Without much fanfare the new Raspberry Pi 2 (B Model) has arrived on our doorsteps, well ours did! This is the first major upgrade the world's most popular single-board computer has received, since its first release in 2012. This is a much needed upgrade that allows the Pi to compete against its faster contemporaries, including the Beagle Bone and the Banana Pi.
The upgrade sees the Broadcom BCM2835, ARMv7 dual-core ARM based SoC, upgraded to the Broadcom BCM2836, ARMv7 quad-core processor running at 900 MHz. Also, the memory has been upgraded from the 512MB, running at 400MHz, to 1GB running at 450MHz. This combination provides a reported performance increase of up to six times that of the original Raspberry Pi Model. This extra juice may be needed, as a version of Microsoft's Windows 10 is set to be released for the Raspberry Pi 2 soon (Not sure what that's all about - Ed).
Interestingly, Altera's Stratix 10 family of FPGAs is set to host an ARM quad-core processor too, the 64-bit quad core Cortex A53 processor. However, what makes the Raspberry Pi stand out is the embedded VideoCore IV 3D graphics engine core. From an FPGA perspective the Raspberry Pi makes a great graphics card when used in conjunction with gl-streaming (more on this from us soon). This is especially the case since Broadcom have released, as open source, the OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 driver stack found in the similar chipset, the BCM21553., the 64-bit
We have to congratulate the Raspberry Pi Foundation for not only a worthy upgrade, but for selling the new Raspberry Pi's at the same price too. However, although it's said to retail for £25 we paid £31.75 for one in its barebones form, that is without SD Card, cables etc. Expect a review soon.