back to article Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is likely to provoke a global geekgasm today with the surprise release of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. It's a turbocharged version of the Pi B+, boasting a new Broadcom BCM2836 900MHz quad-core system-on-chip with 1GB of RAM – all of which will drive performance "at least 6x" that of the B+. Speaking …

  1. ZSn

    Competitors dead in the water?

    Well this has categorically answered the competitors such as the Odroid C1. Now I know that this is probably a stupid question, but does all the linux software have to be recompiled for this machine or like the B -> B+ can you just slot the micro SD from one to the other and it just run.

    I can't wait to get my hands on one!

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      It's the same arch, just unplug, plug n go

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      Not a stupid question, but one I can't answer. We did a fresh install of Raspbian, so can't say if the SD swap would work. One for the experts...

      1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

        Re: Competitors dead in the water?

        A simple swap worked for us.

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Competitors dead in the water?

          There you go, question answered.

    3. Zola

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      From a software perspective, the Pi2 is 100% backward compatible with the Pi1. All existing Pi1 software runs just fine on the Pi2.

      You can take a single Raspbian image (updates will be made available later today) and run it on both the Pi1 and Pi2 - the Pi2 will boot using the kernel7.img while the Pi1 will use the existing kernel.img.

      However recompilation is recommended for optimal performance (ARMv6 to ARMv7 with NEON), but definitely not essential.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      Well this has categorically answere

      No it has not. Still 100 MBIt and no SATA. So it is still as useless as the previous one for microsdesktop (in a network), thin client duties or a NAS. If you want any of these you will still have to (grudgingly) shell out for an x86 based system :(

      It is probably even worse than the B+ in terms of power budget too. B+ is barely useful (I got 3-4 in use for security apps) because it has under 200mA or thereabouts left after the SoC consumes its share. It really, really, really needs a proper power plug instead of still faffing around with micro-USB. Otherwise these 4 USBs are useless - you can realistically use only one or two.

      The B+ was fine for classic Pi IO duties (sans the power issues) in a IO/Network application and that was about it. For that two cores, 512M and 100Mbit are enough.

      If Pi will really insist on trying to do something in the "desktop" space it should try better than this and put a Gigabit Soc on the board.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Competitors dead in the water?

        @Voland's right hand

        Useful comments, but it DOES have a real power plug : you can provide power through the "gpio" pin header.

        I would never use a barrel jack on a permanent installation : I'd rather use the micro usb. But the right way to do it imho is to make a carrier board with a suitable power supply and any signal conditioning / pin protection etc. and drop the pi (or even the naked version) onto that. Then use proper connectors like the green plugin ones or whatever the rest of your system uses to connect it in.

        Microusb is just for bench lashups. Barrel jacks are a bygone age, barely good enough even for chargers.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: would never use a barrel jack on a permanent installation

          Why the hate-on for barrel jacks Adrian 4?

          I just upgraded the Chateau Stevie Visual Ents Suite from the old Phillips CRT and surround sound DVD wotsit and my Voyage of Discovery showed that pretty much all the equipment options as far as flat screen TVs, soundbars, sub-woofers and Blu-ray players all featured barrel jack power supply connectors.

          I'm not trying to pick a fight. I'm genuinely interested in your objections to them.

      2. The BigYin

        Re: Competitors dead in the water?

        I see that @"Voland's right hand" is another person who completely and utterly misses the *entire point* of a RasPi.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: Competitors dead in the water?

          > I see that @"Voland's right hand" is another person who completely and utterly misses the *entire point* of a RasPi.

          True. But he has plenty of company though. And those people like to sing the praises of the PI for applications that it's not really suited for.

          Some of the shameless fanboy gushing needs to be mitigated by a little bit of justified skepticism.

          Been there. Done that.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Competitors dead in the water?

        Although I would like to a model with at least 2 Ethernet Gb ports <G> it's not really the design target for this devices. Nor I will probably build a NAS on such hardware were file processing and storage reliability is very important.

        The Pi are really aimed at a different market - the stress on Arduino compatibility is not there for nothing, and although they can be used for other tasks, if you really need a board for thin client or NAS duties there are other board or devices better suited of the tasks, although more expensive.

      4. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Still 100 MBIt and no SATA

        Why is 100MBit useless? For most desktop duties that's just fine and as a thin-client, it's total overkill.

        1. Woodnag

          Re: Still 100 MBIt and no SATA

          Also, 100Mbit allows power-over-ethernet with the two spare TPs.

          1. jamestr

            Re: Still 100 MBIt and no SATA

            No offense, but many devices support -active- PoE on gigabit. Unless you're fine with the prospects of your Pi being under/over volted by passive PoE... be my guest!

      5. Jim 59

        Re: Competitors dead in the water?

        Not much point in putting gigabit on here, the CPU wouldn't have the power to leverage it, even with quad core hows-your-father. It might *just* max out 100Mb/s, will be interesting to see test results though. Even if it just maxes out Fast Ethernet, (say 12 Mbyte/s), that's not bad. According to my measurements, the Pi B (not overclocked) achieved about 7 Mbyte/s acting as a NAS.

      6. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Competitors dead in the water?

        Still 100 MBIt and no SATA.

        <p>And still no sign of audio in. I mean, seriously -- the Broadcom SoC was designed for camcorders and embedded multimedia, but there's no ADC anywhere on the Pi board. It's an unbelievably odd design decision.

    5. mafoo

      Ethernet

      Does it still use USB host ethernet controller? If it does I'll stick with my BananaPi. I've been rather impressed by it's performance.

