The credit-card sized computer that spawned dozens of rivals and gave hackers and school kids a low-cost PC upon which to design their projects is back. The Raspberry Pi Foundation in the UK has just announced an upgraded RPi 2, which sticks to the size and price of the original but upgrades all the key parts.

The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, for such is it called, is already available from RS Online in South Africa for R446.86. According to the RPi Foundation, 100 000 boards have been manufactured for initial stock.

The RPi 2 is built around a 900MHz Broadcom BCM2936 system on a chip, which features four ARM Cortex A7 cores. For reference, the iPhone 6’s A8 processor is a dual core A7 chip, albeit one clocked slightly faster. There’s a full gigabyte of memory on the RPi 2 now, but the graphice processor is the same as the previous gen B+.

Raspberry Pi Foundation boss Eben Upton told The Register that the upgraded Pi was now a fully functioning PC without any of the compromised performance issues that made the original Model B better suited to dedicated tasks than general purpose computing. According to the Upton, the new board is six times faster than the B+.

The original Pi was aimed at schoolkids, and designed to teach them how a computer works as well as increase the number of computers in schools at a low cost. It’s been a phenomenal success, with Linux, Android and Firefox OS all hacked to run on the hardware. Since its launch, however, boards like Intel’s Galileo and the recently announced Imagination Technologies CI20 have added extra features and performance over the Pi, which aged rather quickly.

We’ll be seeing if we can get our hands on an RPi2 as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you want to win a special edition of the RPi, check out our makers competition here.

[Via The Register]
Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.