Raspberry Pi Gets Faster ARM Chip, Windows 10
The enhancements to the tiny computing board bring six times the performance and twice the memory, but the price remains at $35.The group behind the small and simple Raspberry Pi computer is adding a more powerful processor, more memory and support for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system in the latest model of the minicomputer. The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, announced by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is powered by a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor and comes with 1GB of memory, giving the computing board six times the performance and twice the memory of the previous system. In addition, the minicomputer, which already runs Linux operating systems, will support Windows 10 when the OS is released later this year. The enhancements boost the capabilities of the credit-card-size system, the first of which was introduced in 2012 with hopes that it would be embraced by students and enthusiasts to learn how to program. However, businesses have adopted the board for their computing environments. In a post on the Raspberry Pi Foundation blog, founder and CEO Eben Upton noted that for the models leading up to the Raspberry Pi 2, engineers have been squeezing what they could out of the BCM2835 application processor from Broadcom, a 700MHz ARM CPU. They've optimized open-source libraries and applications—such as WebKit, LibreOffice, Scratch and Pixman—and those with the Raspbian Project created a rebuild of Debian to make it compatible with the ARMv6 architecture.
Engineers have "spent thousands of hours working on the firmware and board support to make Raspberry Pi the most stable single board computer in the world," Upton wrote. "Nonetheless, there comes a point when there's no substitute for more memory and CPU performance. Our challenge was to figure out how to get this without throwing away our investment in the platform or spoiling all those projects and tutorials which rely on the precise details of the Raspberry Pi hardware."