New Multi-Core Raspberry Pi 2

Raspberry Pi is an almost mythical cheap single board computer that has very many fans. When last year Raspberry Pi Foundation launch of the Raspberry Pi Model B+ as the final evolution of the original RPi board while still costing $35 USD, it was considered to be an improvement over original Raspberry Pi B model, but it was considered to be slow compared to many other cheap Linux friendly SBCs available now.

It seems that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has improved their selection of products: New Multi-Core Raspberry Pi 2 Launches: Coming in at the same $35 price-point that has come to be expected from the Raspberry Pi, it looks like the new Model 2 will be packing a quad-core ARM processor with a GB of RAM.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is likely to provoke a global geekgasm today with the surprise release of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B: a turbocharged version of the B+ boasting a new Broadcom BCM2836 900MHz quad-core system-on-chip with 1GB of RAM – all of which will drive performance “at least 6x” that of the B+. It seems that the new chip BCM2836, is quite similar to BCM2835 (the chip used in original Raspberry Pi), but with 4 Cortex A7 cores @ 900 MHz (overclockable @ 1.1 GHz), the same VideoCore GPU, and 6 times faster according to Sysbench. Because it has an ARMv7 processor, it can run the full range of ARM GNU/Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core, as well as Microsoft Windows 10. The hardware circuit layout looks pretty much the same as B+, so I expect the same extension modules to work on this as well:

Raspberry Pi 2 is now on sale for $35 (the same price as the existing Model B+). It should soon show up for sale on Element14, RS Components, and other distributors. It is expected that this new model will catch up quickly as the predicted manufacturing mix for this year will be 80 per cent Pi 2, and 20 per cent Pi B+, as customers gradually migrate to the faster model. For geeks on a really tight budget, the $20 Pi A+ will still be available.

Here are the quick details now for all. I could not dig out more because just suddenly I started getting “Raspberry Pi – Down for maintenance” errors on Raspberry Pi Foundation site. Maybe this announcement caused more traffic to their site than what they expected. Hopefully the image linked from their site to this posting works for all.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2? Upton: ‘I drank the Kool-Aid’
    Raspberry Pi and Microsoft love-in to support latest Pi venture

    Interview Today Microsoft and Raspberry Pi announced that Windows 10 will run on the new Pi 2. But why? The Register spoke to Pi founder and CEO Eben Upton.

    “We’ve had people queuing up and saying they want Windows, the whole time,” says Upton. “I think there’s a sense that ‘you’re a real PC’ if you run Windows.”

    Porting Windows is now possible because of Microsoft’s work on Windows RT for devices like the original Surface, which runs ARM v7. Previous releases of the Pi run ARM v6, but P i2 is also ARM v7.

    “In terms of whether we approached Microsoft, or Microsoft approached us, I don’t think it was either, I think it was a conversation in a bar,” he adds. “We’ve had a very good relationship with them for a long time, and it was just, we can do this now with ARM v7, let’s do it.”

    “What we’re talking about here is Windows 10 for IoT [Internet of Things]; there hasn’t been a statement about capabilities,” Upton explains. “We’re not necessarily talking about PowerPoint or the Windows desktop. Microsoft will make a statement on what exact capabilities they plan to bring to the device fairly soon.”

    The big thing for me is to have an environment where people can do the write once, run anywhere thing, write something that will run on a Surface, on a Raspberry Pi, and on a mobile phone.

    But why bother with Windows? What can you do that you cannot do with Linux?

    “Microsoft has a really good clue about cloud integration. There’s a great story about Azure, and about data integration between IoT devices and Azure,” enthuses Upton. “I think they’ve got a pretty compelling security story as well. As a child of the 1990s it feels funny to talk about this as being a security play, but there was that moment where Microsoft woke up and really started taking it seriously, examining the code base for security vulnerabilities. Their feeling is that they have the most secure operating system to build IoT applications. I don’t think that’s necessarily wrong.

    “There’s familiarity with the APIs,” he adds. “None of these ARM platforms offer Win32 but they do offer the new Windows world.

    “Visual Studio is the other big thing. There’s good tooling, because they have the mindset of Raspberry Pi as a device that you deploy to, rather than Raspberry Pi as a standalone computer.”

    Upton will be at Microsoft’s Build conference in early April, as well as WinHEC (Hardware Engineering Conference) in Schenzen mid-March, evangelising Raspberry Pi to developers.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kevin Dallas / Building Apps for Windows:
    Windows 10 coming to Raspberry Pi 2, developers can use it for free

    Windows 10 Coming to Raspberry Pi 2

    Today the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the retail availability of their new board, the Raspberry Pi 2. We’re excited to join the Foundation in also announcing that Windows 10 will support Raspberry Pi 2, which will be free for the Maker community through the Windows Developer Program for IoT later this year.

    We are excited about our work with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and to share that Windows 10 will support Raspberry Pi 2. We will be sharing more details about our Windows 10 plans for IoT in the coming months. I encourage you to register for our developer program on the Windows Developer Program for IoT site to get the latest information on our Maker efforts.

    About the Windows Developer Program for IoT

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Introducing the Raspberry Pi 2

    It’s called the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. Quad core ARM Cortex A7 with one Gig of RAM. It’s the same form factor as the Raspberry Pi Model B+. Available now at Newark, Element 14, Allied, and RS Components. It’s the same price as the old one.

    The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B features a quad-core ARM Cortex A7 running at 1GHz with 1GB of RAM. This chip uses the ARMv7 architecture instead of the ARMv6 of the original Raspi.

    Although the CPU has been updated, there isn’t much else on the Pi that has changed. USB and Ethernet is still handled by the LAN9514 USB/Ethernet controller.

    All the original ports found on the Raspberry Pi Model B+ are found on the Raspi 2; HDMI, audio, analog video, Ethernet, USB, CSI, the as-for-now unused DSI, and GPIO ports haven’t changed.


    As far as software is concerned, just about everything that ran on the original Raspberry Pi will run on the Raspberry Pi 2. The capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 2 are a superset of the original. This is an entirely new processor architecture; the Pi 1 used a chip with the ARMv6 architecture, and the Cortex A7 uses the ARMv7 architecture. This is huge. The Raspberry Pi 2 can now run a modern Android system. There’s a ton of stuff that’s possible with the Pi 2 that was unimaginable with the Pi 1.

    There is one caveat when it comes to software on the Pi. The Foundation sent me a Pi 2 and an SD card loaded up with a Raspbian distro. This worked well until I was a moron a few times and cut the power to the Pi 2 without doing a proper shutdown. The card was corrupted.

    For hardware, everything you’d expect from the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi is present on the Raspberry Pi 2. It’s the usual 40-pin expansion header we’ve all come to expect, and as far as I can tell, there is no change between the Raspi and Raspi 2.

    Concerning the form factor, just about every case that is compatible with the Raspberry Pi Model B+ should be compatible with the new Raspi 2 Model B+.

    Other Models

    There’s more than one Pi in the Raspberry Pi ecosystem, but for now, the Model A+ and the Raspberry Pi compute module will retain the old BCM2835 chipset. That’s not to say they won’t be upgraded in the future

    Currently, there are few boards that match the power and the price of the Raspberry Pi 2, the Odroid C1 being the one that matches the Raspberry Pi 2 in terms of performance and capability.

    When monitoring the power consumption of the Raspi 2, there is a slight increase in power consumption over the Raspberry Pi 1.

    When booting to a Raspbian desktop, the Raspberry Pi 1 draws about 290mA, dropping to about 250mA once the desktop is loaded. The Raspberry Pi 2 draws about 340mA at boot, dropping to about 270mA once the desktop is loaded.

    [Eben] tells us there are 100,000 Raspberry Pi 2 Model Bs sitting in warehouses right now.

