The Raspberry Pi 2 / Raspberry Pi Foundation

Quad-core computer costs less than £25, and earlier versions have become a hit with students and hobbyists

A new Raspberry Pi has been announced, giving the small computer six times the power but keeping its budget price.

The little computer — which is built on a credit card-sized circuit board — has become popular with children learning to code and hobbyists who can use it to build projects since it was released in February 2012. It has now been updated, with a host of improved specifications — 1GB of RAM and a 900MHz quad-core processor.

The computer is the same size, so it can be swapped into the same enclosures. But it can now process information much faster and be more energy efficient.

"You can do most of the things with this that you can do with a PC, Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi’s founder, told the BBC. “You can surf the web, you can watch videos, you can play games like Minecraft.

“But we also bundle it with the tools that children need in order to learn how to program.”

The Raspberry Pi computer costs £22.50 and is in many ways a fully featured computer. It comes of the key parts of the computer, but users have to add their own memory card, keyboard and screen.

When it was launched in 2012, it was hailed as an important development in bringing computers and coding lessons into schools.

Since then it has been challenged by competition from other chipmakers, including UK firm Imagination and a growing list of other rivals.

The new computer goes on sale from today, for $35.