The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the retail availability of their new board, the Raspberry Pi 2, which is faster than the original Raspberry Pi, will run free Windows 10 and retain its $35 price. Raspberry Pi has quickly become one of the maker community’s favorite platforms because their highly-capable, low-cost boards and compute modules enable developers to bring their vison to life.
The second-generation microcomputer that offers more than six times the computing power of the original Raspberry Pi, without compromising the credit card-sized form factor or the affordable purchase price.
All of the components of the original Raspberry Pi are still there: a Broadcom processor, RAM, the same software stack. What’s new is a new processor called the BCM2836, a system-on-a-chip that was fine-tuned by Broadcom engineers to give it a performance boost.
The processor is built with four ARM cores, compared to the earlier generation BCM2835, which has a single ARM core that was used in the original Raspberry Pi. It has twice the amount of memory (RAM) on board and has the same pocket-sized form factor.
What’s special about the Raspberry Pi 2 is that the BCM2836 packs Broadcom’s VideoCore IV graphics and multimedia IP, a feature-rich, in-house graphics stack that continues to be a competitive multimedia solution.
Some of the Raspberry Pi 2 specs:
- SoC : Broadcom BCM2836 (CPU, GPU, DSP, SDRAM, and single USB port)
- CPU: 900 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 (ARMv7 instruction set)
- GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV @ 250 MHz, OpenGL ES 2.0 (24 GFLOPS), 1080p30 MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoder (with license), 1080p30 h.264/MPEG-4 AVC high-profile decoder and encoder
- Memory: 1 GB (shared with GPU)
Raspberry Pi 2 has enough raw computing power to do anything that a PC can -- surf the Web, word processing, spreadsheet algorithms and more.
The Foundation says it won't be discontinuing the other Raspberry Pi boards, with the A+ board -- introduced back in November -- still the cheapest way to get your mitts on a Raspberry Pi.
"For the last six months," the Raspberry Pi Foundation writes on its blog, "we've been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers."
"It runs," Upton said at the board's launch. "I've seen it running."
It seems that the version of Windows 10 that the Pi 2 ends up running could be quite different to the normal version of Windows 10 that most computers will be running. The Pi-compatible edition will be part of Microsoft's Windows Developer Program for IoT (Internet of Things), which is concerned with bringing Windows development tools to small devices.
As such, Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi is unlikely to appeal to ordinary consumers looking for the familiar Windows OS.