    For the most part, this is simply an upgrade to the CPU and RAM of the Raspberry Pi Model B. Right now, there are no distributions or software compiled specifically for the Raspberry Pi 2, and having the software that will take advantage of the much faster, multi-core CPU of the Raspi 2 will take a while.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi 2 Brings Six Times The Power, Same $35 Price Tag
    It’s in the running to replace your regular PC.

    here’s a new Raspberry Pi in town. And in a classic example of Moore’s Law in action, the Raspberry Pi 2 is six times more powerful than its predecessor with twice as much RAM—and it still sells for just $35. The original Pi—a tiny, low-cost computer meant for education and electronics projects—debuted three years ago.

    The Pi 2 gets its additional processing power from a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU clocked at 900MHz (though some users will undoubtedly clock it at even higher) and includes 1GB of RAM.

    The Pi 2 requires an updated version of the Raspbian operating system that includes an ARMv7 kernel and modules, which you can download yourself from the foundation’s download page or get via the latest version of the NOOBS installer.

    In a break with its roots in Linux, the Pi 2 will also run Windows 10. (Previously, about the only way to run Windows on a Pi was a complicated workaround involving Windows 7.) Windows 10 will be free for Pi users through its developer program for the Internet of Things later in 2015.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Benchmarking The Raspberry Pi 2


    The original Raspberry Pi was an interesting educational tool, but it was not a usable computer. I used a Raspi 1 as a workbench computer for about a week. It was slow, and it was terrible. The Raspberry Pi 2 is perfectly usable as a small, cheap, and portable desktop system, and the added power opens up a few doors on what’s is possible with a $35 computer.

    When you consider the community support of the Raspberry Pi, thousands of random libraries on Github, and a huge amount of boards that already exist for the Raspberry Pi, this is probably the best small Linux board available today. If you need anything more powerful, you’ll be moving up to a ‘real’ laptop or desktop.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The original Raspberry Pi saw a lot of emulator use, but it was limited: the Pi 1 could handle the NES, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, and other earlier consoles with ease. Emulator performance for N64 and original Playstation games was just barely unplayable. Now, the Raspi 2 can easily handle N64 and PSX games.


  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Photonic Reset of the Raspberry Pi 2

    when a product is released, the great unwashed masses will find some really, really weird bugs. The first one to crop up is a light-sensitive reset of the Raspberry Pi 2.

    U16, a small chip located in the power supply part of the Raspi 2, is sensitive to light. Putting enough photons will cause the Pi to shut down or restart.

    This is the chip that is responsible, and this is not an EMP issue. This is a photon/light issue with the U16 chip. The solution to this bug is to either keep it in a case, or put a tiny amount of electrical tape over the chip.

    Check also:

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi 2 Model B review
    Single-board computer gets a big performance boost
    By Daniel Robinson

    Product: Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
    Website: Raspberry Pi
    Price: About £25+VAT
    Specifications: Broadcom 900MHz BCM2836 SoC based on quad-core Cortex-A7, 1GB RAM, microSD card slot for storage, 10/100 Ethernet, 4 x USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, audio/video jack socket, GPIO header, micro USB port for power, DSI and CSI connectors

    SWELLING THE RANKS of fruity-themed computers, the Raspberry Pi 2 is an upgraded version of the popular single-board computer, sporting a new processor and double the memory of previous models.

    These changes offer greater capabilities, while still keeping the same form factor, the same price point and backward compatibility with the existing Raspberry Pi.

    Potential buyers should note that the Raspberry Pi 2 still comes without a power adapter or a built-in operating system as standard in order to keep the price down

    the Raspberry Pi 2 closely resembles the Raspberry Pi Model B+ from last year. It is still a bare board about the size of a credit card, with all the connectors in the same positions as on the Model B+.

    These include the Ethernet connector and four USB 2.0 ports on the right-hand edge, and the Micro USB power socket, HDMI output and audio/video jack sockets on the bottom edge.

    The upper surface also has the 40-pin I/O flat flex connectors for camera and display modules, while the micro SD Card socket for the device’s boot storage is mounted underneath the board.

    the Cortex-A7 implements the newer ARMv7 instruction set and architecture, which opens up a broader range of operating system options for the Raspberry Pi 2, including the new Ubuntu Core and even a version of Windows 10 that will be made available as a free download for those in the ‘maker’ community.

    To get a working system, users need a phone charger capable of delivering 2A or more current to the Raspberry Pi 2 via its Micro USB input, a USB keyboard and mouse, and a display that can be driven by an HDMI input or a composite video signal. The latter requires a special adapter cable for the audio/video jack.

    Raspberry Pi’s New Out Of the Box Software build is a good start, and enables the user to choose from several operating systems to install at first boot. These include the Raspbian build of Debian Linux, along with a pair of dedicated media centre software builds, or a Raspberry Pi version of the Fedora Linux from which Red Hat Enterprise Linux is derived.

    Since our review of the Raspberry Pi Model B+, it has gained an updated version of the Scratch programming environment, a new user interface configuration for the LXDE desktop and an updated Epiphany browser, now renamed simply ‘Web’. It still comes with the Python development environment, Sonic Pi and Wolfram Mathematica language for scientific computing.

    The Raspberry Pi has evolved steadily since its introduction in 2012 as a cheap and cheerful device for kids to learn programming, and its latest incarnation delivers a step up in performance for that user base and those interested in using the Pi as the centre of a hardware project.

    In fact, with its 900MHz quad-core processor and 1GB memory, the new Pi is comparable in processing power with some mid-range smartphones, and is capable of offering a user experience closer to that of a desktop computer with the right software.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Pi 2 Means Faster GPIO

    The Raspberry Pi is a great machine to learn the ins and outs of blinking pins, but for doing anything that requires blinking pins fast, you’re better off going with a BeagleBone. This has been the conventional wisdom for years now, and now that the updated Raspberry Pi 2 is out, there’s the expectation that you’ll be able to blink a pin faster. The data are here, and yes, you can.

    Using the same experimental setup, the Raspberry Pi 2 is about 2 to three times faster. The fastest is still the C native library, topping out at just under 42 MHz. Other languages and libraries are much slower

    Raspberry Pi 2 vs. 1 GPIO Benchmark

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:


    Build and understand your own Raspberry Pi Model powered laptop. We take you through each component and its functionality, so that you can use the pi-top as a tool for your own build projects in the future.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Windows 10 is now available for the Raspberry Pi 2 and Intel Minnowboard Max
    But Microsoft warns that IoT release is rough around the edges

    MICROSOFT has released the catchily-named Windows 10 IoT Core Insider developer preview for devices including the Raspberry Pi 2 and Intel’s Minnowboard Max.

    Microsoft warned that the software is pretty rough around the edges, but Steve Teixeira, director of programme management for Internet of Things (IoT) at the firm, said that Microsoft wanted to give makers “the opportunity to play with the software bits early” to get feedback on what’s good, and what’s not.

    “You may notice some missing drivers or rough edges”

    Raspberry Pi also offers developers some pre-download tips in a blog post. As well as echoing Microsoft’s warning that it’s likely to be buggy, Liz Upton, head of communications at Raspberry Pi, said that you’ll need to be signed up to the Windows Insider programme and have Windows 10 installed on your PC.

    Running Windows 10 on a virtual machine won’t offer compatibility for the IoT release as you need access to the SD card reader.

    Microsoft also showed off a Raspberry Pi-powered robot during the Build keynote

    Windows 10 for IoT

    Back in February, when we launched Raspberry Pi 2, the sharp-eyed among you will have noticed the folks at Microsoft making an announcement about bringing Windows 10 for IoT to the Raspberry Pi. We’re excited to share that it landed today – along with a ridiculously cool demo. The chap in the video is HoloLens designer Alex Kipman.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi 2: 10 Unusual & Interesting Projects

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A good effort, but a bit odd: Windows 10 IoT Core on Raspberry Pi 2
    The question is, does the Pi really need Windows?

    First Look Microsoft has released a preview of Windows 10 for Raspberry Pi 2, the £30 ARMv7 computer board produced by the Cambridge-based Raspberry Pi Foundation.

