Raspberry Pi – a credit-card sized Linux computer for $35

Update 2011-03-09:Raspberry Pi Linux distro released, but the $35 computer faces new delays” by Ryan Paul for Ars Technica.

Today the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that one can now buy the Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized computer board that costs only $35. The Foundation entered licensed manufacture partnerships with two British companies to produce and sell the device. One of the two, RS Components (RS) is already experiencing tremendous interest in the Raspberry Pi. Quoting Chris Page, General Manager, Electronics at RS:

With tens of thousands of customers looking to order on the RS website since the launch of Raspberry Pi earlier today, this is the greatest level of demand RS has ever received for a product at one time. We clearly understand how excited customers are about this ground-breaking product and we are working closely with Raspberry Pi to satisfy this unprecedented demand.
The device will be on sale at uk.rs-online.com and www.designspark.com. One can register to “express an interest” now. First boards are expected late next week.

Two models

There will eventually be two models. The more expensive model B costs $35, will be available first and has the following specs:
  • Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM1176JZFS processor with FPU and Videocore 4 GPU
  • GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
  • 256MB RAM
  • Boots from SD card, running the Fedora version of Linux
  • 10/100 BaseT Ethernet socket
  • HDMI socket
  • 2 USB 2.0 sockets
  • RCA video socket
  • SD card socket
  • Powered from microUSB socket
  • 3.5mm audio out jack
  • Header footprint for camera connection
  • Size: 85.6 x 53.98 x 17mm
The cheaper model A will cost $25 and be available later. It will only have one USB socket and no Ethernet.

The Raspberry Pi board (source: DesignSpark)

Schematics of the Raspberry Pi board (source: Raspberry Pi Foundation)

The Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi has been “created as an educational tool to re-ignite interest in building and customizing computers”. It is managed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation [1], a charity established to promote “the development of computer development skills in education across the globe”. The Foundation makes a small profit from each Raspberry Pi sold, which is used to maintain its operation. Now that the hardware is finished, the next step for the Foundation is to “start developing educational tools and initiatives, at the same time as continuing research and development on Raspberry Pi hardware.”

More information

  1. Raspberry Pi Foundation website
  2. @Raspberry_Pi on Twitter
  3. Videos: