However, in the past it’s often been necessary to wire the Pi to intermediate boards capable of talking to the piece of hardware you wanted to control.
To work with these boards and hardware the Pi swaps data via its general purpose input-output (GPIO) pins, with information encoded as high or low voltage electrical signals.
The B+ upgrades the main interface the Pi uses to talk to other hardware, by increasing the number of pins on the board from 26 to 40, and in doing so expands the range of hardware that can directly connect to the Pi.
On the Raspberry Pi blog there is talk of using the new B+ Pi to control a 3D printer directly, thanks to the B+ having sufficient GPIO pins to run the stepper motors that position the print head. However connecting a 3D printer is just one possible mod that just got simpler.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Upton said the upgrades in the B+ makes it easier to attach many more pieces of hardware directly to the board.