    The version of Windows 10 for the Pi (which is also available for the Intel Atom MinnowBoard Max) is called Windows IoT Core, one of three Windows 10 IoT editions. The other two are Windows 10 IoT for mobile devices (which is ARM only and similar to Windows 10 Mobile) and Windows 10 IoT for industry devices, which is Intel only and similar to Windows 10 Enterprise, tweaked to run a single locked-down application such as for a cash or vending machine.

    In other words, the company has hijacked the IoT (Internet of Things) buzzword and applied it to embedded Windows. That said, the old Windows CE apparently lives on for those who need it, since unlike other versions of Windows it is a real-time operating system (RTOS).

    Windows 10 IoT Core is an oddity in that while it does have a GUI stack, it is limited to Microsoft’s Universal App Platform (UAP), though note that this includes DirectX as well as XAML (Microsoft’s presentation language for UAP) and HTML.

    This means that there is no Windows desktop, nor even a command prompt. That said, it does support PowerShell remoting, which gets you a remote PowerShell terminal from which you can run familiar Windows commands.

    The price? “Windows 10 will include a new IoT edition for small devices that is tuned to run Windows universal apps and drivers and is royalty free to makers and device builders,” said Microsoft’s Don Box in this post.

    Note that IoT Core is not limited to UAP apps. Native Win32 apps run, but you will not see any output other than in a remote session. You can create server apps, though, and one of the samples uses Node.js with a native extension to return memory status to a browser. There is no web server in IoT Core, but Node.js has one built-in. Node.js normally uses the Chrome JavaScript runtime, but in this case it uses Microsoft’s Chakra engine instead.

    Getting Started

    Setting up Windows 10 IoT Core on a Pi 2 is a matter of signing up to Microsoft’s preview programme, downloading an SD card image and writing it to a card using Windows 10 technical preview. The documentation says you need a physical Windows 10 machine in order to get access to a card reader, but apparently VMWare can also work.

    Next, you pop the card into your Pi, preferably with an HDMI display attached, and boot up. You can also connect a USB keyboard and mouse. It takes a while to boot – especially the first time, when some set-up tasks run – but it worked first time for me, displaying a screen of information including the device name and IP address.

    Doing anything with the Pi requires a remote connection. I was able to connect via PowerShell, change the password and deploy a HelloWorld UAP app from Visual Studio 2015 running on Windows 10 build 10074. Everything worked first time. File sharing is on by default and I was able to browse the file system from another PC using the built-in administrative shares C$ and D$.

    The overall size of Windows IoT Core is similar to the stripped-down Nano Server
    the Windows folder on the Pi contains 809MB in 3,356 files

    Does the Raspberry Pi need Windows?

    Does the Raspberry Pi need Windows? It already runs several varieties of Linux, including Raspbian (based on Debian), Ubuntu and Fedora. These distributions lack the peculiarities of Windows IoT Core, with full access to the local command shell, as well as a desktop GUI should you need it. You can even run .NET applications using Mono and it should support the cross-platform .NET Core as well. So what is the point of Windows?

    Putting Windows 10 IoT Core on a Pi makes it less capable than it would be running Linux, but there will still be cases where it makes sense. In an educational context, where you want a smooth workflow for developing an app in Visual Studio, and testing and deploying on the Pi, it could work well.

    Visual Studio is a rich IDE, and with support for C#, Visual Basic, Python, Node.js and C++, there is plenty of scope for language experimentation.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi would be sufficient for most computer users

    When a consumer goes today to buy a PC, he will be sold easily with the latest Intel processor and equipped with a fast SSD memory model, which is easily accumulated cost at least several hundred euros, even more. Yet the truth is that most of the needs sufficient for a few ten euros Raspberry Pi card performance.

    Raspberry Pi Card can be run on multiple Linux distributions. Datamationin test is a good example, they have tested Debian-based Raspbian. According to the test Raspbianilla can be Raspberry Pi card to make almost everything purebred with a laptop or desktop computer.

