Raspberry Pi - Model B+

Who wants pi? The Raspberry Pi has made quite a splash since it was first announced. The credit-card sized computer is capable of many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. It can run several flavors of Linux and is being used to teach kids all over the world how to program... Oh yeah, and it does all that for under $50.

The secret sauce that makes this computer so small and powerful is the Broadcom BCM2835, a System-on-Chip that contains an ARM1176JZFS with floating point, running at 700MHz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode and is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute. What's that all mean? It means that if you plug the Raspberry Pi into your HDTV, you could watch BluRay quality video, using H.264 at 40MBits/s.

But wait, there's more. The new Model B+ also has a 10/100 Ethernet port so you can surf the web (or serve web pages) from right there on the Pi. The system volume no longer lives on an SD card but instead a microSD card, so it's even easier to prepare, run and debug several different operating systems on the same hardware. This means no more large SD cards and no more deceptively difficult to handle adapters Most Linux distributions for the Pi will happily live on a 2GB microSD card but larger cards are supported.

The Model B+'s FOUR built-in USB ports provide enough connectivity for a mouse, keyboard, or anything else that you feel the RPi needs, but if you want to add even more you can still use a USB hub. It is recommended that you use a powered hub so as not to overtax the on-board voltage regulator. Powering the Raspberry Pi is easy, just plug any USB power supply into the micro-USB port. There's no power button so the Pi will begin to boot as soon as power is applied, to turn it off simply remove power. The four built-in USB ports can even output up to 1.2A enabling you to connect more power hungry USB devices (This does require a 2Amp micro USB Power Supply).

On top of all that, the low-level peripherals on the Pi make it great for hardware hacking. The 0.1" spaced 40-pin GPIO header on the Pi gives you access to 26 GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI as well as 3.3 and 5V sources. The first 26 pins are identical to the Model B to provide 100% backward compatibility for your projects.

  • Broadcom BCM2835 SoC
  • 700 MHz ARM1176JZF-S core CPU
  • Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 x USB2.0 Ports with up to 1.2A output
  • Expanded 40-pin GPIO Header
  • Video/Audio Out via 4-pole 3.5mm connector, HDMI, or Raw LCD (DSI)
  • Storage: microSD
  • 10/100 Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Low-Level Peripherals:
    • 27 x GPIO
    • UART
    • I2C bus
    • SPI bus with two chip selects
    • +3.3V
    • +5V
    • Ground
  • Power Requirements: 5V @ 600 mA via MicroUSB or GPIO Header
  • Supports Debian GNU/Linux, Fedora, Arch Linux, RISC OS and More!
  • 85mm x 56mm x 17mm

Raspberry Pi - Model B+ Product Help and Resources

Hackers in Residence: The Sound Visualizer

March 23, 2015

A fun project that uses a Raspberry Pi and a custom Java app to create your own sound visualizer using a RGB LED matrix.

Headless Raspberry Pi Setup

April 23, 2018

Configure a Raspberry Pi without a keyboard, mouse, or monitor.

How to Use Remote Desktop on the Raspberry Pi with VNC

July 9, 2018

Use RealVNC to connect to your Raspberry Pi to control the graphical desktop remotely across the network.

Graph Sensor Data with Python and Matplotlib

July 23, 2018

Use matplotlib to create a real-time plot of temperature data collected from a TMP102 sensor connected to a Raspberry Pi.

Building Large LED Installations

July 16, 2015

Learn what it takes to build large LED installations from planning to power requirements to execution.

Raspberry gPIo

October 29, 2015

How to use either Python or C++ to drive the I/O lines on a Raspberry Pi.

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #394180 / about 10 years ago / 4

    One thing the new GPIO connector is great for - You can use 40-pin IDE ribbon cables. Since these usually come with multiple connectors on one cable, you can connect up multiple RPIs and accessories on one "backplane"

    These cables are dirt-cheap and available everywhere. If you ever upgraded an IDE hard drive you probably have some laying around ready to go.

    • Oh yeah, I have a box with old PC parts in it; probably 8-10 of the old IDE cables. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • bentwookiee / about 10 years ago / 1

      Which also gives us tons of options for breakout boards. Searching eBay for 2x20 breakout gives several header to screw terminal options for under $20. Very cool!

  • MichaelAtOz / about 10 years ago / 2

    "to turn it off simply remove power" I think you should add "after shutting down".

  • Rigby / about 10 years ago / 2

    I'd like to see a little more horsepower given that its been two years since the first model B, and the extra USB and moving to microSD are freaking brilliant moves.

