Raspberry Pi: The Tiny but Powerful $25 Computer to Go on Sale in 2012

NEW YORK | Thursday, December 29th, 2011 5:48am EDT

The Raspberry Pi, a $25 Linux based PC, is due to become available for users next month.

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Raspberry Pi beta board. Photo: Raspberry Pi

If the reports coming from the official Raspberry site are true, the tiny computer is to be performed as early as next month.

Eben Upton, the Raspberry’s executive director, who also took part in the designing of an SoC Architect at Broadcom, noted in a recent interview with Business Insider that the aim was to build a computer so cheap, it could be handed out to children like textbooks.

“Children are enormously illiterate now, but what they know how to do is use computers. They see them as bits as functional magic and have no idea how they work.

That’s fine for Facebook and browsing, but if you want a career out of this stuff or create something that’s high value, you have to understand how the thing works,” Upton said.

The computer, which runs Linux on an ARM processor and sports USB, audio and video out, as well as an SD card slot, was reported to go on sale in January after it would undergo some additional testing on the hardware and software.

As Mashable reveals, before the Christmas, the designers got a batch of circuit boards in for testing. The creators said all the initial testing showed the boards to be performing “as solid as a rock,” despite an issue with the power supply.

Luckily, that problem was solved via a red wire and a quick soldering job, and the team promises it won’t appear in any future units.

This PC has the size of a credit card, with measurements for the small device emerging as 85.60mm x 53.98mm x 17mm, according to The Christian Post.

The device weighs about 45g, and can be hooked up to other devices, such as a TV and a computer keyboard. It will provide running various types of programs usually found on a desktop PC.

Users of the Raspberry Pi will be able to work with spreadsheets, word-processors and video games and to access popular social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter through the web browser.

Raspberry Pi is to come in two flavors: A $25 version with 128MB of RAM and no network connection and a $35 one with256MB and Ethernet. Both versions will conclude USB and HDMI ports as well as analog video and audio outputs.

It’s driven by a The 1080p video magic is driven by a 700MHz ARM processor, and the whole thing is powered by a 5-volt power supply.

Meanwhile, the company is able to create about 10,000 devices. As Upton said, the foundation was in the process of committing a manufacturing run for that number.

When the devices are ready for sale, Upton said they would be offered on a web store. “I suspect it’s going take an hour to sell through it at that point,” he said.

The firm also has some plans on putting out a fresh batch of Pi “slightly more than once a month,” though Upton said the company would require some careful planning based on significant requirements.

If the foundation manages to keep its budget balanced, it could well mean a slice of affordable computing pie for many who would otherwise not be able to afford a full priced system, says EE Times.

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