After launching their new Raspberry Pi Model B+ single board mini PC just over two weeks ago the Raspberry Foundation has this week announced that their new Raspberry Pi B+ mini computer can be equipped with a HAT or Hardware Attached on Top device.
The first 26 pins of the B+ GPIO header are identical to those of the original Raspberry Pi models and the new Raspberry Pi B+ has been designed specifically with add-on boards in mind explains the Foundation.
A Raspberry Pi B+ HAT is a rectangular board that measures 65 x 56mm and has four mounting holes one in each corner and is equipped with a 40W GPIO header that supports the special auto configuration system enabling automatic GPIO setup and driver setup. The Raspberry Pi Foundation explains:
“The automatic configuration is achieved using 2 dedicated pins (ID_SD and ID_SC) on the 40W B+ GPIO header that are reserved for an I2C EEPROM. The EEPROM holds the board manufacturer information, GPIO setup and a thing called a ‘device tree‘ fragment – basically a description of the attached hardware that allows Linux to automatically load the required drivers.
What we are not doing with HATs is forcing people to adopt our specification. But you can only call something a HAT if it follows the spec.
So why are we bothering with all this? Basically, we want to ensure consistency and compatibility with future add-on boards, and to allow a much better end-user experience, especially for less technically aware users.
The HAT specification is available on GitHub for those wishing to design add-on boards for the B+. As previously explained, there is no requirement to follow the HAT specification, but we encourage people to think about following it if possible, as it will make the world a better place for end users.”
For more information on the new Raspberry Pi B+ HATs jump over to the official Raspberry Foundation official website for full details and specifications.
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