The Raspberry Pi Model B+ Is Here (Again!)

Depending on who you believe, yesterday someone either broke an NDA or was the lucky recipient of an Element 14 shipping error. Nevertheless, we were lucky enough to get a glimpse at the new Raspberry Pi Model B+. Today, everything is live, and Adafruit has a great teardown of what’s new, what’s changed, and what’s completely different in this new board.

The biggest question about this new Pi was the CPU: the Broadcom SoC in the models A and B are looking a little long in the tooth right now, and an upgraded CPU would be a very, very welcome addition. There is no change. This is the same 700 MHz Broadcom chip with 512MB of RAM. There will not be a ‘magical, because you’re awesome’ RAM upgrade the original Model B saw early in production, either – there simply aren’t enough address pins in the SoC.

Despite not having an upgraded CPU, there are some neat features that addressed the complaints of the original Pi: The standard sized SD card socket is replaced with a microSD card socket that won’t stick out over the edge of the board. The ports are rearranged, with the analog video out on a TRRS plug with the audio. There are now four USB ports and an Ethernet port thanks to this chip, and mounting holes galore: they’re M2.5 holes in a square 58mm wide and 49mm high. Also included in the B+ is a completely redesigned power supply – the jumbo linear regulator is gone, replaced with an all-around better power supply.

The biggest change for anyone looking making a project with the Pi is the expanded GPIO header. This is a 40 pin header, with the ‘top’ pins identical to the original 26 pin header. Yes, all your existing Pi plates/shields/whatevers will still work. The new pins on this header include nine more GPIO pins, the I2S pins for the Wolfson audio card, and a pair of pins for an ID EEPROM. Connections to an ID EEPROM have been a feature of the BeagleBone for a while now, and this will allow the Pi to configure the appropriate I/Os and kernel modules at boot, depending on what Pi Plates are attached.

The best part about this is the price – it’s the same as the OG Model B. Using the same case as you old Model A or B is out of the question, but that’s totally what Kickstarter is for, right? You might want to grab one of those, because this is probably going to be the form factor for the upgraded Raspberry Pi 2.0 that will probably be released in a year or two.

105 thoughts on “The Raspberry Pi Model B+ Is Here (Again!)

  1. Neat. But I had just bought a Raspberry Pi a week ago from Adafruit (hardly anyone else had one in stock). I might ask if I could return it or if it’s just shucks for me.

      1. “You can never have too may Raspberry Pi’s”
        Oh, your sales pitch, let me wreck you by suggesting your client to buy a mini itx, or a simliar SoC that doesn’t have buggy usb, and closed-source gpu, and binary blobs to start the system up.

          1. @kennedy, I’ve got one i’m using as a dedicated Retropie on my 61 inch DLP, and the other has a TFT on it that i’m SLOWLY modding into a car-PC for my OBDI if I can only figure out the interface to read the raw data off of the distributor for a tachometer and a few other things like CEL readout and using a USB GPS to read directional headings and maybe display Long and Lat for fun.

        1. And pay the price for it too, ITX board, memory, storage, CPU, Case, PSU

          Rasp Pi is low powered (the B+ even more so) fast enough for most things, and does the job…

          Sure a Mini ITX board is great, but still does not discount that Rasp Pi is great too.

        1. yet the Pi is used in parallel computing projects.. The USB/Network bandwidth is the bottle neck in many applications the Pi is being used for.
          We need a SoC with full USB stack hardware implementation.

    1. I have had 1 out of about 30 Pi that ever had a corrupted SD card. I use them for digital signage, and power them off of the TV, so at the end of the night they get abruptly shut off (granted they are simply serving a mostly static local web page). Just curios about this corruption, as I haven’t really experienced it in my use case.

    2. 99 times out of 100, your corrupted SD card is due to a cheap or faulty power supply. The other one time is a bad SD card. Change your power supply and I’ll bet you stop getting corrupted cards.

    1. Hello sir, i’ve been looking for this information but couldnt get an answer.

      Will the banana pi be compatible with this screen?

      I counted 40 pins, which should match the bana pi lvds port, but i’m not quite sure about the compatibility.