    6. Bob Vistakin
      Linux

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      Android ICS has already been ported to the Pi, but as it turned out it just about fit but with no room for apps and clunky performance. Both are addressed handsomely with this new model. Can't comment on how iOS or Windows Mobile works on it since in this IOT crazy world their owners wisely stuck to their closed source model...

    7. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      The announcement on the official site is saying Windows 10 will be available on the Pi this year too.

      I've read it and re-read it and read it again. I've checked that I am actually awake and lucid. It definitely says Windows 10.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Competitors dead in the water?

        Better install Windows 8 on it now so you can upgrade for free.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competitors dead in the water?

          there's a Forbes article about "Microsoft comeback inevitable" that suggests the Upgrade upgrade is a mechanism for getting Windows 7 users to upgrade, so let us know how you get on with your Win8 install please ...

          ;-)

    8. AlAl

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      From today you should be able to ‘apt-get upgrade’ on an existing Raspbian installation to add an ARMv7 kernel to your distribution. The SD card can then be used — assuming it’s a Micro SD Card — to boot either a first or second generation Pi. Card images, along with a new NOOBS image, will also be posted that support both boards. More at http://makezine.com/2015/02/02/eben-upton-raspberry-pi-2/.

    9. Hugo CHAV

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      When was the last time you could get such significant upgrade of a PC for $35, i can just see pretty much anyone who has one upgrading, having said that the price point leaves it with only OK memory and bandwidth, so there should still be room for commercial competitors, ( I think a UK charitable trust killing commercial competitors completely might not be such a great Idea politically also)

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Re: Competitors dead in the water?

        > When was the last time you could get such significant upgrade of a PC for $35

        The last time I saved an old PC from the dumpster by putting a cheap Nvidia card into it.

    10. Horridbloke

      Re: Competitors dead in the water?

      I have just taken delivery of my pi 2 and had a brief play with it. The raspbian image was updated using apt-get on the old hardware yesterday in readiness. The pi 2 booted and ran much much faster - the difference is much like we used to enjoy when upgrading from a five-year-old pc to the latest and greatest back in the nineties. The GUI, Epiphany browser and LibreOffice all ran pretty smooth. Considering this is currently running userland binaries for the older architecture I'm impressed.

  2. gerdesj Silver badge

    Nerdgasm?

    Well I nearly lost bladder control. Does that count?

    1. BillDarblay

      Re: Nerdgasm?

      Maybe not but loss of bowel control certainly would!

      Need one of these bad boys for my openelec rig now - 5.1 DTS hi bit rate AND fiddle about with menus at the same time without jitter. Blaaaaah!

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Nerdgasm?

        Quick, somebody draw a 2D anime girl in the throes of nerdgasm.

  3. Sampler

    Awesome

    Appears to be layout compatible with the B+ so existing cases will be alright (such as the awesome PiBows by Pimoroni) - I had been quite tempted to get a B+ even though it wouldn't help my struggling little Pi, now I'm sold - the current one struggles to run everything I throw at it (which, to be fair is a helluva lot for a little box) so this is great news!

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Awesome

      As far as I can see, it's an identical form factor to the B+, so yup, no problem with existing kit.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Awesome

        There is a minor issue with the PiBow coupe, but Pimoroni have fixed it already.

    2. mark.d

      Re: Awesome

      Lady Ada says that the pibow has a problem with some cases as the processor cutout is differently shaped, so expect a new revision shortly.

      Under the "what to watch out for" section https://learn.adafruit.com/introducing-the-raspberry-pi-2-model-b?view=all

      >>

      "This means that 99% of cases designed for the Raspberry Pi Model B+ will work with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. This includes the Adafruit B+ Pi cases

      One exception is some Pibow cases which have a layer that has cutouts for the specific location of the processor. Pimoroni has informed us that they will have a new case design that is compatible with both. Check the description of any case to make sure it is compatible with both Raspberry Pi Model B+ and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B"

      1. paulc

        Re: Awesome

        it's pretty easy to modify the offending layer to fit using simple tools...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    *Really* Open Source now ?

    So, has Broadcom seen the light and really opened up all it's dirty secrets ?

    Or not ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

      Sort of (Google gallium vc4). The firmware is still closed source - although partially reversed engineered.

      Depends if you consider firmware important. Which judging from the lack of people jumping at helping the RE work, most people don't.

      On the downside of the rpi2 - I was really hoping that the RPI would be a standard electronic component. Not one of 500 slightly different (and subtly incompatible) variants...

      1. Andrew Tyler 1

        Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

        While I agree that most customers probably don't care, at least not directly, about bare metal and the double secret Broadcom documentation, I don't see RE participation as meaning much. There wouldn't be any need to reverse engineer anything if the Broadcom would just release the real documentation or, *gasp* even the source, if the Raspberry Pi foundation would have picked an SOC from a more reasonable supplier. I think in the long run, it would have been worth an extra couple bucks, even for the people who just want a cheap linux computer.

        I do tend to harp on about this, but it is an ugly black spot on an otherwise lovely idea. While I think this new Pi looks swell, I'll wait and see what TI does in response with their Beagle line.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

          I've said it before with the Beaglebone - nothing wrong with the hardware, it's superb and still better than the Pi2 in some respects. However the OS is, or at least was, appalling. The Pi foundation claim they have "the most stable single board computer in the world" and I would certainly agree with that.

