Raspberry Pi B+ arrives with more pins, ports, and power

Raspberry Pi B+ arrives with more pins, ports, and power

Summary: It's not Raspberry Pi 2, but Model B+ released today includes two new USB ports, a move to Micro SD, and better power management.

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Raspberry Pi Model B versus Model B+
Raspberry Pi Model B versus Model B+. Image: Element 14

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi Linux computer, known the as Model B+, has just been released.

The device went on sale today with the same $35 price tag as the Model B, but with a few additional tweaks and improvements designed to address the most frequent requests from Raspberry Pi tinkerers. The new additions should make Pi a more convenient and compelling platform to build upon as competition for developers of low-powered devices grows.

Founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation Eben Upton said it's not "Raspberry Pi 2" but rather the "final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi", and so the Model B+ board retains many of the same core elements of its predecessor but in a more coherent design.

The new additions should of Pi builders a device that's more convenient and powerful ARM platform to build upon at the same old price.

The Model B+ retains the ARM-based Broadcom BCM2835 chipset, 512MB of RAM, and 700MHz low-power ARM1176JZ-F applications processor, but replaces the SDCard in previous models with the more space efficient microSD, which is still placed on the left hand side of the device.

The new model also comes with rounded corners and four mounting holes in a rectangular arrangement. Raspberry Pi director of hardware James Adams said this should make it easier to plug in boards on top of the device.

The B+ has two more USB connectors compared to the the two found on the Model B, bringing the count to four ports in total — handy for users that want to plug in a keyboard, monitor, and a wi-fi dongle too, for example.

Other notable changes are extra GPIO pins, which have been increased from the 26 on the Model B to 40 on the Model B+, while the newer model incorporates the previously separate audio and video ports into a single four-port jack.

The Model B+ also promises reduced power consumption by between 0.5W and 1W, and better audio thanks to dedicated low-noise power supply in the audio circuit.

Pi distributor Element 14 has a full run down of the differences between the two models here.

Read more on the Raspberry Pi

Topics: Hardware, Linux, EU, United Kingdom, Education

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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3 comments
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  • Are the USB ports powered?

    If I plugin a Western Digital Elements into the USB drive will it work? I dont mind having a 3amp supply but will the Pi deliver all the current it needs? Does it drive each USB port with 500mA?
    ChicagoBob123
    • Hi there

      The element14 page doesn't list specific current values, but it does say that the USB ports are to be more tolerant to increased current draw (I believe the previous limit to be around 100 mA). Whilst they do not provide specifics, they do say that most portable usb drives will be supported, which leads me to suppose that they will reach the 500mA standard.
      MarknWill
  • Are the USB ports powered?

    If I plugin a Western Digital Elements into the USB drive will it work? I dont mind having a 3amp supply but will the Pi deliver all the current it needs? Does it drive each USB port with 500mA?
    ChicagoBob123