New version of the micro:bit launched – but won’t be available until November

Front and back of the BBC micro:bit V2. Credit: micro:mag

Great news from the micro:bit Foundation today. There will soon be a new version of the micro:bit available to buy!

There are several exciting new features on the version 2:

  • An integrated speaker
  • An integrated MEMS-type microphone
  • A new capacitive touch button built into the main logo on the front
  • A new sleep mode to enable low power consumption when not in use
  • A new processor (nRF52833)
  • The flash memory has been doubled to 512kb
  • The RAM has been increased to 512kb (an 8x improvement!)
  • The ability for add-on boards to draw up to 200mA current
  • A new “notched” edge connector to allow crocodile clips to connect more securely.

There will be some minor compatiblity issues – the increase in components on the back will mean that some of the existing cases will not fit and the LED column pins on the edge have been swapped around (although very few add-ons use these).

This is a really exciting development from the Foundation – it’s great to see them investing the time and resources in a new version and it’s sure to give a boost to not only the buying market but, more importantly, the chance for creative activities.

Interestingly, they have chosen to announce the new version in advance of availability. This presents two issues that I can see: 1) No-one will want the existing stocks of version 1 and 2) The publicity they receive from announcing it early will be somewhat wasted by the delay. However, it also means that consumers will be happier as they may decide to hold off until the new version is available.

You can read a more in-depth article about the version 2 over at micromag and also at Tom’s Hardware where Les Pounder also covers the release. Pimoroni will have the new version and have an email list so you can get notified when it’s available. This is addition to regular suppliers Farnell and new partner OKdo.

You can see a video about a couple of the new features below:

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