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Raspberry Pi 2 arrives with 6x the speed, Windows 10 compatibility

by Mark Tyson on 2 February 2015, 10:04

Tags: ARM, Windows 10, Raspberry Pi Foundation

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacokw

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The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just launched the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. The headline improvements to the little credit card sized computer development board are that it "delivers more than six times the processing power and twice the memory of previous models". Nevertheless the price remains $35, the same price that the earlier Model B sold for in the US. It is listed at £22.85 + VAT at a UK supplier.

At its heart the new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B employs the Broadcom BCM2836 processor which is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 chip running at 900MHz (according to the RasPi blog, though some sources say 800MHz). According to the makers this results in computations getting done over six times faster than previously. The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B also comes kitted out with 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM, double the previous maximum RAM available on a RasPi board.

While the core computing capabilities of the Raspberry Pi have been given a boost the Foundation has kept the design and connector layout the same as with the Model B+ so that peripherals that connect to the 40-pin GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) connector and cases for the unit remain compatible.

Software

The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that regular RasPi users will need to update their NOOBS or Raspbian image to one including an ARMv7 kernel. Over the next few months the development team will be investigating whether ARMv7 Debian is capable of better performance on the new computer. Meanwhile "Ubuntu: a Snappy Ubuntu Core package for NOOBS will be available in the next couple of weeks".

Perhaps bigger news is that "The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers." The RasPi blog says that the Foundation has been working closely with Microsoft for the last six months to bring Windows 10 to RasPi users. We are promised more information on this "over the coming months". It sounds like the Windows 10 version for the Pi will be an 'IoT' version of the OS.



HEXUS Forums :: 37 Comments

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I thought “Wow! Visual Studio at last, something I understand:) how long before Farnell send me another 10% off email”, then looked at their site “All Raspberry Pi orders for home / personal use are handled by our sister company CPC”.

I'm sad now - how do I persuade my wife I need/want/deserve one without the leverage of a discount?
Bit more like it in the CPU stakes ;)
Farnell UK are out of stock right now, they'll get more soon. CPC have stock.. for now ;) 10% off doesn't amount to much on a low cost board, so I'd just go an order from CPC and get free delivery.
So they've been talking to Microsoft for six months (and Windows doesn't work on it yet), but are only going to bother looking at Debian now that it's shipping. Huh? If they'd given a few beta boards to key Debian ARM developers, then they could have had Debian support ready before launch.
Shame the GPU wasn't made faster at the same time… and the USB is all shared on a single port with a hub. But the CPU upgrade is very welcome, that old ARM11 was simply too little, even at launch. And it's finally proper ARMv7 with NEON. 900MHz is okay (apparently it overclocks reasonably too). The price is still the killer aspect, and the recent competitors that were getting close are now up against a much more worthy competitor.