Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Raspberry Pi 2 - heading

As I announced this summer in the article about Raspberry Pi Model B +, last February, the new model Raspberry Pi 2 was released.

Fig.1: The Raspberry Pi 2 board

What’s new

In addition to the major changes introduced with the Model B + last summer, the new Raspberry Pi 2 has two further innovations that bring the performance of the new board at very high levels, unthinkable in previous models. In fact the new Raspberry Pi 2 presents:

  • a new  quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 900MHz processor
  • 1GB RAM

This was made possible by replacing the chip SoC (System On Chip) Broadcom BCM2835 with BMC2836 (see the central chip in Fig.1).

Fig.2: Cortex-A7-chip-diagram

In fact, if we keep everything unaltered, the only replacement of this processor leads to the doubling of the speed. Not to mention that the new processor is multi-core, then using a new operating system that is able to take advantage of these new capabilities, we expect a performance boost to 4 times that of previous Raspberry models. It could even touch peaks of 7.5 times of the speed (but we are content with four;))


ChipBroadcom BCM2836 SoC
Core architectureQuad-core ARM Cortex-A7
CPU900 MHz
GPUDual Core VideoCore IV® Multimedia Co-Processor
Provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30
H.264 high-profile decode
Capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and
DMA infrastructure
Memory1GB LPDDR2
Dimensions85 x 56 x 17mm
PowerMicro USB socket 5V, 2A

Moreover, many fans are already making full use of the 1Gb of RAM to play with version Raspberry 2 Pi! On Web there are already many emulators (Nintendo, Playstation) running on Raspberry 2!

[vsw id=”tP-i6oM2vnQ” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

What has remained the same

Instead other features of Raspberry Pi Model B + remain unchanged.

  • 4 USB ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Ethernet port
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • VideoCore IV 3D graphics core (inclusa sia nel chip BCM2835 che BCM2836

However, despite the similarities, the images on the SD cards prepared on Raspberry Pi Model B+ may not work on the boards of version 2, as the firmware and the kernel should be recompiled for the new type of processor.

Raspberry Pi 2 - the board
Fig.3: The Raspberry Pi 2 board

New opportunities about operating systems

Given the new processor and 1GB of RAM with the new Raspberry board,  we have the ability to use some new operating systems that was not possible before. This is the list of some operative systems (new and old) which could be used with the Raspberry Pi 2:

  • Raspbian (new release February 2015)
  • Snappy Ubuntu Core (alpha-02)
  • OpenELEC
  • OSMC (ex Raspbmc)
  • Debian Jessie

For operating systems (including Raspbian) which already worked in previous models (processor ARMv-6), a set of new their versions have been released in February 2015. You need to use these new versions if you want to use these operating systems.

Here you can find many of these images.

Snappy Ubuntu Core

Finally, even Ubunt is added to the list of Linux systems compatible with Raspberry. In fact, thanks to the collaboration between the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Canonical,the company of Ubuntu, announced the recent release of a version of Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi 2: Snappy Ubuntu Core.  Here the official page.

Windows 10 for Raspberry

Given the statements of Microsoft that the Windows 10 operating system is a cross-platform solution, compatible with all the devices, it does not matter if they are PC, smartphone or table, the company announced that it will support Raspberry Pi 2. Also Microsoft has also announced that Windows 10 will be free for all makers participating in the Windows Developer Program for IoT.

Raspbmc becomes OBMC

Even for Raspbmc, it was decided to close one chapter to open a new one, taking advantage of the new Raspberry Pi 2 board. In fact it will be replaced with OSMC (Open Source Media Center). Raspbmc will be supported until June 1, 2015, only to definitely give way to the new version OSMC.

Raspberry 2 - OSMC
Fig.4: The OSMC system

OSMC as Raspbmc is an open source social media hub that allows you to collect and display your media locally or over the network.

Debian Jessie

The same arguments valid for Ubuntu, are valid also for Debian. In fact, thanks to the characteristics of the new Raspberry Pi 2 board also Debian can be used. So there is a new specific version of DebianJessie to be mounted on Raspberry Pi 2. Here.you can find the image[:]

Leave a Reply