While the first iteration of the credit card-sized computer made the grade, the Raspberry Pi Foundation studied consumer suggestions and has released the B+ model of its micro computer for programmers.
The Raspberry Pi B+ expands on the foundation laid by the company's original device by incorporating a larger GPIO port, double the USB 2.0 ports, a reduced power draw, enhanced audio output, a sleeker form factor and a microSD slot to replace the standard SD slot used by the original.
Released in 2012, the Raspberry Pi Model B was designed to smash the financial barriers of entry into computer programming and to encourage youths to fall in love with computer science. The original version of the microcomputer reportedly moved more than 2 million units by the close of 2013.
The B+ version of the Raspberry Pi, released on July 14, was priced at the same $35 mark as the B model, but the foundation said it didn't plan take the original off the market just yet. The B model would stay in production as long as there was a demand for it, stated the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation also stressed the B+ was a revision of the original model and not version 2.0. The Pi B+ was said to incorporate the same operating system, Broadcom processor and 512 MB of temporary storage space.
"In the two years since we launched the current Raspberry Pi Model B, we've often talked about our intention to do one more hardware revision to incorporate the numerous small improvements people have been asking for. This isn't a "Raspberry Pi 2,″ but rather the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi," stated the Rasberry Pi Foundation.
The step up to a 40-pin GPIO port grants the Pi B+ compatibility with more commonly used integrated development environment cables (IDE), commonly used to interface computers with hard disk and optical drives, while doubling the USB ports to four simply adds more room for peripherals.
The micro SD slot steps in to replace the dated SD reader the original Pi computer used. Power consumption was sliced in half and the audio chipset was given its own power supply to minimize the bleeding of noise through its 3.5-mm audio jack.
"We've been blown away by the projects that have been made possible through the original B boards and, with its new features, the B+ has massive potential to push the boundaries and drive further innovation," Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi founder, said to the BBC.
The foundation hopes to release a higher-performance Raspberry Pi in 2017, and in between plans to keep improving the machine's software.