Raspberry Pi Model B+ has more slots, less power demand

Jul 14, 2014
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Raspberry Pi Model B+ has more slots, less power demand

The Raspberry Pi Model B is getting another facelift and no, this isn't a Raspberry Pi 2, and all that is implied by that major name change. Instead, the B+, as the name would suggest, is a very incremental improvement over the existing Model B, giving makers and hackers more connectivity options but retaining the same core and keeping compatiblity with the existing software and peripherals.

Just like the Model B, the Model B+ runs on the same Broadcom chip, the BCM2835 AP (application processor) and, somewhat unfortunately, the same 512 MB of RAM. It may disappoint some that there is no upgrade in this regard, but it serves two purposes. The first is a bit of a marketing thing, to keep the B+ from being seen as too unlike the B, since they're in the same family. The second is to ensure that whatever worked on the Model B would still work on the B+, no porting necessary.

That said, there are very visible changes to the B+. The most obvious would be the inclusion of 4 full-sized USB slots, giving room for more peripherals and toys to be attached. And speaking of attachments, they have also almost doubled the number of GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) pins, now at 40, for connecting even more wires, gadgets, and whatnot. The great news is that the B+ retains the same pin layout for the first 26 pins so that, again, it remains compatible with existing projects. One change, however, that is incompatible is the change from a regular SD card slot to a micro SD card.

One important change that you won't be able to see, unless you explicitly measure it, is the power consumption of the B+. The foundation has been able to reduce the little board's need for energy by 0.5 to 1.0 W. It might not look much, but for a tiny equipment such as this, that can be quite impressive and beneficial.

These and more, you will be able to get for the same size and the same price. The Raspberry Pi Model B+ will sell for the same $35 that made this device the darling of many enthusiasts and hobbyists. But while the B+ will be available from many Raspberry Pi sources, the foundation will still keep the still useful Model B in production to keep their industrial partners well supplied.

SOURCE: Raspberry Pi


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