Feb 022015
Raspberry Pi 2 the New Quad-core A7 Pi

New Raspberry Pi 2 Launched

The Raspberry Pi 2 is out today. What? They only just launched the B+ and A+? I know! But you know tech companies like to spring surprises on us. It’s remarkably similar to the B+ in layout (in fact you might say the B+ was a ‘stepping stone’ towards Pi2) but has some significant upgrades…

Raspberry Pi 2 close-up

Raspberry Pi 2 close-up

So What’s New With The Pi 2?

Actually the video covers it pretty well, but if you prefer to read…

  • It’s a quad-core A7 CPU with the same VC4 GPU as the original Pi. It currently runs at 800 MHz (but 900 MHz support is expected soon).
  • It has 1 Gb of RAM
  • It’s the same form-factor as the Raspberry Pi B+ (launched July 2014).
  • It’s fully backward-compatible with previous Raspberry Pis, so whatever you did on previous versions should work with this one.
  • Power use. It’s said to take similar power as the old model B. The quad-core processor makes it need a bit more juice than the B+, but the efficient B+ circuitry has been tweaked for the Pi 2. In my testing I could only make it draw 0.42A when hammering all four CPUs at once. But I suppose if you hammered the GPU at the same time you could make it draw as much as a model B.
  • Performance. It’s got at least 6 times more processing power than the previous Pis. Depending on how well your application can utilise a quad-core CPU, the performance gain can be much more impressive than this. For example in sorting and rearranging words in a huge text file I’ve had the Pi 2 running at 14 times the work rate of the B+.
  • And the cost of all that? It’s the same as before: $35 + shipping and local taxes.
Summary of the Raspberry  Pi 2

Summary of the Raspberry Pi 2

Brand New Broadcom Chip BCM2836RIFBG

The BCM2836 is a brand new chip from Broadcom, who have chosen the Raspberry Pi 2 as the chip’s debut product. It will be available on the open market for those who meet the minimum order requirements (which are quite high).

BCM2836 on the Pi2

BCM2836 on the Pi2

Goodbye PoP

The memory for the Pi2 is not a ‘package on package’ (PoP) like the BCM2835 was. This brings down assembly cost because PoP assembly is an expensive, high-precision affair. Obviously this has contributed towards keeping the price point the same and delivering more processing power. The 1 Gb RAM chip is now found on the underside of the board.

Underside of Raspberry Pi 2 showing the 1 Gb RAM chip

Underside of Raspberry Pi 2 showing the 1 Gb RAM chip

Bottom Line?

You get 6-14 times more CPU processing power and twice the RAM for the same price. It’s a drop-in replacement for the B+. It’s a lot better as a general purpose computer because of these upgrades. Activities like web browsing are a much faster and better experience.

I’ll be showing some power and performance testing over the next couple of days, so stay tuned.

  25 Responses to “Raspberry Pi 2 – the New Quad-core A7 Pi2”

  1. […] like to point you over to RasPi.TV for more coverage. Alex Eames has done some great work on investigating the capabilities of the Pi 2 and comparing […]

  2. I want one! Some activities on the Pi were a little slow, this looks like the needed improvement. Now all they need to do is update the camera firmware so it can use other lens types and il be really pleased!

  3. […] berri da Raspberry Pi-ren bertsio berria. Lehenengo ezagutu genuen 256MB RAM zeukan bertsio haretatik 1GB-ra igo da. Eta CPU-a be Quad-core […]

  4. Interesting power-usage figures :)

    I’ve also been doing lots of side-by-side testing of the B+ and Pi2 with my two HDMIPi screens while developing and testing the latest version of NOOBS. They proved very handy :)
    Rather than two mice and keyboards though, I’ve been using this USB switch which works with USB hubs too. More space-saving (which is what I wanted), but means I can’t run things exactly synchronised as you do in the video above (which I don’t need to do).

    I’m still slightly amazed that the Pi2 is the same price as the B+

  5. […] RasPi.TV Raspberry Pi 2 – the New Quad-core A7 Pi2 […]

  6. […] Alex Eames has done a great walk-around video and blog coverage. His video includes a side-by-side comparison between the Pi 2 and B+. As always, Alex’s enthusiasm for the Pi comes across and it’s a great fact- and demonstration-based video. Read and watch it here. […]

  7. This is really fantastic. We’re excited to get this into a robot.

  8. It will interesting to see how it performs streaming video.

    • Just guessing, but I would imagine it may be a little better with VLC as that didn’t use the GPU. But the network bottleneck of the single USB port on the chip + hub still exists (I think).

      But for omxplayer/XBMC streaming I expect it won’t make much difference

      • Good point. On the other hand, in a video I saw this morning I think (the sound wasn’t very good) that Eben suggested it would be popular with the roboticists streaming video from their on-board cameras, which is the sort of thing I would want to do. With a pi-cam the robot is likely to use only a single USB and no Ethernet.

  9. […] 相關新聞: * RASPBERRY PI 2 ON SALE NOW AT $35 * Introducing the Raspberry Pi 2 – Model B * Raspberry Pi 2 – the New Quad-core A7 Pi2 […]

  10. OpenWRT image from B+ will work with v2?
    I would like to see full power consumption test (from idle without any external device to full stress)

  11. Congratulations! Does anyone have advice on how you upgrade and modify an existing image like Raspbian? We have a custom image for our robotics projects for the Raspberry Pi that need a custom image . Any hints on whether we’ll need to release an entirely new image to make this work with the Pi2?

    • Liz tweeted this yesterday, but I haven’t tried it and I personally think you’d be better off building a new image from the latest distro. (But I may be wrong).

  12. […] Eames from Raspi.TV did an introductory video – and he also made the video below, where he hammers all four cores in parallel to see how […]

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