          So it's not TI that need to respond, it's the beagleboard team, and they just don't have the same resources (including goodwill) that the Pi foundation have acquired to achieve this.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

            "I've said it before with the Beaglebone - nothing wrong with the hardware, it's superb and still better than the Pi2 in some respects. However the OS is, or at least was, appalling"

            If you're talking about Angstrom then I agree, however I gave up and slapped Debian on it, soooo much easier, nice little board now.

        2. DuncanL

          Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

          The fact that the Pi even exists is because most of the team work from Broadcom and managed to get a deal from their employers to use the SOC at a rate that nobody else could get.

        3. Simon Ward

          Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

          This. As long as Broadcom are involved, referring to the Pi as being 'open' is somewhat disingenous.

          It looks nice and the spec is close to what it probably should have been in the first place, but given their track record with open-source the Broadcom angle is a dealbreaker for me. The Beaglebone Black and Cubieboard3 are both credible alternatives even if they do lack the Pi's media presence.

          To each their own.

      2. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

        Er... It is plug&play compatible, forward and backwards, by the action of a single update. Even the cases fit the same.

        Not sure your complaint is valid.

  5. wx666z

    Me too, please?

    I'll buy one, as soon as I can track it down in the U.S.A., MCM doesn't list it yet, 8-(...

  6. PleebSmash

    usb ports

    I forgot about the addition of 2 more USB ports, the killer feature.

    Inb4 gigabit ethernet.

    1. borkbork

      Re: usb ports

      POE would be nice too...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PoE

        PoE is always nice to have.

        If you want cheap PoE just to avoid the extra cable, passive PoE widgets are now widely available starting from £5 or so (covering both ends) from the usual suspects.

        Proper industry-standard PoE widgets will still probably cost about as much as the Pi itself, or more ?

        I really don't understand why low-end PoE hasn't replaced wallwarts in so much more consumer equipment. At least some stuff e.g. my cheap £30 chinese AP/router is starting to have it now.

        Is there a non-trivial licence fee involved for PoE or some other thing that's deterring legitimate SoHo kit manufacturers?

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: PoE

          Chicken/egg problem, I think. Can't sell PoE unless the user has a PoE hub, no need for a PoE hub without lots of gadgets that use it. And most consumers use wireless anyway.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: PoE

            "most consumers use wireless anyway."

            Where does the "wireless" gadget get its power from? Usually a wire from a wallwart. Frequently a different and incompatible wallwart for every different gadget.

            Replace the massive variety of wallwarts with a smaller selection of PoE. Just use it for power if there's no need for a LAN connection.

            OK it might upset a variety of Chinese wallwart suppliers and their intermediaries, but maybe they could do something different instead e.g. get ready for next generation USB power...

            What's not to like?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    damn

    I bought a B+ on Friday

    1. Quantum Leaper

      Re: damn

      I wouldn't worry, you will get 2 years of enjoyment out of it, before the RPI2 is release. The other websites that had info on the new version stated 2017 is release date.

      1. Slartybardfast

        Re: damn

        I've just ordered one from RS for £27 inc vat and next day delivery. It's in stock and I'm expecting it tomorrow.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: damn

      Ditto. For about £35 inc case, psu, 8GB SD card, wireless dongle and hdmi cable and pre installed with a range of os choices. Just add keyboard and mouse and you are off. Works fine for video motion capture with a ps3 camera and as a retro gaming console. I've got only rudimentary Linux skills but was still easy to get setup for these tasks due to so many good forums.

    3. david 63

      Re: damn

      Yep, I upgraded from a fried model A to a B+ two weeks ago.

      Then bought another model A last week because the B+ didn't fit my custom made housing.

      Now trying to justify this one. Perhaps, I'll skip my starbucks for a week to pay for it.

      1. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Re: damn

        The obvious solution is to build a Pi based coffee brewing station.

        The only question is: Java or no?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I missing something...

    I don't see any mention of this on Raspberry's website nor can I find these for sale on the "official" distributors websites.

    I really want one, anyone know how to get one?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Am I missing something...

      It's only just passed midnight UTC, so perhaps check again later today.

      C.

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        @diodesign re availability...

        "Just wait until morning..."

        NO! I want it now! NowNowNow!

        *Comical, over the top, utterly pointless & child-like whiney temper tantrum*

        Want my new shiny & I want it NOW!

        WAAAaaaahhh!

        *SarcasticCough*

        Don't mind me, squirrels have eaten my brain again...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I missing something...

      Just placed my order. Using the option of running off a spinning disk, whereby just the initial boot is off the microSD, which hands off to the disk makes the Pi more responsive as well as your data being more trustworthy than relying on the SD card. I see several useful serverette projects (owncloud etc) looming

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >the BCM2836, which according to Upton has been in development for a couple of years.

    >It's "very, very similar" to its predecessor – the ARMv6-compatible BCM2835

    Is it even a Cortex A? part. If not what a let down. I'm not sure who is going to have a geekgasm over this to be honest.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Cortex-A

      Edit: it's four (ARMv7) Cortex-A7s - see the /proc/cpuinfo.

      C.

    2. Zola

      The BCM2836 is using four Cortex-A7 (ARMv7) cores. Default maximum clock speed is 900MHz, but they seem to overclock very nicely (1100MHz is easy to reach, and will probably go higher).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WS2812B

    Will this version now be fast enough to clock the data line on WS2812B led chains? My understanding is that the original RPi was not fast enough.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WS2812B

      Raw speed isn't the issue as you can drive those LEDs on a 16MHz AVR. The issue is getting the timing right with an OS in the way. It's possible to drive massive chains of then on the BeagleBone without an load on the main CPU using the PRU units.

