A new budget-priced Raspberry Pi computer has been unveiled, offering child coders and others a faster processor and more memory than before, but at about the same price.
The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is roughly six times more powerful than the prior version, the Model B+, according to the British charity behind it.
Previous versions of the kit have been widely adopted by schools and enthusiasts across the world.
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 an operating system, and television/monitor-connecting cables in order to start programming. Enclosures bought for earlier models will also fit the new one.
“We think it’s about six times more powerful for most applications,” Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi, told the BBC.
“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 – meaning converted into a language the CPU understands – to take best advantage of the switch to the new multi-core processor.
For the last six months we’ve 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.