Raspberry Pi designer hints at future version

Raspberry Pi designer hints at future version

Summary: Raspberry Pi hardware designer Pete Lomas has said the current model could get a RAM boost.However, while that beefed up version may be available at some point, costs and demand will likely hold it off for a while, the popular mini-computer's designer said.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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Raspberry Pi hardware designer Pete Lomas has said the current model could get a RAM boost.

However, while that beefed up version may be available at some point, costs and demand will likely hold it off for a while, the popular mini-computer's designer said.

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi may get a beefed-up version in future. Image credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized computer that is being touted as a way of teaching schoolchildren about programming. The £22 'Model B' that is currently on sale has just 256MB of onboard memory, but Lomas has pointed to a potential boost to that specification.

"We are looking at the possibility of a Model B+ with additional RAM, but the costs do not look promising and unless we really run out of space for the cool stuff people want to do then it will be a while," Lomas said in a Q&A published on Wednesday.

There is already a second version of the Raspberry Pi in the works, the 'Model A', that lacks the Ethernet port and has only one USB connection — it was to have had half the RAM of the Model B, although both now have 256MB. The remaining hardware differences let the Model A cost an even-cheaper £16.

The need to keep costs down also meant that features such as Bluetooth and inbuilt analogue-to-digital audio converters had to be left out of the Model B, Lomas also explained. However, he added that both these functionalities were possible, using the USB jack and general purpose input/output (GPIO) instead.

Lomas also answered other questions relating to the device's hardware. He acknowledged that the Raspberry Pi cannot recognise certain high-capacity SD cards — the device uses SD cards as its primary means of storage — and said it remains a problem.

"It looks like the jump to smaller die and process has created some anomalies that for some reason the BCM2835 [system-on-a-chip] cannot handle, this is also reflected in issues with Class 10," Lomas said.

"We will publish a tested list but we have already found that the same card manufactured in different years have different die; the early one is OK and the later one not. This is an issue and a real pain but we are looking at it. It also affects microSD cards for identical reasons," he added.

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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4 comments
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  • Its disappointing to still read articles that state that the model A will have half the ram of the model B. This is not the case - the RPi Foundation stated that the ram will be the same on both models many weeks ago. The reason the A will be cheaper is that it will only have 1 USB port and no ethernet port.
    Hope this helps,
    Texy
    Texy-dbdca
  • @Texy: Sorry about that! Thanks for bringing the error to our attention. We've corrected the blog post to reflect that the RAM is the same.

    We're grateful to our readers for their help in keeping our stories accurate. If you think we've gone astray, you can either post a comment or drop me an email at karen.friar@zdnet.co.uk.

    Thanks!
    Karen Friar
  • Oh, nice. It's an interesting design.
    anonymous
  • A couple things for future changes

    For me, a couple of things that need to change:
    . The loading time is one of the major criticised issues that I read. Is this related with running the OS from SD? It's there any viable alternative?
    . My smartphone has 2x more memory than the raspberry pi, and I need to constantly choose which apps I want running.
    . It's really necessary the RCA video connector?
    paulo_graca