The Raspberry Pi Foundation and element14 on Monday announced a brand new version of their extremely popular and very affordable computer. The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is even more powerful than the previous models, but it’s just as cheap, costing just $35. More interestingly, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is fully backward compatible to first-gen Model A and Model B designs, meaning that users can just replace the old versions with the faster computer.

FROM EARLIER: Meet the significantly improved, yet still affordable, Raspberry Pi Model B+

When it comes to specs, the Raspberry Pi 2 packs a 900MHz Broadcom BCM2836 ARMv7 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, support for up to four USB devices, HDMI support and micro SD port.

The new computer should be six times faster than predecessors, and packs twice the RAM memory. The Raspberry Pi 2 should also boot up in less than half the time of its predecessor. The computer has the same layout and footprint as the previous Model B+, which means it’ll also be compatible with all cases and third-party add-ons.

The Raspberry Pi 2 is available to buy starting today online from element14 — check out this link for more details.

A video showing the new Model B and the full press release follow below.

element14 launches new six-times-faster Raspberry Pi™ 2 board
Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B on sale today from element14

February 2, 2015 – CHICAGO – The new Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B is available to buy today from element14, priced at $35. Unveiled at a launch event at The Shard, London by element14 and Raspberry Pi Trading, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is six times faster than the previous model and now boasts 1GB of RAM to run bigger and more powerful projects.

The Raspberry Pi 2 marks a major modification for the credit card-sized computer, with a new Broadcom BCM2836 ARMv7 Quad Core Processor powered Single Board Computer running at 900MHz with 1GB of RAM. For a superior user experience the new Raspberry Pi 2 boots up in less than half the time of its predecessor.

All previous Raspberry Pi projects are compatible with the new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, and the expanded GPIO pins, advanced power management and connectivity, make it possible to connect up to four USB devices, including some powered devices such as hard drives. The 40-pin GPIO enables multiple sensors, connectors and expansion boards to be added, with the first 26 pins identical to the Model A and B boards, for full backward compatibility.

Claire Doyle, Global Head of Raspberry Pi at element14, the leading distributor of the credit-card sized computer, comments: “The Raspberry Pi has been a revolutionary board for engineers and electronics enthusiasts, and element14 has been instrumental in the evolution of the product, having shipped 2.8 million units globally. The Raspberry Pi 2 delivers exceptional speed and power at a low cost, opening up new opportunities for innovation.

“We’ve created a unique proposition at element14 by designing and manufacturing a range of exclusive accessories for engineers and hobbyists to use the full capability of the Raspberry Pi. Solutions such as the Internet of Things, motor control, scope applications, audio and FPGA are all made available to Raspberry Pi users through products from PiFace, BitScope, Cirrus Logic Audio Card and EnOcean.” Speaking at the London event this morning, Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, said: “Today’s launch of Raspberry Pi 2 takes the Raspberry Pi platform to a completely new level. Combining a sixfold increase in processing power and a doubling of memory capacity with complete backward compatibility with the existing Model B+, Raspberry Pi 2 is the perfect board for professionals and hobbyists alike. The new board will open up new design and development opportunities for users, and further the Foundation’s mission to bring affordable general-purpose computing to people everywhere.”

Since its launch in February 2012 over four million Raspberry Pi boards have been sold and element14 has launched over 30 exclusive accessories specifically designed and manufactured to expand the usability of the Raspberry Pi for millions of customers worldwide. The element14 Community has become one of the leading websites for discussion and collaboration around Raspberry Pi projects and developments. With over 280,000 registered users, the element14 Community is the largest online community for design engineers to share ideas, knowledge and solve challenges.

Further benefits from the new Raspberry Pi 2 include faster and more enjoyable gaming which can be achieved through less lag and a more seamless experience – explode TNT in Minecraft™ and be amazed by the difference. The millions of Raspberry Pi enthusiasts will also be pleased to hear that upgrading their existing projects to benefit from the improved performance simply involves an update to the Operating System.

The new Raspberry Pi 2 is available to buy from the element14 Community from 2 February at http://www.element14.com/raspberrypi2

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