Technology has changed significantly since the cheap educational micro-computer Raspberry Pi Model B was launched in 2012. Now, a new model will reflect the latest developments.
On Monday, the Raspberry Pi Foundation introduced the Raspberry Pi Model B+. Pi inventor and Foundation CEO Eben Upton said that while the company will continue to produce and sell older Raspberry Pi models, customers should see the B+ as a high tech replacement.
“This isn’t a ‘Raspberry Pi 2,’” Upton wrote in a blog post, “But rather the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi.”
Like the Model B that came before it, the B+ will sell for just $35. Thinking about picking one up? Here are the five things you’ll want to know about its improved specs:
More USB Ports For More Connectivity
A gripe that many Pi users had with the Model B was that it only had two USB ports. The B+ has 4 2.0 USB ports that and claims to have better “hotplug and overcurrent behavior” to prevent frying your Pi even when you plug it into a more power hungry USB device.
More GPIO Pins For Bigger Projects
The number of GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) pins has nearly doubled from the Model B’s original 26 to 40. Having more pins means you can plug in more sensors, create more complicated circuits, and generally produce bigger, better DIY projects.
Even though there are 40 pins now, the original 26 GPIO pinout remains exactly the same as the one on the Raspberry Pi Model B. The result is that if you have a Model B project you’d like to transfer over to your Model B+ to run or improve on, it’ll translate seamlessly.
Lower Power Consumption
Many Raspberry Pi projects require the Pi to be turned on for an extended period of time—and in the case of my VPN server, indefinitely. The Model B+ saves on your electric bill by only using 600 milliamps compared to the Model B’s 750 mA while running.
What Stayed The Same
Despite some helpful improvements, it’s still the same Raspberry Pi underneath. The B+ continues to use the same Broadcom BCM2835 processor and 512 megabytes of RAM, making the computer that powers the Pi virtually unchanged. It also includes the same full size HDMI port, 10/100 Ethernet port, and micro USB power supply connection so you won’t need to buy new accessories to plug your B+ into a monitor, grant it Internet access, or power it.
Check out the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s video to see the complete list of features that have changed with the B+: