“Final evolution” of original Raspberry Pi gains micro-SD and lower power consumption

by tech on July 14, 2014

There’s a new iteration of the open-source Raspberry Pi computer kit: the Model B+. According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, it’s the “final evolution” of the original Raspberry Pi design, before a move to a future full version 2.

The changes are mostly in the connector layout, meaning cases for the existing Model B may not be compatible. A couple parts and kits also won’t work anymore with the new design, such as the Wolfson audio card and the Adafruit Cobbler prototyping kit (at least, not out of the box).

In a blog post on Monday, the U.K.-based Foundation detailed the new features of its maker-friendly kit – including the ability to power memory sticks and so on through the USB port:

• More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B.
• More USB. We now have 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour.
• 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 we’ve reduced power consumption by between 0.5W and 1W.
• Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
• Neater form factor. We’ve aligned the USB connectors with the board edge, moved composite video onto the 3.5mm jack, and added four squarely-placed mounting holes.

The Model B+ costs $35, the same as its predecessor. Apart from the changes listed above, it also uses the same 700MHz processor and also has half a gig of RAM. However, because “industrial customers” might still want to continue with the Model B layout, production of that model will continue “for as long as there’s demand for it.”

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