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Raspberry Pi gets a board makeover

05 Sep 2012
Raspberry Pi and Oyster travel card

Six months after launch, the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer has been given a slight revision, gaining mounting holes for the motherboard and allowing the device to be powered via one of its USB ports, among other changes.

In a posting to the official Raspberry Pi blog, Eben Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, disclosed that the updated 2.0 Raspberry Pi circuit board will be rolling out over the next few weeks, incorporating some changes made at the behest of users.

These include mounting holes in the circuit board, ostensibly to facilitate mounting of the device in automated test equipment, but which will also likely be used by hobbyists to fasten the Raspberry Pi into a case or enclosure.

Resettable fuses protecting the USB ports have now been removed, making it possible to power the Raspberry Pi from a USB hub that feeds back power, but with a warning that such a hub should not deliver more than 2.5A current under fault conditions.

A reset circuit has been added, but this is not currently connected to anything. Users wishing to use this need to fit an appropriate header to connector P6 on the circuit board and short pins one and two to hard reset the Raspberry Pi - this will typically be done by wiring a reset button to the two pins.

Other changes affect some of the general-purpose input/output (GPIO) signals from the Broadcom ARM processor to the external connector headers.

A missing debug signal (ARM_TMS) is now routed to P1 header pin 13, while the primary and secondary I2C interface channels have now been swapped over, and a new connector site P5 has been added which provides an additional four GPIO signals for hobbyists to make use of.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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