The Raspberry Pi Foundation shipped its first $35 single board computer over 2 years ago. Now the team has updated the hardware with a new model sporting new features and the same low price.

Meet the Raspberry Pi Model B+.

raspberry pi model b plus

You can buy the Model B+ from Element14 or RS Components.

The new model has the same Broadcom BCM2835 processor and 512MB of RAM as its predecessor. It’s still small enough to hold in one hand, cheap enough to use for a variety of education or hobby-related activities, and powerful enough to use as a cheap desktop computer, a media center, a controller for a robot or home automation system, or much more.

But here are some of the things that make the Model B+ different from the original Model B:

  • There are now 4 USB 2.0 ports instead of 2.
  • There are 40 GPIO pins instead of 26, but they use the same pin layout.
  • There’s a microSD card reader instead of a full-sized SD card slot.
  • Power consumption has been reduced by between 0.5W and 1W.
  • Audio should sound better thanks to a low-noise power supply.

You also won’t find an RCA video jack on the new model. The AV adapter is now more compact and it’s lined up next to the HDMI port.

The layout has also been tweaked a bit. The Raspberry Pi team says the new form factor is neater, with the USB ports aligned with the board edge, among other things. But the new design means that any case built for the original Model B won’t work with the new Model B+.

Since 26 of the 40 GPIO pins are in the same place as they were on the Model B though, any projects you’ve developed for the older model will continue to work with the new model.

While the Model B+ sells for the same $35 price as the Model B, it’s not going to replace it… at least not right away. The older version will remain in production as long as there’s demand for it, so if you have applications or peripherals designed specifically for that model you can continue to buy it.

Features that remain unchanged from the original include the 10/100 Ethernet port, HDMI port, CSI camera port and DSI display port, and micro USB port which is used for the power supply.

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the Model B+ represents the “final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi,” which suggests that the next product we see from the group could be a model with new hardware (such as a faster CPU or more RAM) that some users have been asking about for years.

While the Model A, Model B and Model B+ feature relatively slow 700 MHz ARM11 processors with a reasonably decent graphics core, the hardware is only part of what’s made these devices popular over the past few years. More than 3 million units have been shipped and the ever-growing community of folks tinkering with Raspberry Pi machines means there’s a lot of community-based software and support for the platform, something that’s not necessarily as true of many competing devices that already have more powerful hardware.

So it makes sense for the Raspberry Pi Foundation to take things slowly instead of launching new and incompatible hardware every six months.

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8 replies on “Meet the Raspberry Pi Model B+ $35 single board computer”

  1. One really dumb move was moving from an SD to MicroSD. There is plenty of physical space for either and it is trivial to put a MicroSD into a full SD slot while the opposite is not true. Meanwhile there are a lot of preloaded SD cards in the field for the Pi.

    Guess we wait and see to find out if the USB based Ethernet is stable this time.

    1. There’s no reason to think the USB situation has changed. This new model still uses the same broken controller that all of the previous models do.

    2. Absolutely. The microSD is useful in things like cellphones, where in combination with severely limited space, the device has to avoid protruding cards. That is not the case with development boards that stay in place and may need lots of memory card swaps (different configurations, different data, etc). I *also* think it’s stupid that tablets don’t have full-size SD cards. Those have plenty of space in the housing for a full SD slot, and when you’re travelling around, a full-size SD card is much less likely to get lost than a microSD. Remember; not all of us have eagle-eyesight, and we probably can’t *see* something as small as the microSD.

  2. I hope that the Rpi 2.0 would be a COM (dual core SOC, min 1GB RAM) + a carrier board with plenty of connectors USB, hdmi, VGA, etc

  3. Disappointing they kept the same 700mhz cpu (a dual core 700 mhz would be an improvemant) and removed the A/V port. Not worth getting the new board.

    1. The A/V port has not been removed: it’s been moved to a more compact connector that doesn’t obstruct the placement of expansion boards and is in line with the HDMI socket, a much more rational position.

    2. In Eben Upton’s product launch video (above) he explained what the Model B+ is. Significantly, he also told us what it is not. Was it a Freudian slip when he said it’s not Raspberry Pi II? I took his remark to be an unintended foreshadowing of a Raspberry Pi II in the works.

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