Sweet! Much improved Raspberry Pi 2 goes on sale

2 Feb 2015

The successor to the popular Raspberry Pi board has now been made available for sale, boasting speeds that are six times faster than its last incarnation, the B+ model.

Priced at US$35 (€30), the Raspberry Pi 2’s biggest feature is its new Broadcom BCM2836 application processor with 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 and 1GB of RAM which is being described as a ‘turbo-charged’ version of the B+, according to the team’s website.

However, from the outside, it will appear almost identical to the older model, it will now be able to run ARM GNU/Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core and even Microsoft Windows 10 when it is released.

The team have also revealed that they have been working heavily with Microsoft in preparation for the software’s release and has confirmed that the Raspberry Pi 2 will be availabel free to Windows 10 developers as part of the Windows Developer Programme for the internet of things (IoT).

Perhaps most importantly, the Raspberry Pi team say the Pi 2’s quad-core processor retains many of the features that were found in the previous BCM2835 giving it a seamless transition with no instability issues.

According to Eben Upton, much of the money spent on this project has been put into making sure the Pi 2 is optimised to use a huge amount of open-source libraries and applications, including WebKit, LibreOffice, Scratch, Pixman, XBMC/Kodi, libav and PyPy.

Despite its vast improvements, Upton says in an interview with The Register that they see the B+ continuing on, particularly with its industrial customers.

“We’ve sold something like 60 or 70,000 freshly manufactured Bs since we launched the B+, because, for example, industrial customers don’t want to move on,” said Upton. “I think that although the Pi 2 and the B+ are going to be the same price, there will be a bunch of industrial customers who, for a variety of reasons, will just stick with the B+ because they’re comfortable with it.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic