Raspberry Pi – version 3 launched

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The UK-based Raspberry Pi foundation released a new version of its tiny, adaptable computer on Monday, revealing a third iteration that includes USB ports for a keyboard and mouse, an Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and an HDMI port for connecting to a monitor or a TV.

The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is the third iteration of the credit-card sized computer, which has sold 3m units since launch in 2012.

It runs a variant of the free open-source operating system Linux, which powers many web servers and Android smartphones.

The new board costs the same $35 (£20) as the original but has two more USB ports, bringing the total to four, a microSD card slot for memory and a neater design, which should make fitting the board into custom projects easier and Raspberry Pi cases smaller.

“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,” said Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton in a blog post.

The new board also lowers power consumption, which should make battery-powered projects easier, while improving the audio output quality and adding more possibilities for expansion with add-on hardware like cameras and microphones.

The original Model B board will remain available, primarily for industry that has adopted the board for machines and other equipment, while the new B+ computer is described as “the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi,” indicating a completely new Raspberry Pi design could be in the pipeline.

The Raspberry Pi took a year to sell the first million of the small computers, but sales accelerated hitting the 2m milestone in 21 months and 3m six months later, far outselling iconic computers such as the BBC Micro and Amstrad and rapidly closing on Clive Sinclair’s Spectrum, which sold around 5m over 10 years.


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