      The screen is a touchscreen i salvaged from a printer, it have an independant touch ribbon (4 pins)

      1. Hi, I had a look at pinout for the banana pi and your display. Unfortunately they are quite different and will not be plug and play sorry. I’ve just started searching for compatible LCDs (w/ decent resolution, cheap, 5V) – I expect a short list.

        1. Hey, thank you for your answer, at least it is sttled now :) i may go for a cheapt chinese tablet, at least it will save some trouble, but i’ll have to figure out how to add some external “gpios”

  2. Still no VGA. They don’t learn too fast, do they? ;)

    I will not be buying one of these. I will not be buying *ANY* RasPi, in fact, unless and until it has a VGA port on it. Leaving that off is so ideologically bankrupt, given what they want to achieve, that it’s positively insane.

    Think about it. For every HDMI monitor on the planet, there’s at least ten VGA screens and probably more. I don’t have a single HDMI monitor in my house. They’re all VGA with the token exception of a TV that has a single DVI port on it. I’m not alone in that regard. RasPi boards are in use literally all over the world. HDMI is not. There are tons of countries (all of them in need of inexpensive computers — for education, if nothing else) that have easy access to VGA screens, but the cost of an HDMI monitor is a showstopper.

    As an additional personal matter, I cannot and will not spend three times the cost of the board, at minimum, for what amounts to an “extra” that I shouldn’t need. That’s not right. VGA has been around since 1987 (thank you Wiki) and is still in common use nearly everywhere. There really isn’t any excuse to leave it off except to shave an extra dollar or two from the cost — and I’d gladly pay that dollar or two to save the much, much higher cost of an HDMI screen. I know I’m not alone here, either…

    Besides — HDMI requires an up-front $10k license IIRC, and royalty fees on every device sold. VGA is basically wide open. If they changed to VGA they’d probably be able to *lower* the cost of the board.

    But, whatever. They don’t listen to me and I know it. I’ve said my two cents, so I’ll be on my way…

    1. if you don’t need DRM HDMI is just DVI in a smaller connector, and DVI is just VGA signals serially encoded, so unless it supports HDCP I don’t see why they would pay a fee

      1. This is wrong. VGA is analog. DVI-A is analog and compatible with VGA. HDMI is digital. DVI-D is digital and compatible with HDMI. DVI-I is both DVI-A and DVI-D combined into a single port and cable. That said, there do exist inexpensive HDMI-to-VGA converters.

        1. I have a HDMI->VGA converter between my android stick, which only does hdmi out, and my projector which only has VGA in.

          It costs more than the raspberry pi, you have to be careful to order one that’s not just a simple “cable converter”, otherwise if your device doesnt support DVI-A (or -I) then the cheap converter cables will not work.

          This cost me around 35€ for the converter, the current RPI price is 29€.

        2. the underlying signals are the same, you have three x bits of colors and two syncs; for vga you add an DAC to the three colors, for dvi-d you skip the DAC encode the three x bits colors and two sync as a serial stream

    2. Actually you do have a good point about the leaving off of the vga being left off not being very wise. They wanna push this for also for kids in developing places and not everyone is using monitors or tvs with modern hdmi.

      Then again the pi developers want to give the impression it could be used for everything from education to hobbyists. A bad case if trying to be everything but master of nothing at same time

      1. Jack of all trades, master of none. While VGA’s are widely available and more convenient when it comes to setting up, it would look tad ugly on a board with the VGA being the biggest connector on-board. At least they didn’t remove the analog video completely, and any hacker would be able to breakout that A/V signal from the 4-point jack.

    3. VGA is a dying standard – it’s getting rarer by the year. The cost of a new HDMI monitor is just as big as the cost of a new VGA monitor – simply because both are there. The HDMI only monitor might be a little less expensive even – no need to add any high speed ADC front end. There are probably more reasons not to include it – if nothing else it can be quite a bit of a space hog. Yeah, HDMI has nasty royalty issues, but it’s the future and present.

          1. VGA needs six pins for the RGB signals and their grounds plus two more for H and V sync. Composite sync monitors simply tie the two sync pins together. So that’s a minimum of 8 pins to be compatible with every VGA monitor ever made. An 8 pin VGA out header wouldn’t take up much room.

            Some early VGA monitors (especially all in one models that also supported all the mono/Hercules/CGA/EGA TTL modes) used a DE9 connector. That worked fine before DDC (Display Data Channel) came along for self configuring.

    4. A high margin of current monitors (including those in schools and such) support DVI, and as such a Pi can be used with he use of a very low cost (sub £5) HDMI to DVI-D adapter. Additionally with the fusing on the B+ being raised from 700mA to 2A, it becomes practical to use low-cost (sub £20) HDMI-VGA adaptors (see: Pi-View).

      Is this ideal? Perhaps not, but it’s hardly the critical issue you make it out to be. Considering that while VGA is an open standard, it is not supported by the Pi’s SOC (which only has outputs that are HDMI and Composite), so additional conversion circuitry would be needed on the Pi to support VGA, or a different SOC entirely, neither of which would likely lower the cost of the unit.

        1. Not trying to pull a smart reply here, but being on a 3rd country wouldn’t make it any easier to get the hands on a RasPi either.

          For instance, the official price for Brazil is US$85,54

          In Chile you can’t even find an official online retailer.

          In Argentina, Electrocomponentes SA won’t even list RaspberryPi on their online store.

          It kinda bothers me.

    5. I’m not every buying a car. There’s no proper way to attach my horse to a car. I can’t sit on top of a car the same way I sit on top of a horse. The car refuses to eat horse food. In fact, it uses fuel instead of regular horse food. Unless they create the car in such a way that if will run on horse food and that I can still sit on top of it without being in pain or looking funny,.. I’m never ever gonna buy one.

      I will never buy a printer. Printers are not compatible with classic paintbrushes. I can’t use the ink I always use with the way too modern things called “printers” .I need electricity to use a printer! For every printer there’s at least 10 paintbrushes out there.

      I know they won’t listen to me, but hey,..just my two cents. (By the way,… I also refuse to use cents. For every cent there must be at least ten things out there that I can use to trade with. That’s how man used to do business in the old days; trading!)

      1. FIrst world problem pal… you miss the point of the OP, who is obviously protesting since these things were meant to be cheap little SBC’s so kids in developing countries can learn to program, not so fat, white, rich kids can play with embeded programing and make HTPCs out of the things. And while YES, HDMI is becoming the standard in the fat, white, rich countries who have the $$$ for such luxuries, the places that these were intended to be put to use still use a majority of VGA monitors which can be had for free pretty much, which means a lot when you may actually have a “horse” to get you from point a to point be, because you are in poor county, where again, these things were intended to help. But since you are obviously part of the fat rich, and probably white sect of the world population, those facts probably got clouded by your desire to take a selfie or check your smartphone.

        Not everyone has the means to buy shit on a whim, and while yes, the “fat fucking vapid asshole “maker”s of the world love to think this stuff is all for them, sometimes the intent is a little deeper than that.

        My two cents…

        1. You moan and complain about all those poor people in this world that apparently completely depend on a very limited 25-year old standard which is more expensive to maintain and incorporate than a newer standard which, by the way, has been out there for over a decade already. Not to mention the fact that using that old standard would make the device rather bulky.

          So I am assuming that you think it is more logical to create a bulky device that costs more to make and will cost consumers more to purchase, just so it can support a VGA monitor that is more expensive to use than a cheap HDMI monitor (based on the electricity bill alone, which is why I replaced my monitor).

          If someone is so damn poor that they haven’t been able to upgrade from a quarter-of-a-century-old-standard, to one that’s been around for over a decade, then I seriously doubt that a Raspberry is something that should be on the priority list to begin with.

          By the way: you can learn how to program on a 20-year-old computer just fine. You don’t need today’s technology for that. As a bonus you get a holy VGA connection along with it.

          And to burst your little opinionated racist bubble:

          – I’m not rich. Far from it.
          – I’m not white either.
          – I’m not into selfies.
          – I don’t buy “shit on a whim”.

