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Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:51 am
by loppanjo
Hi, I've searched the forum and google but couldn't find an answer, so I have created this post to see if anyone know the answer.
We all know that the existing products are:
-Raspberry Pi A+
-Raspberry Pi B+
-Raspberry Pi 2 B

The Pi "B+" was released short after "A+" and I wonder if "Pi 2 B" will have a follower like maybe "Pi 2 B+" or something. Does anyone know if there is anyone talking about this?

My own opinion is that they won't create it some time soon as they only upgraded processor and ram on the "Pi 2 B", what else could they add?

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:35 pm
by jamesh
The B2 is effectively a B+ with a new processor. So not really any scope for a B2+.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:26 pm
by W. H. Heydt
loppanjo wrote:what else could they add?
That's pretty much the key question. The differences between the B and the B+ are more USB ports, vastly improved power handling, mounting holes, and more GPIO pins. The Pi2B already has those changes. The only change one might have thought reasonable would be more memory, but the Pi2B is already maxed out there, so that is out as an upgrade.

What one expects to see (in order) is a CM2 and--possibly--a Pi2A, though an A+ with 512MB RAM might actually be a better follow-on in the next year with a Pi2A some time after that.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:26 pm
by jdb
The B+ was the "final" evolution of the original design of the Raspberry Pi model B (i.e. using the same SoC as all previous models). It also is the anchor model for the form factor and connector layout.

The A+ was a natural evolution of the B+ (as in a cut-down variant) and a second "try" at the model A, as the model A by all accounts sold way less than the model B.

Pi 2 B continues the form factor and price point established with B+. What you get with an "A"-type model is heavily dependent on meeting the $20 price point - Moore's law has a lot of catching up to do before you see a new A+ model.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:19 pm
by W. H. Heydt
I can think of one addition that could--in theory--be added to the B+ and Pi2B, but it won't be for economic constraints as it would (a) add a bit of hardware, (b) require some board design rework, and (c) it is unclear how many people would actually want it.

That is: an RTC.

Given that one supplier sells an add-on RTC for the Pi that includes the socket to go on the GPIO header and a battery (research indicates that it is supposed to be for 8 years!!) for less than $3, shipping (from China) included, the parts can't cost very much, and if supplying the battery was left up to the buyer, the parts have to be pretty cheap.

In practice, it is far, far more likely that some future SoC will include RTC circuitry and if the RPF uses a chip that has that, they may or may not bring out the connection for a battery. I'd look for it with a "Pi3B" or a "Pi4B". It's not *my* highest priority, but it's probably one of the less expensive new features that could be added (once a chip that has the RTC built in is in use).

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:28 pm
by Joe Schmoe
Given that one supplier sells an add-on RTC for the Pi that includes the socket to go on the GPIO header and a battery (research indicates that it is supposed to be for 8 years!!) for less than $3, shipping (from China) included,
Can you give me a reference/URL for this? Thanks.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:08 pm
by Jednorozec

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:04 am
by ame

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:22 am
by Joe Schmoe
I wasn't exactly asking for a random collection of RTC URLs.

Rather, I wanted the specific one referred to in that specific post - the one with the 8 year battery.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:25 am
by ame
Joe Schmoe wrote:I wasn't exactly asking for a random collection of RTC URLs.

Rather, I wanted the specific one referred to in that specific post - the one with the 8 year battery.
http://docs.macetech.com/doku.php/chronodot

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:20 am
by plugwash
jdb wrote:the model A by all accounts sold way less than the model B.
But way more than the total number of Pi's they originally expected to sell and the same ballpardk as total sales of the beaglebone black.

