The new Raspberry Pi 2 suffers from a curious weakness to certain types of strong light, it’s been confirmed.
Earlier in the month the Raspberry Pi 2 was launched, providing a welcome performance boost to the original DIY microcomputer without messing with the core experience or price.
However, it’s since emerged that the new device tends to crash when exposed to strong light, such as a camera’s xenon flash or a laser pointer. This was discovered by a number of users attempting to photograph their new toy.
This prompted the Raspberry Pi Foundation to investigate, and now it has reported on its findings in a blog post entertainingly titled ‘Xenon Death Flash: A Free Physics Lesson.’
“If you own a Raspberry Pi 2, congratulations: you’re also the proud owner of an elegant demonstration of the photoelectric effect!” reads the post.
In what she calls “the most adorable bug we’ve ever come across” – camera shyness – head of communications Liz Upton assures Raspberry Pi 2 owners that “your Pi will not suffer any permanent effects from being flashed at.”
Also, the issue only happens under very specific circumstances, when flashes of high-intensity, long-wave light are thrown at the Pi 2. This kicks off a photoelectric effect, which is where metals emit electrons when hit by light.
This, in turn, causes the component that regulates the processor core power (which is the shiny component located between the USB power supply and the HDMI port) to get confused and drop the core voltage.
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Other forms of light, such as non-Xenon camera flashes or even direct sunlight, won’t affect the Raspberry Pi 2 in this way.
So, nothing to worry about, then. Just don’t get in your Raspberry Pi 2’s face with your DSLR. It doesn’t like it.