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Raspberry Pi will tip up this month

Low cost USB PC is almost here
Tue Feb 07 2012, 11:37

THE BARGAIN PC IN YOUR POCKET, the Raspberry Pi has had its release slightly delayed, but not by much.

Units of the sub-£20 USB-style PC have been slightly delayed due to a problem with sourcing a component, according to the Raspberry Foundation, but should leave factories on around 20 February.

Previously the foundation said that it was disappointed that it had to build the hardware overseas, because it is a UK charity and wanted to support local industry.

"The Raspberry Pi Foundation had intended to get all its manufacture done in the UK; after all, we're a UK charity, we want to help bootstrap the UK electronics industry, and doing our manufacturing in the UK seemed another way to help reach our goals," it said in early January. "We investigated a number of possible UK manufacturers, but encountered a few problems, some of which made matters impossible."

Moving manufacturing abroad lead to other problems, including an inability to easily source a component. "The quartz crystal package we had chosen when we thought we were manufacturing in the UK is readily available over here in Europe, and was the cheapest we could find; but it turns out that in China, that crystal package has been overtaken in price and size by a smaller, cheaper one, so the one we'd designed for has been a bit hard to find," it adds.

"The factory has sourced crystals now, so we're all go. The good news is that this finally means we have a date for the first batch: the boards will be finished on February 20."

Once they are finished the group will ship them over to Europe immediately, meaning that they should be available to buy before then end of the month.

People who are really excited about the release of the Raspberry Pi might enjoy the system-on-chip (SoC) data sheet, which accompanies the announcement.

"We've been leaning (gently and charmingly) on Broadcom, who make BCM2835, the SoC at the heart of the Raspberry Pi, to produce an abbreviated datasheet describing the ARM peripherals in the chip, (PDF)," adds the foundation in its blog post.

"If you're a casual user, this won't be of much interest to you, but if you're wanting to port your own operating system or just want to understand our Linux kernel sources, this is the document for you." µ


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