Heads up Raspberry Pi Enthusiasts! If you don’t already read the Raspberry Pi Blog, or just haven’t checked it lately, I suggest you do so now, as they’ve just announced a new Raspberry Pi! You can read the official post on the official Raspberry Pi blog.
This new Pi isn’t entirely new, quote:
This isn’t a “Raspberry Pi 2″, but rather the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi.
The original Raspberry Pi being the Model B (512MB of RAM.) However, this doesn’t make it any less cool, at least in my opinion. It still has the same SOC (CPU, GPU, RAM) with all the same specs, so this one isn’t any more powerful. However, it has several new features that I find quite lovely.
New Features on the Model B+
More USB. We now have 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour.
First off the most obvious change is that there are now two double USB ports, giving you have double the room (saying double sounds so much more impressive than two more) to plug in various thingamabobbers like mice, keyboards, WiFi and/or Bluetooth dongles, etc.
Raspberry Pi Model B+ – GPIO Ports
More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B
Next, also pretty obvious, is the fact that the number of GPIO ports has expanded to 40! Forty new ports for you to breadboard and interface with, woo hoo! Also, the pinout remains the same for the first 26 GPIO headers, so most of your boards should work with the Model B+!
Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
An interesting new feature is the combination AUX (Audio) and Composite Video jack. They have combined what used to take up two large port spaces into one, which looks quite nice, and enables the more compact design. Also on the topic of sound, the audio circuit now incorporates a dedicated, low-noise power supply, so all of you using your Pi for sound can get even better sound now!
Lower power consumption. By replacing linear regulators with switching ones we’ve reduced power consumption by between 0.5W and 1W.
The Pi has new power regulation circuit, which is supposed to be more efficient, dropping power consumption by somewhere between 0.5W and 1W. This is great thing for battery users, as it means their portable projects will be able to work that much longer on one charge! Also, the micro-usb power port has been moved to the right side of the board, sharing space with the HDMI (same spot), the camera port, and the new sound/composite video port.
Micro SD. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
One of the issues with the previous evolution of the Model B was that the SD card slot was a plastic, friction-fit, slot that was prone to breakage. Not anymore, the Model B+ has a fancy, new, metal , Micro-SD card slot. And yes, I meant Micro-SD, the Model B+ no longer uses full SD cards, it uses the new push-push Micro-SD card slots. For the NOOBS users out there, don’t worry. NOOBS will still work. All you have to do is take the Micro-SD card out of the full SD card adapter and stick it in your Pi. Right as rain!
Neater form factor. We’ve aligned the USB connectors with the board edge, moved composite video onto the 3.5mm jack, and added four squarely-placed mounting holes.
One final thing to mention is that, as you probably noticed already, is that the general form has changed. It’s still the same size (credit-card), but they’ve re-arraigned the ports. There are no longer any ports hanging off the front and left sides of the Pi, everything has been moved to the rear and right. This may be useful for case designers and embedders, or it could be a bane. Time will tell.
And, don’t fear, the regular Model B will still be in production while there is still a demand.
Production and community reviews
Supposedly you can purchase the Model B+ from the usual distributors (Farnell/Element14/Newark and RS/Allied Components) but I’ve had issues with Element14 not showing the price, not sure if that’s something on my end, or if it’s similar to what happened opening-day. Also, according to the blog it will be the same price as the current Model B, $35. However, the price on
Element14 is $50. Not sure what that’s all about.