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 a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.