The Raspberry Pi — an affordable, bare-bones computer that’s about the size of a credit card — hasn’t changed much since its release more than two years ago. This week, the beloved microcomputer got a mini-facelift, and the result is the new and improved Raspberry Pi Model B+.
Broadcom technical director Eben Upton, who is also the co-founder and public face of the U.K.-based Raspberry Pi Foundation, declared that “this isn’t a ‘Raspberry Pi 2’, but rather the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi.”
All of the components of the original Raspberry Pi are still there: Broadcom’s BCM2835 processor, 512 MB of RAM, the same powerful software and the same $35 price tag. The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is outfitted with more ports and uses less power and includes a slew of other tweaks that make it even more dynamic and user-friendly.
Consider these features, as noted in the official Raspberry Pi blog:
- More GPIO: The general purpose input/output header has grown to 40 pins (14 more than the previous model).
- More USB: There are now four USB 2.0 ports, compared with two on the earlier model.
- Micro SD: The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
- Lower power consumption: By replacing linear regulators with switching ones, power consumption has been reduced by between 0.5 and 1 watt.
- Better audio: The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
- Neater form factor: The USB connectors have been aligned with the board edge, composite video has been moved onto the 3.5mm jack, and four squarely-placed mounting holes have been added.
One of the biggest enhancements is its lower power consumption. By using switching regulators instead of linear ones, the Model B+ offers more efficient power management. This means users can manage more devices while using the same 5V Micro-USB power supply as the original Raspberry Pi.