Alpha boards in manufacture

Over the past three months, we’ve been working hard to finalize the specs for the Raspberry Pi device, and to produce schematics and a PCB layout. Last Tuesday, we sent an alpha release of the board for manufacture. From an electrical perspective, this board is intended to be identical to the final device; the resulting units will be used to validate the schematic design, and will serve as our interim software development platform.

Raspberry Pi alpha PCB

Key differences between the alpha and final boards are:

  • The alpha board is roughly 20% larger than the credit-card-sized final board. As you can see, our size is already dominated by the area of the various connectors.
  • The alpha board has six layers rather than four, and uses a variety of expensive HDI features (blind and buried vias, via-in-pad) which we wish to eliminate from the final board.
  • The alpha board has various test and debug features which will not be present on the final board.

The ICs used in the design are an ARM-based application processor (center) and an SMSC LAN9512 USB 2.0 hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller (right and down from center). The SDRAM is mounted on top of the application processor in a PoP configuration.

Following the example of the BBC Micro, we intend to launch both a Model A device (lacking the LAN9512, and with 128MB of RAM) at the $25 price point, and a Model B device (including the LAN9512, and with 256MB of RAM) for a $5-10 additional cost. We remain confident of shipping before the end of 2011.

Check back in a couple of weeks to see how the alpha boards turned out.

288 comments

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Nice to see progress on this. USB and ethernet are functions of the same chip? Or did I misread that? What interfaces will the cheaper board have, exactly?

Dag B

Eben Upton

The USB hub and Ethernet functions are provided by the same chip. The cheaper board has one USB host port, while the more expensive one has two USB host ports and Ethernet. We noticed from our mail that most people were proposing to immediately stick a powered hub (for mouse and keyboard) and Ethernet adapter on the device, so thought we’d add this as an option.

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I support that decision, that save me USB ports for other ideas. Good thinking!

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Definitely happy to hear that there will be a version with Ethernet on it. This will make an excellent replacement for my SheevaPlug that I was using mostly as an SSH gateway. Though at $35 a piece, I can think of a few more exciting uses (security camera controller?)

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Excelent idea with the additional USB and Ethernet functionality. How about some onboard I/O?
Realy looking forward for the device, already have lots of usage options.
Btw., I would shed the display ports as an option – I’d like to use some as remote sensor controllers – therefore the display capabilities would be useless.

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We have roughly 16 3.3V GPIO lines, 2 3.3V I2C and a 3.3V SPI. We could potentially look into shedding display output on a custom version, but it only really saves a few tens of cents on connectors.

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Please keep the display ports no matter what people say. Your device will be *very* important in developing countries, think like, the ibm pc of video game consoles. Launching a handheld game console with video out and usb host port will also boost your finances and instantly beat Nintendo or even the PSP (which runs at 333mhz)

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No danger of losing the ports just to save the price of a couple of connectors!

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Very nice that you added USB-Hub and Ethernet!

Is there a chance for a “Model B” with 512MB of RAM? This could be helpful when running edubuntu, especially when booting via PXE. (Is PXE supported?).

Keep up the good work!

Eben Upton

We *may* be able to offer a 512MB version in due course, but it’s rather dependent on the availability of suitable PoP top packages from SDRAM vendors. 512MB implies 32nm which in turn implies expense at the moment.

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I also agree with the other poster about the potential as a pxe booted client. I’m putting together an LTSP setup and these LAN versions would make excellent thin clients!

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Would it also be a good idea to use a PoE connector to power the device? I know the PoE DC-DC stepdown converter is very big and expensiv, but its a good solution so you would have exactly 3 cables….. 1 for Monitor, 1 for USB Mouse/Keyboard, and a RJ45 Plug with PoE for Power & Network….. Please please answer if this is possible….

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I think that’s not interesting for the masses

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a non-standard PoE injector, such as the ones Ubiquity uses on its AP’s, might be desirable though, and would be very cheap. Ethernet jacks and power are often right next to each other anyway, so this makes sense from a cabling simplicity point of view.