    2. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: WS2812B

      Is it possible to do an I2C or SPI to WS2812 converter on, say, an ATtiny85?

  11. davidp231

    B+

    "Master" would have been a more appropriate name, since the current naming convention is paying tribute to its Beeb ancestors.

  12. Zola
    Thumb Down

    Couldn't you have waited until the official announcement?

    Way to go on breaking the embargo, not cool or classy.

    1. Quantum Leaper

      Re: Couldn't you have waited until the official announcement?

      I first read about months ago, but the details where sparse.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Couldn't you have waited until the official announcement?

        @Quantum Leaper

        No, you didn't read about this months ago. Today is the first time this board has been publicly discussed.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Couldn't you have waited until the official announcement?

      We haven't broken any embargo we agreed to or were told about.

      C.

      1. Zola
        Mushroom

        Re: Couldn't you have waited until the official announcement?

        No, but you posted at 1 minute past midnight, before the product had been officially announced, and with an article riddled with errors and misinformation causing mass confusion - you couldn't even get the basic CPU architecture correct.

        I hope the clicks were worth it.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Zola

          "you posted at 1 minute past midnight"

          Yes, that was the embargo our writer agreed to.

          "an article riddled with errors"

          No, you're wrong. The price, availability, core count, core speed, benchmark speed increase, size, compatibility with the Model 1, and more, were all correct.

          It was ambiguous whether this was an ARMv6 or ARMv7 SoC. Not any more - we've made it crystal clear it's 4 x ARMv7 Cortex-A7s.

          C.

          1. Jim 59

            Re: Zola

            @Zola Respect the Bird!

  13. Martin J Hooper

    Nice - Run Kodi Media Centre on one of my Pi's and a more faster one would be nice for the more powerful skins!

    Might have to get one of these... As long as I can just swop the SD card out of my Model B....

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Likewise, although to be honest my existing turbo-overclocked B+ coupled with Kodi Helix and the excellent Amber skin run very smoothly anyway with anything I throw at it (which admittedly doesn't include full HD BluRay rips, just SD DVD ones).

      It would also be interesting to know how much improvement they could get by not being quite so conservative in the clock settings that they ship the boards out with. And indeed whether that aspect will be changed on the Pi 2 compared to the Pi 1.

      But anyway nice one and well done to them for keeping the general design and especially the price backward compatible with the existing ones.

      1. Oz
        Thumb Up

        Answered my question

        I bought B+ recently, to use as a media player. It's a bit sluggish as it is, but you've told me exactly what I need to do to get it working smoothly - thanks. Main delays are list navigation using the remote - keyboard is fine.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Low-power sleep on v. 2?

    Does the Pi 2 have a proper sleep mode, or will you still have to rely on an add-on like the Sleepy Pi http://spellfoundry.com/products/sleepy-pi/ ?

    1. Zola

      Re: Low-power sleep on v. 2?

      Same as the B+.

  15. Christian Berger Silver badge

    What's sadly still missing is a common plattform

    It's already great to see that the Pi2 only needs a different kernel to boot, and that it can find that kernel on the SD-card on its own, but what would really be great would be something like a BIOS. Something which sits in between the hardware and the kernel so it won't have to be different for every device. Or at least a simple list telling the kernel what hardware there is.

    That way it would be just like on the PC. When new hardware comes out, I won't have to wait until the operating system you want supports it, but you can just run it on that system. Even if you don't have specialized drivers you can use the ones provided by the BIOS.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: What's sadly still missing is a common plattform

      Er, isn't that the job of the operating system? From the venerable WIkipedia article on operating systems.

      For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between programs and the computer hardware.

      With the aid of the firmware and device drivers, the [Operating System] kernel provides the most basic level of control over all of the computer's hardware devices.

    2. thames

      Re: What's sadly still missing is a common plattform

      The ARM industry never saw much point in something like a BIOS, since ARMs were used in embedded applications where the user traditionally didn't load an OS anyway, it came with one already. The Linux kernel developers were pushing for some sort of standardization, but the embedded industry wasn't interested ("we're special, because we're embedded"). The result is a huge tangle of configuration options for each SOC version. The Linux kernel development managers, most of whom come from the server industry, are massively unhappy about that. However, in the embedded world the approach is pitch the design over the wall and walk away from it and Linux kernel development is driven by the vendors who have a business interest in their particular field.

      The new 64 bit ARM will be different, with an EFI firmware more or less lifted from x86. This was pushed by server vendors who wanted to be able to be able to ship both ARM and x86 systems based on similar designs. Given the massive, bloated, bug-ridden monstrosity that UEFI has turned out to be, I'm not sure that's an improvement over the previous situation.

      The third possibility that some parties (including some PC motherboard vendors) were pushing for is called "Coreboot", which has basic functionality which is extended by loadable modules ("payloads") as needed for the application. ARM based Chromebooks use something else again, called UBoot.

      1. Jedibeeftrix

        Re: What's sadly still missing is a common plattform

        this is something the amd arm server platform standard may help with...

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Welcome to the land of ARM

      Back in the day, I could compile for i386, i386+i387, i486(dx), i486sx, i487, Pentium, Pentium MMX and the AMD/VIA variations. I could also compile for any subset of them at the cost of reducing performance. Debian has ports for two variations to keep the size of the repositories sane. (Gentoo supports your exact hardware by downloading the source code and compiling it). ARM is just about leave a period of diversity that used to afflict x86. Debian has two ARM ports: armel (much older hardware than Pi1) or armhf (a little too modern for Pi1). Rasbian (a Debian port specifically for Pi1) is needed to get reasonable performance out of an old Pi. A Pi2 should be able to use the standard armhf port without a significant performance loss.

