Print 8 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on Jul 17 at 10:16 AM

Refresh of ultra-affordable microcontroller/microcomputer offers a number of desirable tweaks

After two years of strong sales and incredible response from the tinkerer/DIY community, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has a final set of tweaks to the higher priced variant of its first generation pocket computer, the Raspberry Pi B.

Dubbed the Raspberry Pi B+, the new version still uses most of the same hardware (including packing the same 512 MB memory footprint).  And it's still available for $35 -- from Farnell/element14/Newark, and at RS/Allied Components.
Raspberry Pi B+
The Raspberry Pi B+ board

Here's a quick change list:
  • I/O
    • GP (general purpose) -- 14 new pins in header, for a grand total of 40 (was 26)
    • USB -- 4 ports (was 2)
    • microSD -- better/snugger push-push fit housing (was friction fit)
    • audio -- new noise-reduction power conditioning circuitry
    • composite video -- moves onto the 3.5 mm audio out jack
  • Efficiency
    • Switching regulators -- cut power usage by 0.5-1.0 watts
  • General
  • USB -- headers now aligned with circuit board
  • Mounting holes (new) -- allow for easy mounts to spacers in project boxes

Raspberry Pi has posted a number of videos about the upgrade:

Can we expect a similar upgrade to the Model A (256 MB, 1 USB port, currently), which launched last year?  We'll have to wait and see.

Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation

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By StevoLincolnite on 7/15/2014 2:15:25 AM , Rating: 1
I still want an x86 board that's equivalent to this in size and power consumption and price, but with full Windows 9X compatibility. :(

Virtualization just isn't the same!
I know VIA did some boards awhile back, but when they were asking $300-$400 for an EPIA board, I almost choked.

Hopefully some smart bugger manages to get the Intel Galileo board going down that path.

RE: .
By Samus on 7/15/2014 2:58:26 AM , Rating: 2
There are plenty of options but not in this price range. The cheapest x86 SoC's start at around $70 (Intel Galileo) and that's only going to get you 400MHz. Ideally you'd want an XSCALE 800MHz which costs more than a dual-core A15 with a far superior GPU.

If Intel didn't charge so damn much for XSCALE CPU's, what you are looking for would be more common.

Then there are Intel "Shark Cove" dev boards that are slightly larger than RPI, but have a full blown Bay Trail Atom onboard. Don't even ask how much those costs (it's in the hundreds, for a barebones DEV BOARD)

Your best bet is to look into the Intel Galileo platform. It's painfully slow, P54C-based, but it'll run Windows 9x and apps of the era ok.

RE: .
By StevoLincolnite on 7/15/2014 6:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
I should reiterate, I already have a Galileo board that Microsoft gave to me for nothing.

And AFAIK Bay Trail doesn't have Win98 drivers, which is important for the chipset and other bits and bobs like USB.

I wouldn't complain if it had a PCI slot either so I could drop in a 3dfx voodoo for Glide.

And why is it only up to Intel? AMD and VIA could come to the party!

I think the only option right now is to source an old Coppermine/Tualatin/Thunderbird based rig, but they're huge and consume more power than necessary. :(

RE: .
By NellyFromMA on 7/15/2014 9:54:48 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly which power source were you planning on driving the Voodoo car from if you did have a PCI slot. Isn't the Ultra Low Power aka Ultra Mobile?

Also, your post reminded me of when I was 12 just starting to like PCs. When I had Win95 and just upgraded to my first 3dFX card, that was probably on the highest points of PC tech gratification.

Fast forward some 16 years later, modern PCs smash that to pieces, yet are somewhat more boring.

I guess I'm old now, lol.

RE: .
By Mitch101 on 7/15/2014 11:32:17 AM , Rating: 2
How low do you want to go? You can find decent CPU/Board combos for $55.00 on newegg with one PCI slot. Then you can get up to Intel NUC but there are alternatives to projects as small as Audrino and Raspberry Pi

Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source toolkit for building small electronic devices using the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio/Visual C# Express.

MinnowBoard is shipping, its Intel’s turn to take aim at the $35 credit card-sized fruit pie computer.

MinnowBoard and MinnowBoard MAX are a Intel® Atom™ processor based boards which introduce Intel® Architecture to the small and low cost embedded market for the developer and maker community. They offer exceptional performance, flexibility, openness and standards.

I have seen references to using Visual Studio on the Raspberry Pi as well. But as someone mentioned its not a very lucrative product line.

RE: .
By NellyFromMA on 7/17/2014 10:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
Cool stuff, I'll have to check it out sometime.

I guess I was under the impression that the RPI operated off a battery power-source and not a wired AC source.

I can't imagine running an old-school desktop GPU on a battery, but it'd be pretty cool if it could.

I guess if it did run, it'd probably give you all of 3 minutes of game time lol.

RE: .
By testbug00 on 7/15/2014 10:22:40 AM , Rating: 3
The market is not profitable for Intel, much less VIA and AMD...

RE: .
By drlumen on 7/15/2014 2:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed that it probably isn't much of a market for Intel but I think it would generate some synergy with the rest of their product line.

I know that I got a couple of Texas Instrument launchpads a few years ago and, now, if I need IC's I will look to TI first.

If Intel can give millions of dollars for partnering agreements then they could probably stand to lose a little on development boards and the like.

I still wouldn't run windows on them though.

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