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.
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.