      ARM SoCs have something resembling a BIOS: an on-chip ROM than can just about read a boot loader from SDHC or SATA or whatever device exists. At this point, things get unpleasant. Each ROM works differently, and the documentation is usually secret, missing, non-existent, badly translated and full of errors. Where there is a standard, it is often outright hostile to prevent you from installing Linux on a landfill RT tablet. The fix is called Das U-Boot. If there is a branch for your SoC, Das U-Boot can be compiled and installed on flash where and how your particular boot ROM expects it.

      The next disaster is that every SoC has a different mix of on chip components, and usually far more than can access the outside world because there are not enough pins on the chip. The actual hardware available depends on what verison of the PCB the SoC is soldered onto. On modern x86 systems, most devices can be found from their PCI id, or by hoping the BIOS will tell you (gray beards can regale with tales of ISA and plug 'n pray). On ARM, you can create flattened device trees (lists of available hardware) when you compile the kernel.

      Getting an ARM to boot requires partitioning some flash device the way the boot ROM expects, installing the correct branch of U-Boot where the ROM expects it, and pointing U-Boot at the right FDT and you distribution's partition. The kernel itself can be the standard one from your distribution.

      The current system may be vile, but it could easily be worse. When BIOS was the 'standard', some manufacturers implemented it so badly that the Linux BIOS project was created to replace it (that project suffered from all the horrors we currently see with ARM). There are standard boot sequences for ARM, usually designed to lock you into Chrome, RT, Android, Winphone or whatever you want to replace the day you get the device.

      The real solution is the same as it has always been: research the install process and state of hardware support before you make a purchase decision.

    4. James Hughes 1

      Re: What's sadly still missing is a common plattform

      @Christian Berger

      The newer kernels for Pi are moving towards device tree, which should give you the HW abstraction you are looking for.

  16. Duncan Parker

    Seems like they have come full circle with this 2 pi.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Maybe they should have called it the Raspberry Tau.

    2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Yes, they've certainly struck a chord or two, it might even form a whole new segment. But I'm going off on a tangent here. l'll sin off.

  17. saif

    ARMv6 to ARMv7 upgrade most significant

    Now you should be able to get a flood of modern distros that were unable to run on ARMv6. Snappy Ubuntu on a Pi anyone?

  18. Jedibeeftrix

    arm v8

    a very nice upgrade, but since they changed arm architecture with this jump already it's a shame they didn't use the opportunity to go to A53 arm cores.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: arm v8

      There was no opportunity - there are no chips with a53's in that would give the right upgrade path.

  19. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    STAP ME VITALS!!!!

    I only went onto Farnell's page to look for ESD diodes for a Sim-card....

    Now I've spent the bloody morning trying to access raspberrypi.org - understandably down at present...

    This thing's got twice the ram, four times the grunt as my trusty old (15 years) Thinkpad T30...

    Did someone say something about Windows 10???

    WAAAAAAAAAAANT!!!!!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if Microsoft have had anything to do with this.

    1. James Hughes 1
    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: I wonder if Microsoft have had anything to do with this.

      I knew it! Fucking M$haft!!

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: re: I wonder if Microsoft have had anything to do with this.

        Let me repeat.

        Nope.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re: I wonder if Microsoft have had anything to do with this.

          For Windows you have to subscribe to the developer program, and you get it as a developer (or as Microsoft say, as a "maker" blurgh!), which is suggesting it's less than ready for prime time.

          There are plenty of Linux distros ready to go for this board.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let me repeat. Nope.

          That's exactly what Micro$hit want you to think!!!!!

  21. Pugwash69

    Nice update

    Is the pipe optional though?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Nice update

      You'll need to shop around for a compatible pipe model.

  22. theOtherJT

    Tis nice, but I was really hoping for a gigabit port and SATA. It was probably too much to hope for at this price point, but would have been so nice for this little NAS/Router thing I keep wanting to build.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Holmes

      That's what the (similarly priced) Allwinner A20 boards are for.

  23. James Hughes 1

    Some performance figures

    Had a couple for a week to do testing.

    Although the headline figure is 6x performance with the right apps, a recompiled x264 with NEON extensions showed upto 32x increase when encoding H264. That's 'quite good'.

    LXDE is MUCH faster as the multi cores off load all the graphics work, and the extra ram makes a big difference. The big L2 cache also improves things. Browser is very usable.

    It's pretty impressive for $35.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Some performance figures

      As a favour can you load up musescore and see if it will play /usr/share/mscore-1.3/demos/bach-bc2.mscx.

      Sounds daft but if it can run that (without re-make -j6) then the Pi can now be used for very serious music projects and will replace about £2000 worth of effects pedals.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Some performance figures

        Sorry Tom7, tried to install musescore, but failing to install some dependencies. Will try again later.

    2. James Hughes 1

      Re: Some performance figures

      Someone gave my entirely factual post a thumbs down. I'm intrigued as to why.

      I presume a ODROID-C1 buyer who is now looking at their A5 cores?

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Some performance figures

        re. downvotes: welcome to the internet!

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Some performance figures

          Got musescore working, and it does appear to run that demo OK, but I do not have any speakers attached so difficult to tell. CPU usage < 20%

          This is the v6 compiled version, so no cortex-a7 or NEON optimisations.

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Some performance figures

            Thanks very much James Hughes 1! That isnt compiled for multi-core yet and I bet you haven't got a real-time kernel so it should be OK.