  • Jack Doan / about 10 years ago / 2

    I'm excited to see a new sensible layout and the extra GPIO! In my experience, the raspberry pi is much more user-friendly than the beaglebone black.

    • Rigby / about 10 years ago * / 3

      Given that they both run Linux I'm not sure what you mean by "user-friendly."

      I DO wish I could always boot from Micro-SD on the BBB, though, without holding a button at bootup.

      The Cloud9 IDE hosted by the BBB and the USB network port on the BBB make it MUCH more user friendly than the RPi, in my eyes.

      Thank you, docwelch for the clarification.

      • docwelch / about 10 years ago / 3

        You can boot the BBB from a micro-SD without holding the button - just use one of the distributions built for that purpose: Latest Debian Distribution. Use the first one listed under the heading "BeagleBone (Runs on BeagleBone Black as well without flashing the eMMC). "

        I have this distribution on a 32GB card. Robert Nelson has also provided a script to allow you to easily use the remainder of your card for data storage: Partition Expand Script- see the last couple of lines in the 17th post.

        • Rigby / about 10 years ago / 2

          GASP I thought you had to hold the button anyway.

          NICE! Downloadering...

    • pracabor heavy industries / about 10 years ago / 2

      I'm curious, what do you like better about the pi? The raspbian distro vs Angstrom? The BeagleBone Black is faster, has more memory, and even still more GPIO than the Pi.

      • Member #60510 / about 10 years ago * / 1

        The Beagle Bone Black has a faster clock, but The Raspberry Pi can be overclocked to 1GHz without voiding the warranty. The Raspberry Pi has a dual video core, and 512MB of RAM, which is the same amount as the Beagle Bone Black (although the Raspberry Pi has DDR2 RAM, while the Beagle Bone Black uses DDR3). So it all comes down to what you are going to be using it for. The Beagle Bone Black is more geared for hardware projects, and The Raspberry Pi for programming.

      • Jack Doan / about 10 years ago / 1

        The BBB is objectively better, but I had a pretty tough time getting Debian to boot and the whole device tree thing is a bit of a mystery to me still. Raspian is super easy to install and the python libraries out there make GPIO a breeze. Also there seems to be a much larger community around the Pi compared to the BBB.

        • Member #230150 / about 10 years ago / 1

          Ok, but you are confusing a distro with the board. The BBB is more compact,much more robust and substantially more powerful but, unfortunately, the extra USB ports on the PI are a MAJOR advantage for many uses. The BBB's single port is often a drawback for my projects where I want USB WIFI and a couple of USB<->RS-232 ports. Lately, I've resorted to not using dongles at all and have started using cheap/small client adapters like this - http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-WNCE2001-Universal-Internet-Adapter/dp/B007CO5DZ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405732223&sr=8-1&keywords=netgear+2001 on some applications

  • Parizival / about 9 years ago / 1

    Will this cable work for composite video? http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004VPC2LA/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1426099361&sr=8-1&keywords=camcorder+vi&dpPl=1&dpID=4136rBKT4RL&ref=plSrch&pi=AC_SY200_QL40

  • ArduinoPerson1243 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Most Arduinos are more expensive than this. And this is a full fledged computer.

  • Brad10 / about 9 years ago / 1

    For those connecting a USB-to-Serial cable like CAB-12977 to the Raspberry Pi B+ (or any Pi) console, avoid the newbie mistake of misconnecting transmit and receive: the connections should be: GPIO connector pin 6 to cable pin labeled GND; pin 8 (TXD0) to cable pin labeled RXD; pin 10 (RXD0) to cable pin labeled TXD.

    That is, connect transmit to receive and receive to transmit (duh); not transmit to transmit and receive to receive..

    Luckily, connecting transmit and receive backwards didn't blow anything up.

  • Member #627626 / about 9 years ago / 1


    Is this latest version still freaking out when a wireless KBD/mouse receiver is plugged in?

    The first ones I bought about 2 years ago wouldnt operate with a wireless KBD dongle plugged in.

  • Member #517204 / about 9 years ago / 1

    My computer does not have a microSDcard slot. So how do I download the files from my computer to the micro midoSDcard?

  • Member #533598 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I messed up and tried imaging the SD card that spark fun sent me with my first raspberryPi. I have a MAC and I don't have a windows PC available at home. I found a great resource for mac users is a program called "ApplePi Baker". It's easy to find online, and its great and easy to use for imaging your SD card with the OS for your RaspberryPi.

  • Is the "Raspberry Pi Camera Module" compatible with the Raspberry Pi B+ ?

  • Skerpy_D / about 10 years ago / 1

    Where do you plug in the SD/Micro SD?

  • haiduc32 / about 10 years ago * / 1

    [solved] ethernet port died on second day..

    • haiduc32 / about 10 years ago * / 1

      well.. that's embarrassing.. but.. in the end it was my router that probably overheated or something, and after I restarted it raspberry pi ethernet worked perfectly. the weird thing, that my desktop when plugged the same cable worked.

      in other news, got a wireless usb adapter Edimax EW-7811UN and worked out of the box with Raspbian and Raspbmc

    • Hello!

      I would suggest emailing our tech support team to have them look into the issue a bit more. They can help you out! Their email is: techsupport at sparkfun dot com.:)

      • haiduc32 / about 10 years ago / 1

        thanks, I will, although don't see what else can be done, have a pretty strong technical background myself. I'm going to buying a wifi dongle, 'cause that's what I was going to use in the end anyway, but installing it without any networking might be a PITA

    • dang, really? that's a bummer.

  • Member #572896 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Try it.

  • TeslaFan / about 10 years ago / 1

    That's it. It's over, Raspberry Pi B+ wins!

    All the rest of the guys can just pack up their stuff and go home.

  • Member #60510 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Looking at the schematic diagram, I only see 26 GPIO pins listed on the header, not 27 as listed in the features. Also, there are pull-up resistors shown connected to the I2c pins, so should any break out boards that are connected have the pull-up resistors disabled?

    • Mayo2017 / about 10 years ago * / 1

      YES, disabling I2C pullups outside of the Pi is a great idea, especially considering the possibility of an external device pulling SDA/SCL to 5v instead of 3.3v!

  • sgrace / about 10 years ago / 1

    I still wonder if the USB ports are low power to the point you still need external power to do anything.

    • Member #230150 / about 10 years ago / 1

      Read the specs - 1.2A output for the four of them. You need a powered USB hub for a decent wifi dongle.

      • Member #627626 / about 9 years ago / 1

        If it has to have external power to operate a USB device, then its faulty and not performing to USB specs. The original RPs had design flaws that compromised USB operation- thats why the hub was needed, the Pi was subject to horrible RF interference because the power supplies and USB circuits were improperly designed and circuit board layouts were faulty.

        If its USB, it must operate any USB device, thats what Standards are all about.

  • Member #574835 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I cant find any B+ cases here at Sparkfun :(

  • dnear1 / about 10 years ago / 1

    A quick and easy solution to how to plug a 26 pin (2x13) ribbon cable into the existing header without cutting anything is to get one of the beaglebone stackable connectors (PRT-12790) and cut the pins off that. Use that between the existing header and the ribbon cable. As far as which is better, BBB or RPi, it all depends on what you're doing. Lots of video stuff, RPi excels. Need lots of IO or precision timing to talk to devices, the BBB excels in that. Want a full schematic as well as gerber files? BBB IS OSHW, RPi is proprietary and closed-source. I agree that RPi should have a power input header instead of using micro USB. And it would be great to see an increase in processing power. In my experience, playing video back at 1080p30 was a bit choppy.

  • Member #394180 / about 10 years ago / 1

    This is great for PI hackers. They finally got rid of that stupid useless RCA jack and the need for a powered USB hub for meaningful accessories. Next they need to let us boot from FLASH instead of that annoying microSD card and put on a real power connector that can actually handle the current all those USB accessories and stacked expansion boards will be drawing.

    It's also heaven for RPI accessory makers. Every enclosure is now obsolete, most stacking cards and connectors don't fit anymore. Time to buy stock in Sparkfun and Adafruit.

  • Electroman! / about 10 years ago / 1

    All of you are funny, as far as side by side comparison of the BBB and the R-Pi B using the human eye... Both are very underwhelming. Neither seems better than the other, but the R-Pi rules the day with video processing and quallity. The BBB shouldn't even show it's face in that test. As far as using them like you should, sans GUI, they are both nice platforms for experimental research. In the R-Pi's favor there is much more support in terms of aftermarket addons and toys. If you uses these devices with a GUI dont expect much from either, but true Makers dont use GUI's. Final verdict is no difference worth any bragging rights except the R-Pi leaves the BBB behind likes it was leashed to a fence. As for the number of GPIO's, I have yet to need more, and when i do, I would tie in shift registers and arduinos with the Pi. Can anyone say I2C?