Seriously don't be too hard on yourselves. If you expect everything you make to sell as well as the B/B+/2B series you are setting yourselves up for a world of disapointment.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:27 am
by kcx
It would be nice if an upcoming model didn't have the ethernet and USB on the same bus-- that would make Pi based file servers much more feasible.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:39 am
by W. H. Heydt
Joe Schmoe wrote:
Given that one supplier sells an add-on RTC for the Pi that includes the socket to go on the GPIO header and a battery (research indicates that it is supposed to be for 8 years!!) for less than $3, shipping (from China) included,
Can you give me a reference/URL for this? Thanks.
It's the one ame gave the link to.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:42 am
by W. H. Heydt
plugwash wrote:
jdb wrote:the model A by all accounts sold way less than the model B.
But way more than the total number of Pi's they originally expected to sell and the same ballpardk as total sales of the beaglebone black.

Seriously don't be too hard on yourselves. If you expect everything you make to sell as well as the B/B+/2B series you are setting yourselves up for a world of disapointment.
Yeah...I was amused when Eben described the Model A as a "failure" in that only about 100K of them sold. Any other SBC maker would dearly love to have a "failure" like that.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:48 am
by W. H. Heydt
kcx wrote:It would be nice if an upcoming model didn't have the ethernet and USB on the same bus-- that would make Pi based file servers much more feasible.
That would require a different SoC. Given that (a) the Pi2B came out 3 years after the B, (b) it was brought to market sooner than expected, and (c) it only came out a bit over 2 months ago, I wouldn't expect to see a major new version (call it "Pi3B") until some time in the 2018 to 2020 time frame. Of course, sometimes lightning strikes and the unexpected occurs.

I do agree that having an independent bus for Ethernet would be a Good Thing. It's number two on the list of things I'd like to see in some future Pi. For what it's worth, my number one "like to have" feature would be a SATA port, but that is probably a pretty small minority view.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:06 pm
by Lob0426
An independent USB would be nice. A SATA port would be good too. The Pi2B has most of what peopled wanted for cores and speed, and the memory size.

I think the one thing that has been missed in the "PI" series is a keyboard. A version embedded in a keyboard would bring the Raspbery Pi back to its roots, the BBC micro.

It seems like it should not be too hard to work with the foundations partners to get a embedded keyboard version out!

But I think a Pi3 is quite a ways off at this point.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:42 pm
by solar3000
how about putting the new quad core cpu into the pi A? Pi 2A.
seems to use the same power.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:56 pm
by plugwash
W. H. Heydt wrote: I do agree that having an independent bus for Ethernet would be a Good Thing. It's number two on the list of things I'd like to see in some future Pi. For what it's worth, my number one "like to have" feature would be a SATA port, but that is probably a pretty small minority view.
I'd put those things pretty high on my list as well (along with the usual better processor cores, more ram, better bus connecting them)

It will be interesting to see what they come up with for the next generation of pi (and no I don't have any inside information on it at this time). It seems pretty clear to me that it would be pointless to just bolt better processor cores onto the current SoC design, they got away with doing that once but not a second time. So the question then becomes whether they will be able to persuade broadcom to design a chip primerally for them that upgrades the GPU, busses etc while keeping the GPIO perhiperals as similar as possible or whether they will have to go with something off the shelf that is totally incompatible with their current design.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:41 pm
by jamesh
The problem with a new design that is more than just a core bump, is the cost. It about $1M to go from the design to the first samples, not including the actual design costs! So Brcm have to be confident in good sales, not just Foundation. And of course, they got rid of the team that developed the 2835 and 2836, so they are somewhat limited in staff to actually do the job!

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:52 pm
by ktb
jamesh wrote:And of course, they got rid of the team that developed the 2835 and 2836, so they are somewhat limited in staff to actually do the job!
Is there a public account of the story or decision-making behind that decision? I've read similar statements around the forum. I'm only curious, it's not important.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:54 pm
by jdb
ktb wrote:
jamesh wrote:And of course, they got rid of the team that developed the 2835 and 2836, so they are somewhat limited in staff to actually do the job!
Is there a public account of the story or decision-making behind that decision? I've read similar statements around the forum. I'm only curious, it's not important.
The BRCM press release on closure of the MPS division:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/ ... BS20140722

"We made the decision to pursue a wind-down, which minimizes the ongoing losses from the business, and enables us to focus on our core strengths that much more quickly," McGregor said.

