the same price – of what we’re calling the Raspberry Pi Model B+,” he wrote on the official Raspberry Pi blog.
The new version features the same ARM-based BCM2835 application processor and 512MB of built-in memory as the Model B, but has been redesigned with a new form factor that includes four squarely placed mounting holes.
Key among the improvements is a larger 40-pin general-purpose I/O (GPIO) header connector block that provides access to more I/O ports from the processor. This has been designed so that it keeps the same pinout as the 26-pin header on the original Raspberry Pi, so connectors designed for that should still work.
The Raspberry Pi Model B+ also now has four USB 2.0 ports rather than two, and a smartphone-style micro SD slot for the device’s flash storage in place of the earlier full-size SD card slot. The designers have also moved the composite video signal onto the jack socket along with the audio, and reduced power consumption of the device by between 0.5W and 1W.
Because the new model keeps the same BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC) and essentially the same hardware, it retains software compatibility with existing Raspberry Pi models.
For those who are still building projects around the Model B, the Raspberry Pi Foundation said it would keep that version in production “for as long as there’s demand for it”.
Earlier this year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation also announced the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, a version of the hardware crammed onto a small outline dual in-memory module (So-Dimm) form factor for easier integration into hardware projects.