Raspberry Pi 2 unveiled with Quad-Core Processor and 1Gb Ram

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, featuring a faster processor and more memory than before, but at about the same price. The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is more than six times more powerful than the prior version, the Model B+.

The Raspberry Pi 2 makes two major changes to the previous version, while leaving other components unchanged:

  • The CPU (central processing unit) is now quad-core rather than single-core. That means it can be programmed to use more of its cores to offer extra computing power, or made to use fewer to help save power consumption – useful if running as part of a battery-powered contraption. In addition, the Cortex A7 processor now runs at 800MHz rather than 700MHz
  • The board now features one gigabyte of RAM (random access) memory, double the amount that was previously included

As before, owners will need to add their own keyboard, a MicroSD card containing a copy of the Linux operating system, and television/monitor-connecting cables in order to start programming. Enclosures bought for earlier models will also fit the new one.

Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi said,

“We think it’s about six times more powerful for most applications,”. “This means this is really a PC now.

“You can do most of the things with this that you can do with a PC. You can surf the web, you can watch videos, you can play games like Minecraft. But we also bundle it with the tools that children need in order to learn how to program.

“The great thing is – apart from those two changes – that we’ve managed to keep everything else the same.

“So, all of those tutorials that people have developed over the last few years will carry on working with this device. It just kind of broadens out the range of interesting stuff kids can do.”

Existing software will need to be recompiled to take best advantage of the switch to the new multi-core processor.

The kit – most of which is manufactured at Sony’s factory in Bridgend, South Wales – costs £22.85/$35.

One industry watcher was optimistic it would repeat the success of its predecessors.

“It’s success is guaranteed – there’s a great user-base already out there, but more importantly the Raspberry Pi has a level of name recognition that nobody else has been able to match yet,” said Chris Green, principal technology analyst at the Davies Murphy Group Europe consultancy.

“Its makers seem to have a really good handle on what makes these devices really popular, both for the hobbyists as well as people wanting to use them in education.

“The improvements also address what people had been wanting – for graphics-intensive tasks the extra memory will help a lot. It’s also quite handy for media streaming, you’ll get a smoother experience when playing high definition video, with less buffering.”


Windows 10

For the last six months Raspberry Pi have been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers.

Visit WindowsOnDevices.com today to join the Windows Developer Program for IoT and receive updates as they become available.

The lower-specced Model A+, with just one – rather than four – USB socket, remains on sale costing about £7 less.