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InfoQ Homepage News Raspberry Pi 2 Brings More Power, Memory and Windows Support

Raspberry Pi 2 Brings More Power, Memory and Windows Support

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Today, the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the availability of Raspberry Pi 2, which is based on the popular Model B+ design. The newly revised package includes an upgraded broadcom system on a chip (BCM2836), bringing 1G SDRAM memory and a 900MHz quad-core ARM A7 processor, thereby doubling the memory of the previous BCM2835 system found in the Model A, B and B+ Pis. With over 4.5 millon sold, it is only half a million short of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, the highest selling British computer of all time. (The popularity of the Raspberry Pi 2 has temporarily caused the Raspberry Pi site to go into overload, serving a single static page containing the announcement.)

The Raspberry Pi 2 will be sold at the same price as the existing Raspberry Pi, and the Raspberry Pi foundation has committed to providing both models for as long as the old model is still in demand. Makers who have strict dependencies on the ARM6 processor in the Model A or B devices will still be able to obtain these. At present, the Raspberry Pi compute module and the Model A will continue to run the original system on a chip, although these may get upgrades in the future.

The Rasbperry Pi has run various Linux based operating systems since its inception, first with a Debian derived install called Raspian by default or the more recent NOOBS operating system. However, with the arrival of the new Cortex A7 design, it is possible to run a Ubuntu Core image as well as vanilla Debian. With the Raspberry Pi 2 now public, it is expected that some drivers and libraries will be recompiled to support the new functionality of the ARM A7 processor.

In an unexpected move, Microsoft have joined in the Raspberry Pi party. With the new Windows on Devices push, which allows Windows kernels to run on low power and embedded devices, Microsoft have officially announced support for the Raspberry Pi 2:

We’re excited to announce that we are expanding our Windows Developer Program for IoT by delivering a version of Windows 10 that supports Raspberry Pi 2. This release of Windows 10 will be free for the Maker community through the Windows Developer Program for IoT.

Windows 10 is the first step to an era of more personal computing. This vision framed our work on Windows 10, where we are moving Windows to a world that is more mobile, natural and grounded in trust. With the Windows for IoT developer program we're bringing our leading development tools, services and ecosystem to the Raspberry Pi community!

Microsoft have created a signup form to become part of the early adopter community for the Windows Developer Program for IoT. Microsoft have already offered this based on the Intel Galileo boards, powered by the Intel Quark system on a chip. Applications are likely to be written in the .NET Micro Framework and allow development from Visual Studio, bringing application portability across multiple devices.

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