Second generation Raspberry Pi promises six times more juice for the same price
Home computer enthusiasts are celebrating this morning following the official launch of the second generation Raspberry Pi.
The newest iteration of the device, which has sold over four million units worldwide, will feature a major power upgrade but no increase in price.
Costing just $35 (£22.75), the credit-card sized Raspberry Pi 2 will be six times faster than the previous model thanks to a new quad-core Broadcom processor running at 900MHz alongside 1GB of RAM, allowing the device to run bigger and more powerful projects than ever before.
“Today’s launch of Raspberry Pi 2 takes the Raspberry Pi platform to a completely new level,” said Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, speaking at the launch event in London’s Shard tower this morning.
“Combining a sixfold increase in processing power and a doubling of memory capacity with complete backward compatibility with the existing Model B+, Raspberry Pi 2 is the perfect board for professionals and hobbyists alike. The new board will open up new design and development opportunities for users, and further the Foundation’s mission to bring affordable general-purpose computing to people everywhere.”
Thanks to what the company called a close working relationship, the new device will also be able to run a version of Windows 10, with the Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 made available free of charge to developers.
However, this will only be the version of Windows 10 designed to run on units connected to the Internet of Things, meaning it will not support the new Windows 10 interface.
Projects created on previous Raspberry Pi projects, which have proved popular with schools and universities, are compatible with the new Raspberry Pi 2, the company says, although existing software will need to be recompiled to take advantage of the new power upgrade.
Explaining the six-fold increase in power, Upton told The Register: “If you run a multi-threaded synthetic CPU benchmark on it, they all spit out a number that’s about six. That’s both optimistic and pessimistic. It’s optimistic because, of course, those are multi-threaded benchmarks. It’s pessimistic because I don’t think those synthetic benchmarks punish the [ARM processor] hard enough.”
The Raspberry Pi Foundation was established in 2011 specifically to develop a cheap Linux computer for education. The Model A was launched in February 2012, with a more expensive B+ model announced early last year, and a smaller, cheaper, A+ following in November 2014.
The Raspberry Pi became immensely popular among hobbyists, programmers and prototype designers worldwide, with more than 280,000 registrations on the developer forum, thanks to its versatility and compatibility with existing Linux software. It has been used to create everything from Internet of Things sensor networks to Enterprise Resource Planning (EPR) platforms, sea-faring research robots, and even a so-called “supercomputer”.
Do you know how many raspberries are used in the making of a Raspberry Pi? Take our quiz!