Back in September a new version of the Pi2 quietly appeared on Farnell’s website without a fanfare. It’s exactly the same as the original Pi2 except the processor is BCM2837 running at 900 MHz instead of the BCM2836.
Why the New Revision?
By changing processors to the Pi3’s BCM2837, the older BCM2836 can cease production and the Pi2 gets an upgrade to the newer, faster A53 CPU. To keep the BCM2836 in production in small quantities no longer made economic sense.
I pre-ordered one immediately. It arrived yesterday and I tweeted some quick photos straight away…
Very cute packaging indeed for the new Pi2 v1.2. Love it. pic.twitter.com/6eK41OTny5
— RasPi.TV (@RasPiTV) November 16, 2016
The new ‘inside the box’ packaging is a lovely little brown bag with a metal closure. These Pi2 are machine packed, which is an incremental process improvement on the production line.
Does Anyone Still Use Pi2?
The Pi2B 1.2 is mainly for industrial clients who built systems round Pi2. Upgrading the silicon enables the Pi2 to stay in production, but also effectively offers a ‘no-wifi’ variant of Pi3. Some applications don’t want or need wifi/BT capability (additional compliance/security concerns). So now you have a choice.
How Much is it?
$35 – same as Pi3B. Unless you have a compelling reason, I’d still favour the Pi3B for most uses, but I bought one for the collection. It looks like you can buy them from RS, CPC or Farnell. It’s doubtful that second-tier vendors will stock it.
Up-to-date Distro Required
If you buy one, you’ll need an up-to-date OS image with the latest kernel and firmware or it won’t boot.