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Low-voltage POE, e.g. 12-24V like what Ubiquiti uses would indeed be neat, but I’m uncertain of what application would justify it. The eventual Model A production board is intended to only have HDMI, USB, and (possibly?) power connectors for interacting with the outside world, correct? No R45?

Eben Upton

That’s correct (plus analogue TV and audio).

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I’d quite like this too… (does that count as masses??). Even so does it really take more than a diode and a couple of resistors to extract PoE? Why not make it available anyway and people are free to use it… or not as they wish.

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PoE circuitry costs around $3 in volume and requires a slightly different RJ45 jack. About the same cost as a power adaptor. It takes up a fair amount of board space too – similar footprint again to the RJ45 jack.

However, it could be provided as a separate module that plugs into the main board using just 6 pins.

Yup, I want PoE also.

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This was exactly my idea – small add-on board ahead of the device that would convert the PoE to standard power connector for the device and the ethernet cabling – I thought I would create one myself, but it’s a neat idea for the producers.

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+1 please make a type C with PoE or an addon board for this. Opens huge possibilities for mods; all sorts of sensors, etc.
Would such a PoE power supply be able to pass the extra wattage onto USB devices? (I may be being very naive – but would a NAS drive/media-server be possible with an SSD in USB enclosure? ssd@~0.5-2.0W & PoE @ ~=15W max)

Also, I see the expected release is November and you don’t need pre-order sales, but when can I place an order? (with the buy-one-give-one scheme)

Amazing work, thanks =]

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Need beta testers? stand by me

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me too!! :-)

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Count me in :)

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Count me in. Have been watching this project for a while now.
Am currently 12 years old and I would love to see this in my school &house

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Count me in !

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Beta Testers? if you’re looking count me in.

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Wow this sounds great! What would beta testing on these involve anyways?

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and my axe!

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Mine too, of course :)

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Me too!

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Me too! I’m really looking forward to use this as a ultra-small low-price server!

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Looks great! Thanks for the updates. I’m really itching to get my hands on a few of these devices and use them in a range of projects! I not only like the principle behind this device but the fact that it will put Linux in the hands of many and ensure even the less affluent kids can learn/play/explore. Good work!

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Woooohoo! Can’t wait until it’s released!

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Hey,

great to see some progress. If you need tester please answer me. I’m firm with embedded development.
I’m in the Dingux Kernel development if you know this Mips device (Dingoo a320).

I thought you add Wifi on this Stick :-/ .

LAN is ok but a RJ45 Cable on this device could be bad.

cheers

Eben Upton

Thanks Florian. You’ll need a dongle for WiFi at least at first. What’s the problem with RJ45?

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RJ45 jacks are expensive, and in particular big. Besides the ethernet PHY, you also need transformer isolation between the PHY and the jack, which adds another big, expensive-ish part.

Eben Upton

This is why we only fit it on the more expensive model B board. Jacks with integrated magnetics are now actually fairly cheap.

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We designed a RJ45 with built in magnetic, for use in our PoE products. I believe they are the worlds smallest footprint and cost is about the same as a standard RJ45 connector. Eben let me know if you need a cost break down for them.

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Oh no problem. But to be portable Wifi&BT would be better. Otherwise i have to take an RJ45 cable with me. And this is nowadays very uncommon.

But nevertheless…it’s the first version and i’m exited to get it into my hands.

I hope you can inform me, when i can get such a device.

Where i can find specs of the AP?

What are the specs of the hdmi output (resolution)? I think the AP handle the hdmi output?
cheers

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I would also like to find out more about the AP. How does it handle floating point arithmetic?

Eben Upton

It has the ARM VFP module to provide IEEE floating point support.

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Hope you can test the prototypes with youtube with chrome and firefox and enable html5 at youtube.com/html5, would be nice to know if it could do 720p and 1080p with WebM.

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The problem will be RAM more than performace. WebM may be usable. HTML5 is for web sites/browsers. So streaming video yes, but general websurfing probably will feel sluggish.

Expect ARM 700Mhz CPU + GPU, possibly also using the included DSP and a RISC mini-CPU that sits inside the GPU.

