The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the availability of a new version of its credit-card-sized ARM-based computer board, called the Raspberry Pi Model B+. The new device is an improvement over the existing Model B but is based on the same core hardware.
In a blog post on the foundation's website, Raspberry Pi founder and CEO Eben Upton lists the new Model B+ as having 40 GPIO (general-purpose input/output) pins rather than 26, four USB 2.0 ports instead of two, a microSD slot instead of a full-sized SD slot, lower power consumption, better audio circuitry, and improved design.
The Broadcom BCM2835 SoC and 512MB of RAM remain unchanged, meaning the Model B+ is still based on a 700MHz ARM11 CPU core and 250MHz Videocore IV GPU. Software support is also identical across models.
The additional USB ports were included for people who wanted a keyboard and mouse plus a Wi-Fi dongle and external storage. The microSD card was incorporated as it would be sturdier and wouldn't hang over the edge of the board. Power savings are in the region of 0.5W to 1W, taking the board itself down to 3W. The 14 new GPIO pins allow for control of devices such as LED indicators - the first 26 pins are laid out exactly as they were in the original Model B, for backward compatibility.
The new Model B+ is already available and costs $35 (approximately Rs. 2,100), which is the same as the price of the original Model B. While the new version is expected to become the first choice for most fans and hobbyists, the older version will also continue to be in production as long as there's demand for it, since it has been incorporated into lots of large-scale industrial machinery. The $25 Model A also continues to be available. The boards are widely used in embedded systems, for learning, and in extremely cost-sensitive environments.
Upton describes the new product as "the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi", in advance of an entirely new generation of products.