Everyone knows and loves Raspberry Pi, but what if it could be faster, say 6x faster. The Raspberry Pi 2 is here to provide you with the same Pi as before but now with double the ram and a much faster processor. The credit-card sized computer is capable of many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and playing high-definition video and games. It can run several flavors of Linux (and even Windows 10 free-of-charge) and is being used to teach kids all over the world how to program... Oh yeah, and it still does all that for under $50.
The secret sauce that makes this computer so small and powerful is the Broadcom BCM2836, an ARMv7 Quad Core Processor System-on-Chip, running at 900MHz, 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 2 into your HDTV, you could watch BluRay quality video, using H.264 at 40MBits/s.
The biggest change that has been enacted with the Raspberry Pi 2 is an upgrade to the main processor and an increase of ram from 512MB to 1GB. The RPi2 still utilizes a microSD card to hold your system volume meaning most Linux distributions for the Pi 2 will happily live on a 4GB microSD card but larger cards are supported. Even better, this bundle actually includes an 8GB microSD card with NOOBS preloaded so you won't have to buy one separately!
The Raspberry Pi 2'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. Keep in mind, it is recommended that you use a powered hub so as not to overtax the on-board voltage regulator. Powering the Raspberry Pi 2 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 27 GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI as well as 3.3 and 5V sources. Each pin on the GPIO header is identical to its predecessor the Model B+.
Note: This Raspberry Pi bundle DOES include the 8GB NOOBS microSD card, but not a power cable.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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Based on 7 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I have used a couple of flavors of Arduino (Uno and Yun) in projrcts, but the Pi blows them away for ease of use, flexibility and programmability. I was worried about the Linux learning curve, but that is turning out to be easier and more fun than I'd expected.
0 of 1 found this helpful:
I give the hardware four stars. I really like the processing power compared to my Arduino projects. I have to add that what's not so good is the supporting software. As linux has evolved it has left a wake of misinformation making making it most difficult construct drivers and apps for your own projects. Typically someones code from 6 months ago no longer works because the apis have changed. Keeping up with the changes to device drivers is most difficult. Many of the drivers in the linux src tree no longer work and there seems to be little effort in fixing them. It follows that the documentation is always out of date diverting you from your project and spending far to much time figuring out what changed and not concentrating on the problem you are trying to solve.
This is a very good bang for the buck combo in my opinion. Also something that I think probably never gets mentioned but I am sure the people at sparkfun thought about when they put this together is that the 8G memory card is actually very close to 8G. Alot of lower end cards are actually barely over 7G calling themselves 8G So if you want to make an image backup of it, you need to purchase other higher end mem chips or they will be too small.
I ordered several bundles. I received everything in proper working order, although it took almost two weeks to get everything delivered. I feel the SD card is a little overpriced.
All you have to do is plug in the necessary hardware and plug in power, the software takes you right into the desktop which is used pretty much like a normal computer. Very easy to use and has some very valuable software such as Mathematica free and pre-loaded which is great. This is a great system for beginners and very fun to use, it can do pretty much anything you want it to, but compared to a desktop or even some tablets it is a little slow, but for the cost it is pretty unbeatable.