    For example, the LibreOffice office suite revolves almost flawlessly (lots of big tables in document was a bit slow) – the biggest challenge comes in to save the transcripts as Raspberry Pi does not have traditional built-in hard disk.

    Datamationin test Raspberry Pi to run the Firefox browser flexibly. Testers, the most surprising was the fact that the card used to run the Youtube videos. VLC repeater to run videos quite smoothly.

    This shows that the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s argument that the second generation of card is right for the PC, it is true


  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SamplerBox Uses Raspberry Pi 2 to Make Music

    [JosephErnest] wanted a cost-effective alternative to the commercially available MIDI samplers and expanders on the market. He also wanted to avoid being tethered to a computer all the time. His solution is the SamplerBox, a standalone drop-and-play sampler that costs less than 100 euros to make. Simply insert an SD card with your sample set in WAV format, boot it up, and play it through your keyboard or MIDI controller to your heart’s content!

    Drop’n’play sampler: drop .WAV samples on the SD card, and play!
    Open source / open hardware
    Raspberry Pi computer inside!
    Cheap: < 99€ to build it
    Boot time: 8 seconds
    Polyphony: more than 128 voices
    Latency: 11,6 ms
    Memory: can load sample-sets up to 1 GB

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Raspberry Pi finally has an official case, priced at just $9 (£6)
    Three years later, but this Raspberry Pi 2 and Model B+ case is rather nice.

    Since the release of the Model A and B in 2012 and through the follow-up releases of the Model B+ and Raspberry Pi 2, an official case has always been one rather obvious omission from the product stack. Because the Raspberry Pi is designed for a range of uses—DIY maker machinations to low-cost educational computing—it never really made sense to provide one. Instead, the Foundation encouraged people and third-party vendors to make and/or sell their own. As such we’ve seen some wonderful cases over the years, including offerings made of 3D-printed plastic, Lego bricks, and even hand-crafted wood.

    Now, the Foundation has stepped in. The official case for the Raspberry Pi 2 (and the Model B+) was designed in partnership with Kinneir Dufort. It’s made of injection moulded plastic and comes in four parts: a raspberry-coloured main chassis and three clip-on panels

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ubuntu Core Gets Support For Raspberry Pi 2 GPIO and I2C

    Ubuntu Core is a tiny Ubuntu distribution aimed at the Internet of Things, using a new transactional packaging format called Snappy rather than the venerable Debian packaging format. It recently gained support for I2C and GPIO on the Raspberry Pi 2

    Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core itself can be upgraded atomically and rolled back if needed — a bulletproof approach that is perfect for deployments where predictability and reliability are paramount. It’s called “transactional” or “image-based” systems management, and we’re delighted to make it available on every Ubuntu certified cloud.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Build a Large-Screen Command Center with the RPi 2

    When the folks who make the Raspberry Pi made good on their plan to release a multi-core version of the tiny computer with 1GB of RAM earlier this year, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to put the single-board Linux box to work—real work—in our company’s network operations center.

    NYSERNet, Inc., is an optical networking company that provides high-speed connections for New York state’s leading universities and research centers. Part of our job is to keep an eye on a fiber network that stretches from Buffalo to New York City. If something does down, we need to know quickly.

    In the past, we had a walk-up command center that featured ten wall-mounted 19-inch monitors powered by two large-form Windows PC towers loaded with heavy-duty video cards and enough VRAM to make everything work. The screens showed network maps, data-center views and weather, among other things.

    But during a recent office remodel, we decided all the cabling, clunky-looking PCs and video-card sharing needed to go. We wanted the new space—with two new 50-inch Ultra HD monitors

    Enter the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.

    With its powerful new four-core processor and double the RAM of its immediate predecessor, the RPi seemed to be the perfect computer not only to drive our large new 4K monitors, but also to run several important applications used by the NOC team, including a Java-based network map, Iceweasel (a Firefox Web browser derivative) and InterMapper, a proprietary network monitoring tool. Raspbian, a Debian derivative that fits well with our Ubuntu shop, would be an ideal choice for the OS.

    necessary—system to a pair of $35 RPis

    I ran some preliminary tests on an HP Mini running Windows 8.1 and on the RPi 2 Model B. The Mini could muster only 1080p, but I found the RPi could indeed provide the resolution I wanted with its built-in full-size HDMI port and on-board Broadcom graphics. I also found I could do it without having to set the poor RPi on fire by overclocking it to the max.

    For this project, I needed two RPis, one for each new large-screen TV.

    Once your RPi is up and running, it’s a good idea to connect it to your network. If something goes wrong with the video settings during this setup, you’ll want another way to edit the configuration files. Giving the RPi an address on your network and setting up SSH will do just that.

    If you’re able to find a kit with a pre-installed Raspbian (or NOOBS) SD card, that’ll work fine. Other flavors, such as Arch Linux ARM and Pidora, also may be good options,

    Using the raspi-config tool (built in to Raspbian), you can fine-tune how the computer handles memory, video display and a host of other RPi parameters. For my purposes, I used it to work with three things:



    Memory Split

    By the way, these settings also can be modified by editing /boot/config.txt

    Out of the box, the RPi commits 64MB of its 1GB to the GPU. That’s not nearly enough to give the pixel resolution we want. After some experimenting, I found that maxing out the memory for the GPU (512) worked best

    Once the overscan, overclocking and memory split modifications are complete, the rest of the heavy lifting for this project is done in the boot configuration script: /boot/config.txt

    First, disable overscanning:

    If the RPi doesn’t automatically detect your HDMI display, uncomment the hdmi_force_hotplug=1 line. That should fix it.

    In order to get the RPi to support the Ultra HD screen resolution, you’ll need to use hdmi_group and hdmi_mode to enable custom settings. The hdmi_group parameter sets the type of display you’re using: 0 will auto-detect, 1 will set CEA (typical for televisions), and 2 will set DMT (typical for monitors).

    Driving the Vizio TV requires a custom resolution that is not offered in any of the preset modes, so you’ll need to set the HDMI output format to 87, a custom mode:

    # Make our custom resolution the default

    With the custom mode set, you now need to add the specific parameters for Coordinated Video Timings (CVT)

    I also set the framebuffer width and height to match my hdmi_cvt width and height, and then set a high pixel frequency limit:


    After some trial and error, these settings worked well.

    Because I have both RPis running in graphical mode, I need a keyboard and mouse

    I didn’t want a bunch of keyboards and mice

    The answer was SSH and its x2x feature.
    With x2x, you can move the mouse (and keyboard focus) from one RPi to the other, one monitor to the other, as though the screens were attached to a single computer. It’s fast and seamless.

    I attached a Bluetooth USB dongle to the primary RPi I called rpi01. It was immediately detected by the system and connected my Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
    The RPi is friendly to most modern Bluetooth USB adapters

    Set Up VNC as a Remote-Control Alternative

    a good alternative to SSH x2x is VNC.

    Create a profile for each RPi to which you want to connect. Give each profile a name, ensure that you’ve selected the VNC protocol, enter the server address for the RPi, use the default RPi account (usually pi unless you’ve changed it), and set the color depth and quality.

    I used a color depth of 256 colors and “Poor” quality, because I wanted a better remote-user experience.

    Final Thoughts

    Because your RPis probably are sitting on a network, it’s a good idea to secure them with a firewall. I set up some iptables rules that block almost all traffic.

    Also, to make the RPis even easier to maintain, you may want to install Webmin, a free Web-based administration tool for Linux environments. It works well under Raspbian and doesn’t hog resources when it’s not in use.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft makes Raspberry Pi its preferred IoT dev board
    Intel’s Galileo scratched off Windows 10 ‘thing’ list

    A little over a year after Intel’s Galileo development board got its first taste of Microsoft Windows, Redmond has decided to pull the project.

    Chipzilla’s Raspberry Pi-like Galileo was anointed as able-to-run-Windows in August 2014, courtesy of the 1.0.2 firmware update for the Gen1 device. In the same month Intel launched the Gen2 board (which got its stripped-down Windows 8 version in October 2014).