          I am capable of applying logic and reasoning though. Try it some day. Oh, and I’d lose the name-calling, racist attitude. It really doesn’t make you look intelligent.

          1. “I’m not every buying a car. There’s no proper way to attach my horse to a car. I can’t sit on top of a car the same way I sit on top of a horse. The car refuses to eat horse food. In fact, it uses fuel instead of regular horse food. Unless they create the car in such a way that if will run on horse food and that I can still sit on top of it without being in pain or looking funny,.. I’m never ever gonna buy one.

            I will never buy a printer. Printers are not compatible with classic paintbrushes. I can’t use the ink I always use with the way too modern things called “printers” .I need electricity to use a printer! For every printer there’s at least 10 paintbrushes out there.

            I know they won’t listen to me, but hey,..just my two cents. (By the way,… I also refuse to use cents. For every cent there must be at least ten things out there that I can use to trade with. That’s how man used to do business in the old days; trading!)”

            But trolling makes YOU look intelligent???

            I just trolled the troll, buddy :)

            “I am capable of applying logic and reasoning though.”

            Wanna re-read your post above and try again on that logic and reasoning bit?

            Sooo, you can dish it – but you certainly your panties in a big ‘ol wad when someone points out that you are being a dick…

            Have a nice day.

            Oh, I am fat and white, and comapred to a lot of the world, probably rich too.

          2. @Duwogg

            It’s amazing how many times people try to justify their nonsense by calling someone else a troll. I guess that’s what happens when people notice how they’re not making sense at all and need an excuse for the dumb remarks they made.

            Your posts still lack any form of sense and intelligence. Since you are incapable of conversing without name calling and any form of sense, I’ll just leave you be and ignore you.

            And congratulations at being fat, white and relatively rich. It clearly made you a very intelligent person.

        2. People in poor countries are likely to have 10 TV sets for every VGA monitor. Thank goodness for the composite, then!

          You can’t have everything. There’s HDMI for high-end graphics and composite for low-end. The chip doesn’t have a VGA output, so adding one would cost. The other video outputs come straight out of the chip.

          1. what is “composite” video? It is completely non-standard, it depends on the country you are in.

            HOW can you expect raspberry-pi to make a computer that can boot with composite video? Where is the switch to choose NTSC or PAL or SECAM?

            If “think of the poor children” is the reasoning, you are not gonna solve it with composite video.

          2. F, you don’t even own a RasPi, right? Like Chad said, you can set up the color/frequency output. Why you wanted a physical switch is beyond me…

        3. The Pi was designed for first world (really just UK) use. They never pitched it as a third world machine (the confusion really arises because it is so suitable; which really undermines claims it isn’t)

    6. Although a significant cost compared to the board, HDMI to VGA adapters are not that expensive (compared to monitor upgrade). The VGA was left out because it would require a DAC to get the analog signals out, making the board more expensive. Plus, should they have used only VGA there would be a problem with it starting to go away from newer HW and let’s face it, there is no room on that board for both. On a side note, I am really pissed off by all the places that have projectors in place and only have VGA cable connected, even though it supports DVI/HDMI. Almost no modern laptop comes with VGA connector and everyone has to carry the stupid adapters…

      And to be fair, I would be curious to see how many Pis are used as low cost computers vs how many are HTPCs. I have a feeling they relied on this side of the market more…

      I welcome the updates to the boards, but i still find some things are crappy: the two extra USB’s should have been on the opposite side of the ethernet. There are so many projects where the PI needs to access the internet so that side is one edge of the case. But then you need some other things connected to usb internally and are forced to make a cable go outside the box and into the connector which looks dumb. Second, they really need extra 5V connector. At 0.5A load on all usb ports the drop on the micro usb connector + cable could be too much to allow the devices to work.

      1. VGA-only projector installs are common for a reason: despite being ancient, VGA works surprisingly well even over long runs of cheap cable. When you do start to push it beyond its tolerance, there’s a reasonably forgiving band of ‘eh, picture looks a little fuzzy’ before the image becomes unacceptable or sync breaks down and it goes to garbage.

