Upgraded Raspberry Pi board adds connectivity, power features
EP&T MagazineElectronics Engineering Electronics
Offering more sensors and accessories than ever before, the new Raspberry Pi B+ board has been launched and is expected to enable users to build bigger and better projects.
Marking the first significant change to the multi-million selling credit card-sized computer, its advanced power management and enhanced connectivity make it possible to power four USB accessories such as 2.5 inch hard drive through the device. Up to 1.2A can be delivered to the USB ports to connect power-hungry devices and accessories without needing mains power or an external USB hub.
Available to buy immediately through element14, the Raspberry Pi B+ board is priced at $35.
Featuring a 40-pin extended GPIO, even more sensors, connectors and expansion boards can be added to the board, allowing users to increase the complexity of their Raspberry Pi projects. The first 26 pins remain identical to the original Raspberry Pi Model B for 100% backward compatibility.
“The new Raspberry Pi B+ marks the first major re-design of what has been one of the stand-out tech products in the last few years,” says Claire Doyle, global head of Raspberry Pi at element14, the leading distributor of the credit-card sized computer. “We’ve already seen the board drive some amazing designs, but the B+ model opens up the opportunity to push the boundaries of complexity and innovation to make even bigger and better projects. It is also the board that can open up a whole new area of learning for young people.”
The Raspberry Pi B+ is based on the same Broadcom BCM2835 Chipset and 512MB of RAM as the previous model. It is powered by micro USB with AV connections through either HDMI or a new four-pole connector replacing the existing analogue audio and composite video ports. The SD card slot has been replaced with a micro-SD, tidying up the board design and helping to protect the card from damage. The B+ board also now uses less power (600mA) than the Model B Board (750mA) when running.
“We’ve been blown away by the projects that have been made possible through the original B boards and, with its new features, the B+ has massive potential to push the boundaries and drive further innovation. We are really looking forward to continuing our relationship with element14 and ensuring widespread adoption of the new board,” adds Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading.