There’s a new Raspberry Pi in town. And in a classic example of Moore’s Law in action, the Raspberry Pi 2 is six times more powerful than its predecessor with twice as much RAM—and it still sells for just $35. The original Pi—a tiny, low-cost computer meant for education and electronics projects—debuted three years ago.
The Pi 2 gets its additional processing power from a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU clocked at 900MHz (though some users will undoubtedly clock it at even higher) and includes 1GB of RAM. In its announcement, the Raspberry Pi Foundation says it gets the “six times more powerful” estimate from early experiments running applications on the Pi 2.
To put this all in perspective, the first Pi included a single-core ARMv6 processor at 700MHz and 512MB of RAM. Despite these updates, it has full backwards compatibility with all previous Raspberry Pi models.
Other than that, the Pi 2 is similar to the recently updated Raspberry Pi Model B+, which offers four supported USB connections and a micro SD card for storage. The Pi 2 requires an updated version of the Raspbian operating system that includes an ARMv7 kernel and modules, which you can download yourself from the foundation’s download page or get via the latest version of the NOOBS installer.
Though it is officially calling it the Raspberry Pi 2 B, the Foundation says there are no plans for a Pi 2 A in 2015.
Windows 10 On The Pi
In a break with its roots in Linux, the Pi 2 will also run Windows 10. (Previously, about the only way to run Windows on a Pi was a complicated workaround involving Windows 7.) Windows 10 will be free for Pi users through its developer program for the Internet of Things later in 2015.
All this means that by the end of the year, you could be running a full-fledged Windows PC for not much more than the $35 cost of the Pi 2.
Photo by the Raspberry Pi Foundation