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Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in News

Raspberry Pi Model A+ will be released “in a few months”, says Eben Upton

Raspberry Pi Model A+ will be released “in a few months”, says Eben Upton

UPDATE 1: New Model A+ details emerge: “I’ll be working on [the Model A+] and it will be compatible with the 40 GPIOs as you see them on the Model B+.”

UPDATE 2:: The Raspberry Pi Model A+ is out now!

In a new interview with RasPi.Today, Raspberry Pi Model B+ designer, James Adams, revealed some new details about the Raspberry PI Model A+.

It seems it will feature 40 GPIO pins and the same power chain changes as the Model B+, but that’s likely where the similarities will end.

“The power savings from an A to the A+ won’t be quite as pronounced as it was from the B to the B+, though, because of the USB thing, which is irrelevant to the A+. Obviously we want to keep the components the same as far as we can, but the power will be less of a win for the A+,” says Adams.

What’s more, though, is it’s likely the A+ will retain the big yellow composite connector and seperate audio jack. Learn more about the making of the Model B+ and the forthcoming A+ in our new feature.

Original Story:
“There will be an A+. In the sense that the Raspberry Pi Model A is derived from the Model B, there will be an A+ derived from the B+,” said Eben Upton, as part of RasPi.Today‘s exclusive interview with the Foundation founder just prior to the Model B+’s announcement.

But what will it be like? “I think you can guess,” teases Upton. “If you look at the differences between an A and a B, you’ll derive the difference between the A+ and the B+.”

While the actual detail about the specification will likely be kept secret until its announcement, we can quite easily infer that it will feature two USB ports, 40 GPIO pins and omit the Ethernet port.

But when can we expect it? Eben explained that there are still some Raspberry Pi Model A’s in stock: “Once that [stock] has burned down, rather than making more A’s we’re more likely to look at making Model A+’s in a few months instead – before the end of the year.”

So there you have it. With all the power consumption improvements in the Model B+ we can expect the Model A+ to provide incredible power efficiency making it a brilliant choice for Raspberry Pi robots, camera module projects and much more.

We’ll bring you more details as we get them, but you can listen to Eben’s full interview on the Raspberry Pi Today Podcast right now.

Don’t miss:
Raspberry Pi 2 coming in 2017!
RasPi.Today Podcast: Eben Upton talks Model B+

  • PETER GREEN

    Note: this post is based entirely on information that is public knowledge and represents my own opinion. I have no inside information about the A+

    “While the actual detail about the specification will likely be kept
    secret until its announcement, we can quite easily infer that it will
    feature two USB ports, 40 GPIO pins and omit to the Ethernet port.”

    Whoever wrote that is clearly clueless about the Pi’s hardware. It will almost certainly not have the “USB hub with ethernet” chip and therefore only have one USB port and no ethernet.

    I would be very surprised if there were any differences in GPIO or in perhipherals other than USB and ethernet.

    The only real question is how much ram it will have. Will it stick with 256 or will they squeeze 512 into the budget.

    • http://www.raspi.today/ Russell Barnes

      Hi Peter, thanks for your commit. I’m pretty clear in saying that it wont feature an ethernet port. Since the B+ has doubled in USB ports, it’s fair to assume – at least for now – that there’s a chance the Model A+ might have half that.

      Perhaps if you give it another read and see what you think?

      Thanks for reading!

      • PETER GREEN

        “Since the B+ has doubled in USB ports, it’s fair to assume – at least for now – that there’s a chance the Model A+ might have half that.”
        The main SoC on the Pi only has a single USB port, on the model B this is connected to a LAN9512 “USB hub with ethernet chip” which provides the two USB ports and the ethernet port. On the model A the lan9512 was removed and the single USB port connected direct to the SoC.

        The B+ gets it’s extra two USB ports by replacing the LAN9512 with a LAN9514.

        To put a second USB port on the A+ would require either leaving the usb hub with ethernet chip in place (and hence losing the power and cost advantages the A is known for) or a major board redesign to accomodate a different USB hub chip. Neither seems plausible to me.

        • Sebastian

          I think the USB ports and LAN are the most unimportant things in model A+ for all concerned. But more GPIO + more power efficient… I waiting.

      • Misel

        “Since the B+ has doubled in USB ports, it’s fair to assume – at least for now – that there’s a chance the Model A+ might have half that.”

        Where exactly should the extra USB port come from?

        The Broadcom Chip has only one USB port which – on the B(+) – is connected to an additional chip that provides a USB hub and Ethernet.

        If a possible A+ would need to have either another chip to provide a USB hub. But this would make it more expensive and complex. That would be too close to a B+.

        Or they would have to use another SoC with more than one USB. This means a different board layout than the B+ and very likely software compatibility issues.

    • Arrr

      He indeed is clueless and does not know the reason behind the amount of usb ports. The model A doesn’t have “twice the amount of usb ports”, The model A has one, the model B has multiple. The same will be true for the + models,
      The B(+) has multiple because it basically is an A(+) + a USB HUB.

      The only remaining question is: will there be something clever so that the USB port is at the same side as all other connectors? I would have expected some evidence of that with the design of the B+, so I guess not. The only thing I can think of would be a pin header (like PC mainboards have) instead of a soldered on usb port.

  • PETER GREEN

    “So there you have it. With all the power consumption improvements in the Model B+ we can expect the Model A+ to provide incredible power efficiency ”
    Since the A doesn’t have the USB hub with ethernet chip and i’m pretty
    sure the A+ won’t either I would expect a much smaller difference in
    power consumption between the A and the A+ than between the B and the B+

    The main difference power wise between the B and the B+ is that the
    1.8 and 3.3 rails are derived from a switcher rather than linear
    regulators.

    The two most significant power consumers on a Pi model B are the main SoC and the USB hub with ethernet chip. The USB hub with ethernet chip runs off 3.3V so it is powered far more efficiently in the B+. The main SoC on the other hand draws most of it’s power from the 5V rail through an intenal switcher so there won’t be much difference.

    The model A does not have the USB hub with ethernet chip and I doubt the A+ will either.

    • http://www.raspi.today/ Russell Barnes

      That’s all certainly true, but I think we’re missing the fact that part costs that make up the original BOM of the Model A will be cheaper now than they were when it originally released. The cost of manufacture has probably levelled too.

      There’s every chance you’re right, but it’s fun to speculate and spark conversation like this, but we’ll see soon enough, so keep in touch!

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