        DVI and HDMI tend to be touchier about cable quality and length; and the ‘sparkle’ effect you get once you push things too far is just painful. Worst case is HDMI with HDCP, which can just drop out entirely and start trying to re-pair if signal issues cause it to freak out.

        Sooner or later, VGA will be obsolete enough that they’ll just have to deal with it and put in the nicer cables, active repeaters if necessary; but anything that involves cable wrangling behind the walls isn’t cheap or pleasant, so it’ll be a while as long as making mac users carry adapters is easier.

        1. You are right, in fact i have seen so many hdmi cables fail (poor quality or not) if connected and reconnected often as well.

          As for VGA, red channel broken? No problem, the presentation looks fine in yellow. Cannot do that with hdmi.

    7. Just about every HDTV I’ve seen has an HDMI connector on the back. Maybe some of the older ones don’t, but I wasn’t an early adopter. Sure, you may have to fight your kids for access to the TV, and you may not have needed a 40-inch screen for your RPi, but it’s there.

    8. It is only cheaper if the SoC itself support VGA. While those dongles are “cheap”, they are a large percentage of the cost of a RPi. So I would say start shopping for a board that has the features you want.

      As for HDMI on my TV, my cheapo TV does too much “show room” processing on the HDMI input while they treat the VGA as computer input and do not mess around with the tweaking the colour/tint etc video. So I am using it as 2nd monitor and even with a KVM switch in series and extra cable length, VGA still looks better than HDMI.

  3. Oh and by the way, you’ll need to throw out or sell most of that stuff you bought to use with your original pi, because it wont fit anymore…Thats ok though, because you’ll just have to buy the new version of them.

    1. Or you could engage your brain and buy a ‘extended’ 26 pin header for $2, put it on the first 26 pins of the 40 pin header, and plug your existing expansion(s) into that.

    2. Booo! Change is scary! Booo!

      Also all you will really need to change is the case. That’s it. First stack of GPIO pins retain the same layout so all existing GPIO devices will work just fine. I’m quite happy that they have re-worked the layout and now connections are 2 sides only. Much more practical.

      1. You’ll need a new case, and if you’ve got an Adafruit Pi Cobbler breadboard adapter and don’t want to buy a new one, you’ll need a new cable, because the original one’s 26-pin header has too much plastic on the ends to fit into the 40-pin header. They’ve got a funky cable with a 40-pin header on one end of a 26-pin ribbon, but you can probably just use a regular 40-to-40-pin cable and have the header stick off the end of the adapter.

        1. > because the original one’s 26-pin header has too much plastic on the ends to fit into the 40-pin header.

          Not much of a hacker are you?! I mean that’s trivial to fix with a scalpel, sander, sidecutters, whatever…

    3. “you’ll need to throw out or sell most of that stuff you bought to use with your original pi”

      WHY would that be? Has my old raspberry pi morphed into the new version? Did they break into my house and swap it out while I was sleeping? Can’t I keep using my original stuff with my original raspberry pi?

  4. That’s a very good new : usually products receive critics over time but nothing is made to fix them, and so new products come with their new set of problems. At least they fixed this, and we can re-enjoy the same platform without clutters ! Thanks to the developpers team !
    sh*t, must buy a set of micro-sdcard soon !

  5. Oh, boo frickin’ hoo. Suck it up already. It’s a change. A good change. An unusual change as these things go, so mad props to the RasPi folks! I’m happy to hear that the Wolfson Audio card will apparently work after all (YAY!). The extended length GPIO connection can be adapted with a riser and the two obscured pins are relatively inconsequential. And for pity’s sake, a VGA port??? The footprint (2D or 3D, take your pick) is huge by comparison to anything else on the board. A HDMI to (DVI/VGA/Etc…) adapter is pennies to the pound from your local computer shop or eBarf or DX or wherever you buy yours from. Why exactly are we complaining? Oh that’s why, because we’re a bunch of complaining complainers who complain!



