Model B+: Raspberry Pi Ups its Game with New Improvements

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.Raspberry Pi B+ Hardware
  • 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.

On the topic of more devices, another big improvement is the addition of two more USB 2.0 ports, which eliminates the need for an external USB hub to connect more gadgets and peripherals, such as a mouse, camera, monitor or additional storage.

The new model is sold online through Raspberry Pi’s two main manufacturing partners, Element 14 and RS/Allied Components.

About the Author

Michael Lenke is a former summer intern in the Corporate Marketing and Communications Group at Broadcom. In this role, he’s assisted with a wide range of research projects and learned about corporate… More