More info: http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiPerformance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videocore

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Looks fantastic! This will be a great for educational purposes. Is there going to be a JTAG connector on the board? Or at least easy to get to pads to put one one? This will be very useful for teaching about low-level development and things such as bootloaders etc.

Keep up the good work!

Eben Upton

We bring the ARM11 JTAG out to an expansion connector, so you can plug a Lauterbach or similar in for kernel mode debug.

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Beautiful progress!! I can’t wait to see more!

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Hi, its me again ;=)

I saw in your added picture that it needs 5-20V , is it correct that i can power the device with a USB hub that delivers 5V? Thats very cool, if it will be so.

With a standard 9v batterie (1200mAh , on 1 W consumption) the device will run 3 Days.
Also it runs in the car, because a cigarette to usb converter is very cheap….

This device will be the runner of the YEAR! Thanks for your already great job

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I suspect being USB powered would be good for schools as all the student would need to bring in would be their Pi, plug it in to the schools powered hub (that would have the keyboard/mouse attached) then the screen and away they go!
No forgetting their power supplies/cables/etc.
Also, no extra psu’s for the school to buy.
And if it would run off a micro-usb phone charger then everyone’s going to have access to one of those in the next few years.

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Actually: It says 6V!-20V.
I am not sure we can keep the 20V for the final version (We are looking for a cheaper SMPS) but the target is to keep a range of ~6V-15V. So if things go as targeted, you can run it straight from a car battery, or more important, from almost any ‘brick’ you have laying around.

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Nooo….

Having this thing USBpowered would make a lot of difference. USB power is found virtually everywhere. Requiring 6V demands something specific for this device.

Oh well, I assume you couldn’t make it run properly on 5V.

Anyone know a truly cheap, prebuilt 5V/6V step up converter? The one on dealextreme (sku 02649) appears to provide too little power, judging by the comments. Perhaps it is in R. Pi’s interest to bring such a device to market?

Looking forward to getting my hands on the hardware.

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What part of the circuit requires 6V? As others have said, being able to run it from USB would be really great.

Eben Upton

The USB *output* and USB require 5V, which we regulate down from a higher voltage to avoid blowing up your nice plasma TV if you plug in a high input voltage. In practice 5V might be just about enough, but it’s out of spec for our PSU hardware.

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Would it work on 5V supplied from the USB port? Similar to ‘USB host with power’ cables used with some mobile phones, so they can charge and provide USB host at the same time.

Does the USB port support device, as well as host mode?

Awesome project!
As an aside, I was picking raspberries today.

Eben Upton

The device won’t support device mode out of the box, though we’re using a Synopsys OTG core so the hardware is there and the firmware is open, so it might be possible. I suspect if you forced 5V onto the USB power rail it would boot.

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personally i think it would be good to keep the voltage range up to 20V as there seem to be a lot of laptop chargers that output 19V. using old laptop chargers would be an easy way to power one of these boards (and recycle some old chargers).

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I have another Question.

What storage device works best with it? USB-Sticks, USB-Harddisks or is there an option to add internal Flash?

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Guy’s this is exciting, keep up the great work!!!

Do you plan on setting up a preorder system closer to the release date to gauge just how many devices you need to produce to keep up with demand?

Eben Upton

We’re reluctant to take pre-orders, but we should have plenty of capacity to meet demand at launch.

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OK, it’s not a pre-order, but I want 5.

:-}

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So do I. The version with Ethernet, please.

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I think this is excellent news and I look forward to seeing this device on the market. I especially want my two boys to have the opportunity of learning the realities of programming like I was able to do in the 70s and 80s, rather than the modern-day trend for “ITC”, which is just a substitute for typing courses! Perhaps you could consider developing robotics applications for this device too? I would be as flexible on the power supply as pos. PoE and USB as well as external power would cover every scenario. Please keep me informed and if you need any testers – count me in! :-)

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Great looking project guys. I have been following it since it was on the BBC. Cannot wait to get my hands on one. I can see this being useful within car pc installs as well.

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Another hand raised for alpha/beta tester and pre-order :) I’m in the US, Texas specifically.

