Is a Raspberry Pi Model B+ with 4 USB ports on the way?

It’s been more than two years since the first Raspberry Pi mini-computer shipped. And while the developers have released a new Compute Module and a few accessories, the basic design of the Raspberry Pi hasn’t changed much.

Update: It’s official. The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is a revised version of the original Model B with more USB ports, more GPIO pins, and other tweaks, but the same $35 price tag.

You can read our original article about the pre-release leaks below or check out details about the new Model B+ at the Raspberry Pi blog.

raspberrypi_b+

Original article:

There could be a new model on the way. A device called the Raspberry Pi Model B+ showed up briefly at European retail site Reichelt over the weekend, but the product page was removed after about an hour.

The folks at AppDated grabbed a photo and some details before the Model B+ disappeared.

The Model B+ is about the same size as the original $35 Raspberry Pi Model B. But it has 4 USB ports instead of 2, a microSD card slot instead of a full-sized SD card reader, and no RCA adapter a more compact AV adapter.

This model also seems to have 40 GPIO pins instead of 26 and has a new digital signal processor for better audio performance.

Other specs remain largely unchanged, so the device still features a 700 MHz ARM11 processor, 512MB of RAM, and Broadcom Video Core IV graphics. While those specs look pretty anemic in 2014, keeping the same CPU means that software developed for the original Raspberry Pi Model A and Model B will probably work on the Model B+ and that’s important because the most compelling thing about this tiny, inexpensive community is the developer community that’s developed around it over the last few years.

It’s not entirely clear if the Model B+ is an official product from the Raspberry Pi Foundation or some sort of third-party board built out of a Raspberry Pi. Or maybe it’s just a mistake — we probably won’t know for certain until the product page re-appears at Richelt or other places.

Update: CNX Software spotted another photo of the Model B+ and this one features an Element14 box. That’s one of Raspberry Pi’s primary distribution partners for its single-board computers, so it looks like this thing is real.

Update 2: According Hack A Day Element14 accidentally shipped at least one Model B+ to a customer who had ordered a Model B, and European Raspberry Pi distributor RS Components has posted a spec sheet and schematics and priced the Model B + at €29.90. The original Model B sells for €27.40.

via TechHive

  • phroneein

    If it is true it would be a shame if they didn’t upgrade the processor at the same time, a bit faster, say 1GHz would make a big difference.

    • agumonkey

      More than faster, a real cpu, not a gpu with an ARM as coprocessor, so IO dont have to be throttled by the GPU OS.

    • shaurz

      At this rate they might as well wait for an ARMv8 chip and skip ARMv7 altogether… but they do seem reluctant to upgrade to CPU, probably due to the investment in software support, and it is still sufficient for simple applications (still unsuitable as a desktop IMO).

      • Lloyd Seaton

        Raspberry Pi has always aimed for a very low price point and I’d be surprised if they were to abandon that approach to chase the state of the art. However, if an SoC like the BCM28155 were to become available for the right price and tick all the right technical boxes, a Raspberry Pi Model C could suddenly become more than a rumour.

  • Leio

    You can overclock the existing stuff to 1GHz safely…

  • http://about.me/GregoryRasputin GregoryRasputin

    You do realise the pic from “Update 2″, is just pic 2 cropped and rotated ? :p

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      Heh, looks like you’re right. I’ve just been trying to trace the source of the leak and was excited to find it. :)

  • Paul NeoStormer

    German RS has spec sheets:

    http://de.rs-online.com/web/p/entwicklungskits-prozessor-mikrocontroller/8111284/

    The video is also built into the 4-pole audio jack.

    • Lloyd Seaton

      The RS spec sheets tell an impressive story and suggest much more to come.
      1. The power supply has been completely redesigned for greater capacity
      2. You can probably toss out your powered USB hub because the new USB/Ethernet subsystem is significantly improved
      3. The GPIO ports are consolidated onto a single 40-way header
      4. The mounting holes will clearly facilitate design of more robust enclosures but, perhaps more importantly, the hole placement is such that expansion board designers are virtually being invited to design stackable boards separated by stand-off screws to implement a GPIO distribution scheme akin to the Arduino shield architecture, stackable to an arbitrary extent.

      The recently released Raspberry Pi Compute Module/IO Board combination was designed principally to address the needs of industrial applications that were not able to be satisfied by Raspberry Pi models A & B. It seems to me that Model B+ will allow many of such applications to be satisfied “out of the box” which probably will not be helpful for sales of the Compute Module.

  • Lloyd Seaton

    Apart from being incompatible with some existing enclosures this seems, IMHO to be a very welcome refinement of the Raspberry Pi physical and electrical characteristics without compromising the Pi’s unique position as the most stable, affordable and broadly capable mini PC platform.

  • Dan

    WiFi yet?

    • Daniel Lundh

      No, but adding 2 more USB ports makes it easier to accomodate a wifi dongle.

  • shaurz

    Hopefully they’ve improved the power output to the USB ports. This could eliminate the need for a hub in many applications which currently require one (which is especially important since many hubs are incompatible).

  • Manfred

    And here it is: http://rch.lt/fR