            I'll go get one now and chuck me old ones to the local schools!

            1. James Hughes 1

              Re: Some performance figures @Tom 7

              Tried it with headphones, did appear to play back stuff. I suspect will be much better quality over HDMI or USB sound card, was a bit hissy with the headphones.

              Cpu usage was about 18% during the playback. Not tried an A7/Neon build.

              At $35 worth a punt I think!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Windows 10

    I was wondering the other day if Win10 would go on a Pi, but thought it pointless given the power of the thing. Now it looks a goer.

    I really do hope the Paspberry Pi Foundation do absolutely nothing to the Pi in future to accommodate Microsoft's inevitable desire to lock things down and push out all competitors.

    I would hate to see the future promised by the Pi go the way of the netbook.

    1. fattybacon

      Re: Windows 10

      Well seems the Win10 compatible RPi device will come along in the future, this RPi2 isn't it. It says something that it will be a free upgrade to 'makers', don't know what that means.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Windows 10

        It's Windows that will support the RPi2, not viceversa:

        http://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2015/02/02/windows-10-coming-to-raspberry-pi-2/

      2. James Hughes 1

        Re: Windows 10

        No, there won't be a Win10 specific version - it will run on the B2

        Also, this is just another OS, to supplement what is already there. Not a ship jump to MS.

        1. Byrnie

          Re: Windows 10

          But the Windows 10 version that will end up on there is command-line only, see: http://dev.windows.com/en-us/featured/Windows-Developer-Program-for-IoT

          Windows for IoT is not a full windows version, just a development target that uses windows libraries: http://blogs.msmvps.com/marcelmeijer/blog/2014/08/30/iot-2-intel-galileo/

          Don't expect a full user interface or to use it like Win 8 RT...

          1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Windows 10

            But the Windows 10 version that will end up on there is command-line only

            Or as we used to call it, DOS.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: Windows 10

            Maybe because the actually supported Intel Galileo SoC has no video (nor audio) output?

            I bet Windows 10 on the Pi2 will have a GUI.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Windows 10

            Don't expect a full user interface

            We don't even get that on the desktop these days...

    2. Jim 59

      Re: Windows 10

      I really do hope the Paspberry Pi Foundation do absolutely nothing to the Pi in future to accommodate Microsoft's inevitable desire to lock things down and push out all competitors.

      Nah. Systemd will do that.

  25. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Damn

    I now have a burning desire to buy several of these, even though I haven't yet done anything really serious with the Model B that I already have. They clearly know how to tap directly into nerd brains.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      It's actually just clever marketing: they're offering a risk-free entry into nerddom. Any of us who have ever thought about any kind of computer-based project reckon that we can now do this with one of these ridiculously cheap devices as opposed to possibly repurposing existing hardware. Selling it as a barebones kit is just as clever: you still need a power supply, SD-Card, screen, keyboard and mouse to use it but you think you can just use existing equipment for this. This is pretty much the same as "low-cost" airlines. I'm not saying this to have a go at the Raspberry Pi, just trying to explain why we find them so irresistible. And why, while some people go on to make amazing projects with them, others have them lingering around along with foreign language courses or gym memberships.

      So, of course, I've got one (running XBMC/Kodi and not entirely without problems). To get an idea of the power of the device I also ran some CI testing of some software on the device and was surprised to see it running 10% as fast as my 2009 MacBook Pro, which is impressive at the price. Configured correctly, a couple 2πs could make local CI a reality for me.

  26. Alan Denman

    An obvious mini PC

    Shame about the Sata interface but the increased speed does at least mean we can finally throw the small thought of that 10 out of the Window.

  27. Andy Tunnah

    Video playback

    I want a tiny PC to plug into the TV in the family room for media playback. I have media files on the network, and they range from crappy xvids all the way up to bluray disc images, so a dedicated media player was never ideal as none play absolutely everything the way a true PC can.

    So I want one of these to bang WinXP on (the family are computarded, so no linux, no XBMC..they can barely handle MPC-HC and the mounting of images), would this be OK for handling high bitrate MKVs and bluray discs ?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Video playback

      Will what be okay? The 2π? Or some Atom-based mini-PC with Windows? Video will be great on a system with the right video hardware. My π manages 1080p MKV without a hitch. Intel's more recent hardware does as well.

    2. James Hughes 1

      Re: Video playback

      Doesn't run XP, just Linux (and RISCOS and a couple of others that won't be of interest to you).

      But it runs XBMC nicely (all Pi's do), and I use them to stream, from a NAS or from the PVR.

      With the new one, you might be able to decode some HW unsupported formats, but probably not HEVC.

      1. DuncanL

        Re: Video playback

        However it will run (at some unspecified point in the future) Windows 10; so if you're desperate to stay in the Windows world; that will be the only route for a Pi based solution.

        Though I would say to try XMBC or its derivatives - the UI is about as simple as you can get.

      2. Andy Tunnah

        Re: Video playback

        Has to be WinXP because of MPC-HC. It took me months of constantly showing the same thing over and over, XBMC just wouldn't be worth the effort I'd rather just let them do without

    3. Pookietoo

      Re: Video playback

      Windows XP is only available for the X86 and X64 (IBM PC) architecture - NT 4.0 was the last old MSFT OS compiled for a non-PC platform (DEC Alpha). WinPhone and Windows 8 RT run on ARM but they're pretty thoroughly locked down to Windows-specific hardware. The new R-Pi will probably run Android rather well, but with less functionality/support than Raspbian or XBMC.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Video playback

        Windows XP is only available for the X86 and X64 (IBM PC) architecture

        And the Itanium. Though that was killed long ago.

