Meet the Raspberry Pi 2 – 6x faster, will support Windows 10

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Element 14 and Raspberry Pi has this morning announced the Raspberry Pi 2 – the follow-up to the wildly successful, super-cheap, super-portable, super-hackable PC.

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The Pi 2 builds on the success of the first device – boosting the processor up to a Broadcom BCM2836 ARMv7 Quad Core Processor – running at 900mhz. That’s six times faster than the original device. RAM has also doubled – now sporting 1GB of SDRAM (at 450mhz).

What this means in reality is that things will run a whole lot better – with the spec now being something you could reasonably use as your main computer rather than just as a toy. Crucially for PC use, it should make for a nicer user experience – RP’s spokesperson claimed that some people in the RP office use the Pi 2 as the main computer at home. Perhaps most intriguingly, Pi 2 will have support for a modified version of Windows 10 for embedded devices – so it sounds as though (eventually) you’ll be able to run Windows 10 Universal Apps on the new device.

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As you might expect, the Pi 2 looks similar to the original devices – it is still a circuit board without a case, though the eagle-eyed will note that USB ports have been doubled to 4, and the memory is now on the back of the device.

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Helpfully too, the Pi 2 maintains full compatibility with the original Pi – including all of Element14’s hardware accessories, which includes the “EnOcean” internet-of-things sensor kit, “PiFace” motor controller, “BitScope” oscilloscope and “Cirrus” logic card, which enables “high definition” audio.

The launch of the Pi 2 comes 35 months after the release of the original Raspberry Pi computer – and having initially wanting to ship 10,000 the company has in fact sold closer to 4.5 million. Interesting too, given the device’s positioning as an education device, the company estimates that 1-2 million of them are in the hands of kids, giving them a chance to learn to code. Speaking at the launch press conference today, the RP spokesperson mentioned that the company is hoping to sell three million of the new devices in the first year.

The really exciting news is that the Pi 2 is available from TODAY – for £24.95 a go. Element 14, which manufactures the devices, has already cranked out 100,000 of the new devices.

James O’Malley