    Microsoft was also handing out Galileo devices free to developers joining its Internet of Things program.

    Alas, there’s no weight-loss program good enough to fit Windows 10 IoT Core into the Galileo, so Redmond has set November 30 as end-of-life for the development boards.

    Raspberry Pi is the officially designated migration target: “Wiring support is now available on Windows 10 IoT Core running on Raspberry Pi 2. This allows you to migrate your existing Galileo projects to Windows 10 IoT Core”, the company notes.

    Will you continue to support the Windows Developer Program for IoT for Intel Galileo?

    No. We continue to focus on providing a great experience for Makers with Windows 10 IoT Core. While we’ve seen some fantastic innovation with the platform, unfortunately it does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10 IoT Core.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Linux 4.5 Adds Raspberry Pi 2 Support, AMD GPU Re-Clocking, Intel Kaby Lake

    The Linux 4.5 merge window has been open for the last two weeks; that means that the 4.5-rc1 kernel is expected to emerge, with the official kernel following in about eight weeks.

    Linux 4.5 is set to bring many new features across the kernel’s 20 million line code-base. Among the new/improved features are Raspberry Pi 2 support, open-source Raspberry Pi 3D support, NVIDIA Tegra X1 / Jetson TX1 support, an open-source Vivante graphics driver

    The Many New Features & Improvements Of The Linux 4.5 Kernel

    - While the VC4 DRM driver was previously added as the Raspberry Pi kernel mode-setting driver, the kernels up to now haven’t had the necessary bits for supporting 3D/OpenGL in conjunction with the new VC4 Gallium3D driver from Mesa. However, with Linux 4.5 those needed kernel bits are in place for having a fully open Raspberry Pi 3D driver stack.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New Raspberry Pi 2B 1.2 with Pi3 BCM2837 Processor

    Back in September a new version of the Pi2 quietly appeared on Farnell’s website without a fanfare. It’s exactly the same as the original Pi2 except the processor is BCM2837 running at 900 MHz instead of the BCM2836.

    Why the New Revision?

    By changing processors to the Pi3’s BCM2837, the older BCM2836 can cease production and the Pi2 gets an upgrade to the newer, faster A53 CPU. To keep the BCM2836 in production in small quantities no longer made economic sense.

    Does Anyone Still Use Pi2?

    The Pi2B 1.2 is mainly for industrial clients who built systems round Pi2. Upgrading the silicon enables the Pi2 to stay in production, but also effectively offers a ‘no-wifi’ variant of Pi3. Some applications don’t want or need wifi/BT capability (additional compliance/security concerns). So now you have a choice.

    How Much is it?

    $35 – same as Pi3B. Unless you have a compelling reason, I’d still favour the Pi3B for most uses, but I bought one for the collection.

    Up-to-date Distro Required

    If you buy one, you’ll need an up-to-date OS image with the latest kernel and firmware or it won’t boot.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Raspberry Pi 2 Gets A Processor Upgrade

    A rumor that has been swirling around the Raspberry Pi hardware community for a significant time has proven to have a basis in fact. The Raspberry Pi 2 has lost its BCM2836 32-bit processor, and gained the 64-bit BCM2837 processor from its newer sibling, the Raspberry Pi 3. It seems this switch was made weeks ago without any fanfare on the release of the Pi 2 V1.2 board revision, so we are among many news sources that were caught on the hop.

    The new board is not quite a Pi 3 masquerading as a Pi 2 though. The more capable processor is clocked at a sedate 900MHz as opposed to the Pi 3’s 1.2GHz and there is no Bluetooth or WiFi on board, but the new revision will of course benefit from the extra onboard cache and the 64-bit cores.

    This move almost certainly has its roots in saving the cost of BCM2836 production in the face of falling Pi 2 sales after the launch of the Pi 3. It makes sense for the Foundation to keep the Pi 2 in their range though as the board has found a home in many embedded products for which the Pi 3’s wireless capabilities and extra power consumption are not an asset.

    The full specification for the revised board can be found on the Raspberry Pi web site.


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