        Windows NT once supported PPC, MIPS, Alpha 32, Alpha 64 as well as x86. Not sure what XP embedded supported. Win CE supported ARM and x86 and maybe something else originally and was based on Win NT rather than DOS + Win3.x/Win9x, but wasn't the same thing as NT at all.

        There are Baby ITX boards that support XP / Windows / Media Linux etc, even fanless ones, much better for Media.

        1. Anonymous C0ward

          Re: Video playback

          NT4 was x86, PPC, MIPS and Alpha on the disc I had. There was also an early beta of 2000 for Alpha. Don't know what you mean by Alpha 32- I thought the Alpha was the 64-bit replacement for the VAX.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Video playback

            "Don't know what you mean by Alpha 32- I thought the Alpha was the 64-bit replacement for the VAX."

            Alpha was indeed a 64bit addressing architecture and implementations, with lots of hardware, firmware, and software features to make it interesting to VAX users looking to upgrade, as well as to others who hadn't been VAX customers.

            NT was a 32bit addressing OS so when running on Alpha the address space was only 32bits (as per x86) and only the low 32 address bits were significant.

            I'm not aware that there was ever a 64bit NT/Win2K for Alpha (and I would probably have known, at the time).

    4. Oz
      Go

      Re: Video playback

      Seriously, Andy Tunnah, go XBMC. I barely know anything about Linux, but you can get a image with it ready to install - just select it from the boot menu and off it goes. There's basic configuration of movie sources to do but, basically, it's a POP. If you get a remote control for it, once it's configured it will just work like any other media device once it's powered up. Even my cat could use it ;-)

      For example - this is the B+, but this kit has it all for you. You can't go wrong, literally!

      http://cpc.farnell.com/raspberry-pi/rpi-modb-media-kit/raspberry-pi-model-b-media-kit/dp/SC13533#accessories

      1. Andy Tunnah

        Re: Video playback

        It's not for me, it's for family who don't use computers (older parents who have trouble even using a browser)

        It took me months just to get my Dad to mount images, and he flat out refuses to write anything down, instead calling me to show him the same things over and over, so I refuse to give them something new to (not) learn.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Mushroom

          Re: Video playback

          > It took me months just to get my Dad to mount images,

          Don't be an idiot. Besides the fact that it's no longer 1994 and Linux automounts things, ANY HTPC should be set up as an appliance. It will be just like any other appliance (that doesn't run Windows).

          If someone can't use a Tivo, clinging to Windows won't help.

        2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Video playback

          But it's not a computer, it's an appliance like a set top box. It doesn't matter what it runs on.

    5. JEDIDIAH
      Devil

      Re: Video playback

      Computarded family members don't touch the Linux on an HTPC.

      That is how they can use a Sony BluRay player if you have one.

  28. Jess

    Maker community?

    Has this been defined, or is it a vague term that will be defined later, when Microsoft have decided what they want to do?

    Presumably the version will be an App store only version, reducing its usefulness. The question is whether it can be multibooted. A machine that can run windows, risc os, ubuntu, android and a media centre from a simple boot menu would be rather nice. You bypass the weakness of one system by using another as needed.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Maker community?

      > Presumably the version will be an App store only version, reducing its usefulness.

      It appears to be an IoT version - no GUI. It won't be running any AppStore Apps.

    2. John Styles

      Re: Maker community?

      People self-define (as they say) as 'makers'. People who make things. Presumably promulgated by O'Reilly initially with their (piss-poor) Make magazine. Mainly quadcoptors as far as I can tell. I think 3D printing may be involved as well. I find it slightly strange myself.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: Maker community?

        A horribly pretentious name but since it's now been appropriated to describe schoolchildren gluing pieces of macaroni onto paper I doubt it'll last long.

  29. Little Mouse

    I absolutely do not need one of these

    ...but I'm going to get one anyway.

    1. jeremyjh

      Re: I absolutely do not need one of these

      Ordered mine already, should arrive tomorrow or Wednesday. Now to work out what I want it for.

  30. Noram

    I nearly bought a B+ to play with a couple of weeks back, I strongly suspect I'll be buying one of these new ones very very soon :)

  31. johnnymotel

    silly question from someone who knows zip....

    I know nothing about Raspberry Pi, but do have a nice 5 bay DAS by Lian Li with enough space in the rear for a little board like this....so would it be possible to turn it into a NAS with the right components?

    1. DuncanL

      Re: silly question from someone who knows zip....

      The internet says yes...

      http://www.tinkernut.com/portfolio/make-raspberry-pi-nas-network-attached-storage/

      (I've not tried this...)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: silly question from someone who knows zip....

        Not exactly a NAS but I've had my Pi booting off a 500Mb Western Digital drive for over a year now (got fed up with SD card failures), I use it as a handy home server to log into remotely when I'm not at home if I need to transfer stuff, and got some manuals on there etc, works fine if you're patient, particularly once I upgraded the board to a B+, now rarely goes down, also need to take care with SSH set up, certificate based login recommended if accessible from the internet.

        Just ordered this new board but will probably use it for something else, the existing PI is fine for my needs.(used mostly with command line or utils like WinSCP, if you're after X window support can highly recommend MobaXterm

    2. Pookietoo

      Re: silly question from someone who knows zip....

      Not really possible because it lacks a SATA interface so you're using the USB 2.0 bus for storage and also to run the network (R-Pi Ethernet is USB).

