Raspberry Pi Foundation announced a rather surprise release of their Raspberry Pi 2 Model B: The new turbo charged version of their B+ boasting a new Broadcom BCM2836 900MHz quad-core system-on-chip and having 1GB of RAM – all of which will make the performance increased to “at least 6x” that of the B+. Oh and did I tell you it will support one of the versions of Windows 10? That’s sure as hell going to make all the geeks around the world shiver in happiness.
While speaking to The Register last week, foundation head honcho of Raspberry Pi Foundation 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 but you had to say ‘this is a great PC in so far as it cost me 35 bucks’. We’ve removed the caveat that you had to be a bit forgiving with it. Now it’s just good.”
It will be really difficult for you to distinguish between the Pi 2 from the Pi 1 Model B+, as it’s known as for now from the outside. But at its heart, lies the BCM2836 SoC, which according to Upton has been in development for a couple of years.
Talking about the BCM2836, Its “very, very similar” to its predecessor – the BCM2835 – The difference here is that it has four cores and “a little tweak to allow us to address the gig of RAM,” he explained.
The BCM2835, much like the older generation of the devices in series of Pis, is a Broadcom GPU – the VideoCore IV – with a single 700MHz 32-bit ARM1176JZF-S application core glued in to run software and the system-on-chip is shipped with 256MB or 512MB of RAM stacked on top.
But the new BCM2836, on the other hand, contains four 32-bit ARMv7 Cortex-A7 cores with 1GB of RAM (and the same VideoCore IV GPU). When asked about the 6x performance increase in the B+, Upton said: “That’s one of those things where you ask ‘how do you put a number on it?'”
“If you run a multi-threaded synthetic CPU benchmark on it, they all spit out a number that’s about six. That’s both optimistic and pessimistic. It’s optimistic because, of course, those are multi-threaded benchmarks. It’s pessimistic because I don’t think those synthetic benchmarks punish the [ARM processor] hard enough.”
Upton, a chip architect at Broadcom, continued: “Where the ARM11 starts to fall down really, particularly with the kind of small caches we have on the BCM2835, is when it starts to run actual applications. I think we ran SunSpider [on the BCM2836] and even though that’s going to be a single threaded benchmark, that was something like 3x performance just on a single core. “So we figured, what’s a defensible number, and [six] is the number that comes out of SysBench. We just wanted to have an answer when someone asked ‘Where did you come up with that?'” Fair enough. So, what might people do with this extra speed? Upton reckons it’ll be handy “probably in the embedded makery world, for some image processing stuff.”
He elaborated: “There are a lot of people who want to do computer vision things like OpenCV. You can optimise OpenCV pretty well to run on the DSPs that are in Pi 1, but in the end there’s just no substitute for just lots more CPU performance.”
Upton continued: “We’ve sold something like 60 or 70,000 freshly manufactured B+ since we launched the B+, because, for example, industrial customers don’t want to move on. I think that although the Pi 2 and the B+ are going to be the same price, there will be a bunch of industrial customers who, for a variety of reasons, will just stick with the B+ because they’re comfortable with it.”
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And with a price of $35 as it was of earlier models, it will sell a lot of pieces,that’s for sure. And when you get Windows 10 in it, why won’t they. Yes, let’s us now discuss that too.
So the news is that Microsoft is already backing up the newly announced Raspberry Pi 2 today.
When the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s low-cost computer was first launched in 2012, it was an instant hit, and now the new Raspberry Pi 2 now includes a more powerful processor and twice as much RAM, so you can expect what will happen. While earlier you weren’t able to officially run copies of Windows on the Raspberry Pi without resorting to an old version or tricks and hacks, but now as Microsoft says it’s “delivering a version of Windows 10 that supports Raspberry Pi 2.”
So what that means is you can get A FULL WINDOWS PC FOR JUST $35? I can’t believe this, can you? While It’s not exactly clear about what version of Windows 10 will be available, but what we know is that Microsoft is handing it out for free to the Maker community through its Windows Developer Program for IoT later this year.
So with the pricing of the Raspberry Pi 2 and Microsoft’s free copy of Windows 10, you could have a full PC for just $35 later this year. Isn’t it wonderful? But We’ll have to wait for a little long to hear more information from Microsoft on how Windows 10 will function on the Raspberry Pi 2,. But It’s likely that this version of Windows 10 will only run modern universal apps, as the Raspberry Pi 2 includes an ARM-based processor.
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