      1. No offense, but you don’t seem to understand that RasPi isn’t supposed to be used only by children with no access to computers in remote areas of Africa.
        It’s supposed to be an educational tool, regardless of who’s using. I know I’ve learned a lot – Linux, soldering and some other stuff.
        RasPis are going to be used in schools, sure. RasPis are also going to be used as low-cost computers in countries that are in development, yes. But assuming people would only have access to old-CRT monitors is a bit of a mistake and seems more logical to believe that they would have access to old-CRT TVs with composite video.
        Obviously it’s not a perfect solution, but I really can’t grasp your complains against the lack of VGA output when this little SoC does a lot for a lot of people for a very small price tag.

  6. As far as reverse voltage circuit protection couldn’t you just add a bridge rectifier and it wouldn’t matter witch way power was connected ?

    I like the new features the mounting holes will be very useful and four USB saves the headache of adding a powered hub. while i am not as excited about this model as i am about the so-dim one i and intrigued.

      1. What gives you that idea? [Pedro] prefers full size SD cards and their ability to contain more air in addition to the identical data capacity that both sizes share. It’s all about the air, man… it keeps all the little bytes cool while they wait for their trip on the intertoobz.

    1. Yeah, but you don’t need much space for the OS. I doubt that classrooms will need a full size SD for each and every Pi. Plus, if you really needed room for data, flash drives don’t cost much and everybody has one.

      Having 4 USB ports seems like a great improvement and will save on having to buy/lug around a usb hub just to connect wifi,keyboard and storage.

          1. I like them too, I did have a heat issue with the early versions, I had to transfer a 1 gig file and the thing overheated, haven’t had that problem in years.

      1. Strictly speaking, with the Raspberry Pi speed becomes less of a factor once you reach “Class 10” and higher, which most MicroSD cards made nowadays start at. As for price, that is finally starting to balance out, as many newer cameras have started using MicroSD instead of full size.

        I find it hilarious that the comments to this article contain just as many people complaining about the new Pi being “behind the times” as there are complaining about new features that keep it in line with similar devices.

        1. well you know, every new piece of hardware is expected to solve every single problem in the whole world and it’s really a failing when the designers fail to anticipate every single application that can ever be imagined. Also it’s a crime that they can’t just add more and more features while keeping the price the same.

          Frankly I am shocked every day that these new products are not anticipating and fulfilling my every desire. After all for $35 I expect a computer that can accomplish any task. It should have SCSI and VGA and PS2 and parallel port interfaces along with the latest and greatest HDMI and USB connectors. It must have a power supply capable of running my toaster oven while running on two AAA cells. And most of all, what good is any computer unless it has ethernet that’s faster than it can handle? Really computers should always have gigabit ethernet even when their processors are too slow to handle it.

          I’m hoping that I can encapsulate all of the dumb complaints into one huge meta-complaint

    2. I’m curious to know why you consider MicroSD to be a “downgrade” from SD. My only issue is that MicroSD cards are so small they are easily lost. Beyond that, I can only see advantages, especially regarding the Pi. No more broken SD card slots, no more big ugly cards hanging off the edge.

  7. I tried to see if the Ethernet chip had its GPIOs connected to something (Making it more probable to be able, at last, to WoL), but aparently Adafruit photographers are allergic to the bottom side. Would be nice if the guy that got it checked those things.

  8. I’ll be holding out for the humming board. (better if it was a “hummer” board!) The Pi was a neat little SBC, but soooooo many limitations, slow, weird to try to interface with. There are muuuuuccchhh better boards out there. The BBB being one of them, just hard as hell to get there for a while. The boards with 5V tolerant pins are wonderful! yes, 3v3 or whatever… It’s hard as f*ck to build anything these days as a lot of cool stuff still uses 5V, yet a lot of other things use dreaded 3v3… terrible!!! The main board should have the level shifting built in!!!!
    I tried using a Pi to run a stratum proxy for my BTC miners, to freaking slow for that even.
    But yeah, more USB ports for the SoC to choke on. Great idea….

    1. apparently there are lots of people out there who are capable of finding uses for these things

      in other news I’m not interested in purchasing one of these to replace my can opener or my humidifier.

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