I’ve just finished listening to a webinar starring the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Eben Upton. In it, he talked about the B+ and all the improvements made to the board during the development process. Afterwards he fielded questions from the audience and a few bits and pieces came up, some of which I’d previously heard, some of which I hadn’t, so I thought I’d share them with you just in case you were unable to attend the session yourself.
- The Compute Module is expected to be available for general purchase in late September/early October. The price is expected to be around $30.
- The Model A+ will essentially be a depopulated version of the B+ and will be available hopefully before the end of the year, but not before the end of September. It will have a single USB port and 256MB of RAM. It’s fairly easy to predict what the A+ will and will not have – so we can expect the ethernet port to be missing (hence the restriction on USB ports) but to retain the usual SOC.
- The Pi will not have USB 3.0 in it’s current incarnation. Eben has already previously said that this is the final version of the existing Raspberry Pi, so that’s not a surprise. The Pi simply doesn’t have a fast enough interface to deal with the protocol.
- The Foundation is developing one of the first HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) expansion boards but is keeping it under wraps at the moment (hence the piece of paper over the board).
- The competitive advantage of the Pi is maintained primarily through the established community that supports each other and also the amount of development done to the software stack. There are still plenty of places where obvious software improvements could be made so that is what the engineers at the Foundation are working on actively and that is what the Foundation is funding elsewhere.
- The B+ is the sum of requests for improvements from the community. Very few changes for the B+ haven’t come out of requests from the community. When speaking about the community Eben said, “It’s been a massive boon to us.”
- It’s expected that an upgrade to Java JDK 8 is coming very soon.