Second-generation Raspberry Pi board steps up connectivity and power feeds

July 14, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Enabling “bigger and better” projects, Raspberry Pi B+ is the first major update to the credit-card sized computer, with uprated interfaces and the ability to source more power through the card.

Raspberry Pi B+, available from distributor element14, is priced at $35, and incorporates more sensors and accessories; advanced power management and greater connectivity make it possible to power four USB accessories – such as a 2.5 inch hard drive – through the device. Up to 1.2A can be delivered to the USB ports to feed peripheral devices without additional mains power adaptors, or an external USB hub.

With a 40-pin extended GPIO, more sensors, connectors and expansion boards can be added to the board, allowing users to increase the complexity of their Raspberry Pi projects. The first 26 pins remain identical to the original Raspberry Pi Model B for 100% backward compatibility.

The Raspberry Pi B+ is based on the same Broadcom BCM2835 Chipset and 512 MB of RAM as the previous model. It is powered by micro USB with AV connections through either HDMI or a new four-pole connector replacing the existing analogue audio and composite video ports. The SD card slot has been replaced with a micro-SD, tidying up the board design and helping to protect the card from damage. The B+ board also now uses less power (600 mA) than the Model B Board (750 mA) when running.

“The new Raspberry Pi B+ marks the first major re-design of what has been one of the stand-out tech products in the last few years,” says Claire Doyle, global head of Raspberry Pi at element14, the leading distributor of the credit-card sized computer. “We've already seen the board drive some amazing designs, but the B+ model opens up the opportunity to push the boundaries of complexity and innovation to make even bigger and better projects. It is also the board that can open up a whole new area of learning for young people.”

Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, comments: “We’ve been blown away by the projects that have been made possible through the original B boards and,