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Raspberry Pi: The next generation

The phenomenon that is Raspberry Pi has moved up a gear. On Monday (2nd February) the next generation of the credit card computer was announced. It has a new Broadcom BCM2836 application processor, based on the ARM Cortex-A7 quad-core CPU which they rate at 900MHz. Memory has doubled to 1GB. This is claimed to make the new Raspberry Pi 2 better than six times more powerful than the first generation Raspberry Pi Model B+.

There is full compatibility of both hardware and software with the previous model, and it has the same price of around $35. The board layout, multimedia subsystem and peripherals remain fully compatible with the Raspberry Pi Model B+, including the 40-pin GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) connector, four USB ports and an efficient switching power supply

It will run a range of operating systems, with Windows 10 promised. To get it working you need a keyboard and screen and a 5V 2 amp USB power supply.

Since its launch around 3 years ago, 4.5 million Raspberry Pis have been sold with 1.5 million in the hands of the original audience, school children. Many of the rest are with hobbyists and there are companies using them in commercial products.

Two distribution companies, element 14 and RS/Allied Electronics are both selling them around the world and both host community sites.

Later this month I will be looking at the way Raspberry Pi, and other boards with their associated communities are opening up computing in a whole new way.

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