  32. Jim 59

    Server

    Eben Upton said: "I think it's a usable PC now. It was always the case that you could use a Raspberry Pi 1 as a PC...

    More to the point though, the Pi 2 seems to have passed the (fairly modest) threshold of speed required of an internet server. Those 4 cores should dispatch Owncloud and Wordpress with relative ease. My sheevaplug runs both with acceptable speed, but this thing should be substantially faster. And a quarter of the price. The old Pi B could run Wordpress but too slowly for a realistically responsive web site.

    Go on... cancel your GoDaddy VMs. Stop using blogger.com. Shove it on a Pi 2 and do it yourself. You know you want to.

    1. Dabooka Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Server

      You know, seeing as my original 'B' is sat under the telly doing the usual XBMC (sorry, Kodi) stuff, I might just do this when I get a new Pi2; to try and do something actually useful with it for once!

      Now I've convincing myself, I wonder if I actually will before the Pi2+ comes out.....

    2. e^iπ+1=0

      Re: Server

      "cancel your GoDaddy VMs. Stop using blogger.com. Shove it on a Pi 2"

      I'd like to consider that, but I've done some 'back of the envelope' calculations, and apparently the upstream speed on my ADSL 1 connection isn't sufficient even for the output of the old Pi.

      Some people end up using hosting providers more for the bandwidth than because they don't want to run it at home.

      That said, Pi hosting plans, anyone? Kerching!

  33. Daz555

    Great news. Wanted something a little more beefy from the RPi2 - this will help with emulation for retro gamers. XMBC is nice even running on RPi1 but I would like it to be a bit more snappy. Time to hand the Rpi1 to the inlaws and the new one set up.

  34. Slabfondler
    Coat

    I feel obliged...

    to state the obvious, for those who already know, that it still will not fit into an Altoids tin.

    Mine's the one that rattles, its full of empty Altoids tins.

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: I feel obliged...

      Does the A+ fit?

  35. Planty Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Windows Bloat.

    Double the memory and 6x the processing power to run Windows 10 instead of Linux...

    That seems to be the headline story here... Go away Microsoft, you're drunk.

    1. BlinkenLights

      Re: Windows Bloat.

      Not wanting to feed the troll, but arm-v7 was needed for Windows to run not necessarily the extra memory or processing power. This is the same requirement for Ubuntu etc.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Acronym central

    So there's a rudimentary plug n play system in operation for GPIO plug in boards.

    They're called 'Hats'.

    First acronym for ASS HAT wins the internet.

    1. Blane Bramble

      Re: Acronym central

      Additional Sub-assembly Standard

  37. Jim 59

    Lol. raspberrypi.org is creaking...

  38. Andus McCoatover

    Time to bin my PDP-11/04

    Anybody want 327680 ferrite beads?

    I'll mix 'em up so you can't read my password.

    1. Conundrum1885

      Re: Time to bin my PDP-11/04

      How many boards do you have?

      This would make good wall art methinks..

  39. Anonymous C0ward

    With ARMv7

    is Raspbian obsolete because we can run existing Ubuntu armhf instead?

  40. Anonymous C0ward

    Is the Windows going to be based on RT, Phone or something else?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical

    Followed the link here yesterday at 1pm, so early in the day and was happy to see their site said it was in stock and free next delivery, so ordered one. After waiting in today, just got an email at 17:15 saying sorry but due to demand I wont be getting it just yet. Visiting their site says they are out of stock until the 20th Jan, but they didn't say that in the email.

    Fucking annoys me when they let you order something that their stock checker says in stock then turn around and say its not in stock, after you have waited in for it to be delivered.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Typical

      Yeah this does indeed suck.

      Maybe they need to employ real live humans (!) to check the stock and not rely on figures in a database like many large companies.

      A common mistake is to assume one box = one product, this is where the stocking errors creep in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Typical

        Indeed it does.

        RS know how them computer things work, right? Them things that can count really well, and then repeatedly subtract one when someone orders something through - y'know - more computers? No skin and bones in the game to cock things up (box counting notwithstanding, fair point).

        Order now, we got loads, next day delivery, oh no sorry it's not at all, wait for an indefinite period winds me up something rotten. Cancelled order therefore to cut off my nose to spite my face.

        1. AndyTempo

          Re: Typical

          I had the stockout email yesterday evening too. I see they are saying they are in stock again on the website so I would like to think they have fulfilled the backorders first.

          <a href="http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/832-6274/>Link to product page</a>

          edit: I guess that's not how you put in a basic html hotlink

  42. Daz555

    Got mine yesterday from modmypi. Very nice bit of kit - so snappy in comparison to my old RPi.

    OpenElec is butter smooth but the big difference was navigating around rasbian. I doubt the distro is yet optimised for the new chipset but browsing was night and day compared to RPi1.

    On RPi1 I did not bother with box art and all that fancy catalogue stuff but with RPi2 I think I'll make an effort for a richer XBMC experience.

  43. JamesTQuirk

    you people make me sad sometimes, thinking 4 cores is OK .... How about about kits, with the bits ...

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/Development-Kit/1021496_253346279.html

    or a Card based PC capable of replacing desktop .....

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Mass-Manufactured-OctaCore-ARM-Cortex-A15-A7-Allwinner-A80-Android-4-4-Board/1021496_2015735541.html

    OS: Android 4.4.2 or linux3.4.39 with 80 Cores (16 CPU+64 GPU) 2gb rom 8gb ram, all the bits ...

    $169 ...

    I got a PI, nice, still playing with it, but it's not the only one on the desert bar ...

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