Photos: A closer look at the Raspberry Pi 2

The next version of the Raspberry Pi launched today - with a quad-core processor, 1GB of memory and the promise of running six times faster than previous models.

Despite the improvements the Pi 2 is compatible with both the hardware and software of earlier models, as well as sharing the $35 price tag of the less-powerful, first-generation model B+.

Speaking at the launch of the board, Eben Upton, co-creator of the Pi, said the improvements raised performance to the point where the machine could be used as a general-purpose PC.

The board shares the same dimensions as the model B+, measuring in at 85 x 56 x 17mm.

In the centre you can also see the 900MHz Broadcom BCM2836 CPU, with four cores based on the ARMv7 architecture. That is compared to the 700MHZ, single-core Broadcom chip in the previous generation B+.

The 40-pin expansion header with 27 GPIO pins is the same as previous models of the Pi, ensuring compatibility for projects built around earlier models.

Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.