New Raspberry Pi 2 Model B with 900MHz quad-core ARM

The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is the second generation Raspberry Pi. It replaced the originalRaspberry Pi 2 ModB 1GB Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ in February 2015. Compared to the Raspberry Pi 1 it has:

  • A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1

Like the (Pi 1) Model B+, it also has:

  • 4 USB ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Ethernet port
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • VideoCore IV 3D graphics core

Because it has an ARMv7 processor, it can run the full range of ARM GNU/Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core, as well as Microsoft Windows 10 (see the blog for more information).

The Raspberry Pi 2 has an identical form factor to the previous (Pi 1) Model B+ and has complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1.

We recommend the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B for use in schools: it offers more flexibility for learners than the leaner (Pi 1) Model A+, which is more useful for embedded projects and projects which require very low power.

BCM2836 AND RASPBERRY PI 2

Since we launched the original Raspberry Pi Model B, back in 2012, we’ve done an enormous amount of software work to get the best out of our Broadcom BCM2835 application processor and its 700MHz ARM11 CPU. We’ve spent a lot of money on optimising a wide variety of open-source libraries and applications, including WebKit, LibreOffice, Scratch, Pixman, XBMC/Kodi, libav and PyPy. At the same time, the Raspbian project, run by Peter Green and Mike Thompson, has provided us with an ARMv6-compatible rebuild of Debian with hardware floating point support, and Gordon, Dom and Jonathan have spent thousands of hours working on the firmware and board support to make Raspberry Pi the most stable single board computer in the world. It’s worth going back and trying out an old SD card image from 2012 to get an idea of how far we’ve come.

Nonetheless, there comes a point when there’s no substitute for more memory and CPU performance. Our challenge was to figure out how to get this without throwing away our investment in the platform or spoiling all those projects and tutorials which rely on the precise details of the Raspberry Pi hardware. Fortunately for us, Broadcom were willing to step up with a new SoC, BCM2836. This retains all the features of BCM2835, but replaces the single 700MHz ARM11 with a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 complex: everything else remains the same, so there is no painful transition or reduction in stability.

This has an identical form-factor to the existing Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+, but manages to pack in both the new BCM2836 and a full 1GB of SDRAM from our friends at Micron. All of the connectors are in the same place and have the same functionality, and the board can still be run from a 5V micro-USB power adapter.

www.raspberrypi.org

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