The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B has been released this week with an announced performance increase of “at least 6 times” compared to the first generation Model B+. This second generation sports a powerful ARMv7 quad-core SoC clocked at 900 MHz with 1 GB of RAM and integrated 3D GPU. In addition to standard ARM GNU/Linux distributions the board is also ready to take the new Windows 10 in the form of an IoT release. While performance has gone up significantly the price of US $35 has remained identical to the current Model B+ board.
At first glance the new Pi is almost identical in design with the current Model B+, apart from the new Broadcom BCM2836 SoC which provides all the extra muscle the new board is capable of. The new chip is based on the ARMv7 architecture which means that the Raspberry Pi 2 will not be limited to highly optimized dedicated Linux distributions, but it will also be able to seamlessly run Android or Ubuntu offering much better support for front-end applications, and of course a newly announced release of Windows 10 for IoT developers.
And speaking of Windows 10, later this year Microsoft plan to release a special version which will be freely available for makers and enthusiasts. Join the Windows Developer Program for IoT to receive more information about this.
The new BCM2836 SoC found in the RPI2 has the following improvements over the BCM2835 chip which powered the Model B+:
- 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
The performance increase figure mentioned earlier is based on results scored by the new board when put through various synthetic benchmarks, with results varying depending on features tested. Anyway the board seems to be pretty powerful and we will take a look at real world results pretty soon;
- 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM – two times the amount of the current model.
The 250MHz VideoCore IV 3D GPU remains basically unchanged.
The RPI2 board is fully backward compatible with first generation boards. Just like Model B+ the Pi 2 presents features such as:
- 40-pin GPIO header;
- HDMI 1080p A/V output;
- 3.5mm jack composite video and stereo audio output;
- DSI display connector;
- CSI camera connector;
- 4 USB 2.0 ports;
- 10/100 Ethernet port;
- MicroSD card slot;
- 5V 2A micro USB power connector.
You can also check out an interesting comparison between the RPI2 and the ODROID-C1.