  • Fyi: "GPIO Header Pinout" link takes your back to the product page,

  • RJR / about 10 years ago / 1

    I'll wait for the Raspberry Pi Master, or maybe even the Archimedes. I'll skip the Electron thought, unless they go on special at Aldi.

  • Colecago / about 10 years ago / 1

    Is this a different USB/Ethernet chipset? It's been a long time since I've used the Pi, but wasn't the original chipset pretty crappy and ate up a lot of processor time because the processor was constantly polling it for new data? Or did they fix that on the old Pi?

    Honestly, I still like the BBB better, faster processor for most things, more RAM, and the PRUs (which I've never used yet)

    • RJR / about 10 years ago / 1

      No, exactly the same chipset.

      • RJR / about 10 years ago / 1

        Actually, he B+ uses the Microchip LAN9514 which has 4 USB ports while the B has the LAN9512. They exactly the same apart from the number of USB ports thought as far as I can see.

        • Colecago / about 10 years ago / 1

          I can't find much on the problem I remember hearing about and experiencing. I can find complaints about driver issues, so that was probably related to that, and I think that has been fixed.

  • JGuthridge / about 10 years ago / 1

    Anyone ever come out with a display that uses the built in connector?

    • Rigby / about 10 years ago / 1

      The Raspberry Pi foundation is going to be releasing one soon. That's all that is known. I don't think the size(s) has/have been released or anything, just that one or more is/are coming.

  • nsayer / about 10 years ago * / 1

    For those trying to work out how to connect a 26 pin IDC (ribbon) cable to the new 40 pin GPIO connector, one excellent workaround is my Pi Power board. It's a 2A power supply (takes 6-15 VDC on a 2.1mm barrel connector) and has a 26 pin stacking header. This is ideal if you want to plug in a 26 pin GPIO cable without snipping off pins 27 and 28.

    It's available in the Raspberry Pi market on Tindie.

  • Why wasn't this featured in a new product friday or did i miss it?

    • M-Short / about 10 years ago / 1

      It wasn't actually released until today. Unfortunately we could not post it before the Raspberry Pi foundation announced it today.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5

Based on 12 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Certainly not an addition but it has its place for certain embedded applications

I do a lot of arching based embedded controller stuff and was recently tasked with figuring out the Ras Pi because of the camera interface. After dusting of 15 year old Unix skills and leaning on the RasPi internet community, I was able to get what I needed out of this compact computers. All in all it is impressive what it can do, but if you don't need the HDMI, camera, or the Linux OS then you'll be better off with something like an Arduino. No regrets though, it is a cool little computer!

Big improvement to the Model B

I'd done a little bit with the Raspberry Pi Model B before I bought a B+, and the additional USB ports make using it a lot more straightforward. I used it as the "brains" behind my Internet Connected Fundraising Sign and configured it to auto-boot and run a python script at startup. If you need help getting the Raspberry Pi up and running, there's a lot of notes in the instructable. I used this enclosure, which worked great! I wish SparkFun sold a Wi-Fi adaptor that is supported by Raspian out of the box -- I used the Tenda W311Mi, which worked well, and needed no configuration.

excellent article

Raspberry Pi B + is a very good article. Thanks for sending hope to do more business with you.

Great thanks

works as expected

The best hobbyist computer !

Compact design, good educational tool, tailor-made for hobbyists and it's a steal!.

0 of 2 found this helpful:

My order - Not received yet

I had not received mine yet

International Economic postal service is too slow.

I made my order at 2014-11-21

Hi, Sorry to hear this. We do generally suggest a higher level shipping method for international delivery. We do recommend a trackable and insured method to ensure your items arrive in a timely manner.

B+ gets an A+!

This little single board computer is so handy! One runs openELEC and my media. I have another built for retro gaming. Now I'm starting to build media centers for friends and family. I plan on using one in a robotics project too. For the cost you can't beat it!

RPI is great, Sparkfun is excellent.

RPi A, B, B+, Pi2B are all great. Can't wait for the C, D, E, F.... And service from sparkfun is fantastic.

Nice upgrade to the original rPi

We use the Model B+ as an "appliance" server for a system that uses 125KHz EM4100 tags to track cars on a model railroad. We switched to the model B when we ran out of the original rPis and are pleased with them. Since we run headless the extra i/o isn't really relevant to us but it's always nice to have it.

You can see our RFID server at http://www.modelrailroadcontrolsystems.com/radio-frequency-identification/