In normalspeak, "this part of the business was not making enough money".

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:08 pm
by W. H. Heydt
solar3000 wrote:how about putting the new quad core cpu into the pi A? Pi 2A.
seems to use the same power.
Eben has talked about that. The problem is that, at this time, it would cost too much to hold the $20 price point and he really wants to keep the price. His expectation is that the general downward trend for any given chip will make it possible...but probably not until next year. I did start a thread on where the "A Series" should go and doing a "Pi2A" was one option. Another (that I floated) would be to bump the A+ to 512MB and a couple of people said that that would help with applications that use the camera module.

So the A+ actually has more than one viable path forward.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:10 pm
by W. H. Heydt
jamesh wrote:The problem with a new design that is more than just a core bump, is the cost. It about $1M to go from the design to the first samples, not including the actual design costs! So Brcm have to be confident in good sales, not just Foundation. And of course, they got rid of the team that developed the 2835 and 2836, so they are somewhat limited in staff to actually do the job!
Was it so much the 2835/2836 team as the VC4 team? And that before a VC5 could be finished?

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:18 pm
by ktb
jdb wrote:In normalspeak, "this part of the business was not making enough money".
Boooo... At least their stock seems to be doing fairly well. :(

Thank you for the link.

Re: Will there be a Raspberry Pi 2 B+?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:36 pm
by W. H. Heydt
plugwash wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote: I do agree that having an independent bus for Ethernet would be a Good Thing. It's number two on the list of things I'd like to see in some future Pi. For what it's worth, my number one "like to have" feature would be a SATA port, but that is probably a pretty small minority view.
I'd put those things pretty high on my list as well (along with the usual better processor cores, more ram, better bus connecting them)
Thanks for the vote of confidence in my wish list. Of course--as my father used to say (a *long* time ago!)--that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee.

I really can't see more cores being useful unless there is a radical change somewhere. I know there are 8-core SBCs around now, but they all seem to be using the ARM LITTLE-big architecture, and that mostly amounts to 4 usable cores most of the time.
It will be interesting to see what they come up with for the next generation of pi (and no I don't have any inside information on it at this time). It seems pretty clear to me that it would be pointless to just bolt better processor cores onto the current SoC design, they got away with doing that once but not a second time. So the question then becomes whether they will be able to persuade broadcom to design a chip primerally for them that upgrades the GPU, busses etc while keeping the GPIO perhiperals as similar as possible or whether they will have to go with something off the shelf that is totally incompatible with their current design.
Hard to say. I have my suspicions that the RPF *might* be able to go to Broadcom with enough money to have a chip designed to their own spec...but that suspicion depends on numbers I haven't seen, so it's really pure guesswork.

For the next iteration, I think the VC4 is going to be the bottleneck. Either there is going to have to be some way to drastically (like 2x to 4x) to speed it up, or it's going to be necessary to pick a chip with a different--and significantly more capable GPU. That is going to have some major consequences for Pi software, though.

Now *if* I had the money to do a custom design, I can think of some things I'd be after. Besides my actual wish list (SATA, Ethernet bus, RTC), I'd want at least 2 more address lines as 1GB is a little tight on RAM for 4 cores, especially at a higher clock speed. next I'd be looking at a significantly fast clock, say in the 1.5GHz range. Given that the quad-A5 Odroid-C1 running at 1.5GHz only benchmarks around 10% to 20% faster than the quad-A7 Pi2B at 900MHz, going for quad-A7 (or better) at 1.5GHz would be a really fast system for an SBC.

Note that being able to address 4GB doesn't mean that boards would have to be built with that much RAM, but it would permit boards with more memory to follow as price points permitted. This is similar to the situation where the current full boards have one camera connector, but the SoCs can have two...and the CM makes both interfaces available.

In the very long run, say 10-plus years out, one has to consider the possibility of moving to 64-bit cores. At that point, a larger memory model is probably going to become a "must have".