Very exciting!

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Hand raised for beta-testing in St. Louis, MO USA. Possibly in collaboration with the Arch Reactor hacker space (http://archreactor.org), i.e. once I get a chance to ask them ;)

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congratulations on your previous work!
glad to see that RAM finally comes to 256MB!
waiting for your next post :)
greetings from China

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Awesome! Can’t wait to see what the MeeGo community does with these.

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Sorry to disappoint you Texrat, but according to Eben the SoC they will be using is ARM v11 (ARM v6 EABI). Meego only runs on Cortex (ARM v7 EABI) . So we are both out of luck on this one.

Eben: Please do a follow-on model with Cortex and SATA. We will be willing to pay a bit more for it.Thanks!

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Can’t wait untill these devices are released. Think we want about 50 – 100 of those in the first run…. please keep up the good work.

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I would love to give Rasberry Pi some publicity and am in a position to do so – can we talk by e-mail please?

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Great ideas. And I wanna know how I can purchase this device, since I live in Canton, China.

Eben Upton

We expect to be able to direct mail these devices out once we launch.

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Hand raised for being a beta tester :-).

Just some considerations.

1) Have you think about the idea of using a Bluetooth chip module? they are about 5$ per unit, wouldn’t raise the cost of the rasperi so much (even you can create another model with this capability), and for a device like this (portable), would be absolutely necessary if you want to use it without any kind of cable.

2) Have you think about adding a mini usb in stead of a standar usb? just because of size considerations.

3) I am reading that rasperi will have a target of 6-15 v. Would be possible to connect to a normal standar battery using standar connectors on the board? some kind of port where you can weld the pins necessary.

4) target for Watts consumption?

5) Android could run on it? :-)

Thank you very much in advance!

Eben Upton

Bluetooth may be an option for future revisions. Our choice of Type-A USB is driven by what you commonly see on keyboards and mice. You should be able to connect to any suitable battery. I’ve run an early prototype off 6 AA batteries and a lithium ion cycle battery pack.

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thanks for your repply Eben,

1) if it consumes 1 Watt, did you measure the time it took to finish one entire lithium cycle? obviously, it depends on the task processor consumption, but to give an idea?

2) would be capable to run Android on it?

we are all excited! :-)

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Android would be difficult as there would be several missing bits of hardware that are assumed to be there on an Android system (touchscreen, camera, accelerometer off the top of my head). Some you could add and some you can fake or ignore but there will still be issues. Someone will be bound to do it anyway but it will have many compatibility issues with apps.

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Hi David,

thanks for your response. Anyway, even if there are some missing bits like a touch screen, a camera or an accelerometer, it doesn’t mean you can install Android, right? I mean, that only having a port on the PCB to connect a touch LCD should be enough to program basic applications, right?

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Bluetooth-USB-dongles are available for US$ 1.80 on Dealextreme (http://www.dealextreme.com/p/super-mini-bluetooth-2-0-adapter-dongle-vista-compatible-11866), so I guess anyone who needs Blueotooth can plugin such a dongle afterwards.

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The unit shown here has a camera module:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/?page_id=11

Is this going to be included or is it an optional module?

What are you thoughts about integrating GPS? Please consider an optional module to add GPS capability to the device.

Any pointers about developing software for the device? Is there an emulator which would make it possible for people start their software development now?

Eben Upton

We’re still trying to work out a way to offer a camera module with the device. GPS is a nice idea, that we’ll have to think about in the future. No emulator, but it’s just a Linux box, so provided you’re careful with the memory footprint you can use an x86 Linux box and then cross-compile.

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This is really great. I really excited with the device. It will be the ultimate toy for linux lovers.

Greeting from Argentina.

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outstanding work gentlemen.

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Very exited to see this progress! I eagerly await a this hardware platform, which looks even better than the USB-drive solution that we have been giving out at our KidsRuby (http://kidsruby.com) classes. Since we’ve already got a running version of the KidsRuby OS, which is an Ubuntu remix, this seems like it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Let us know anyhow we can help!

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TOO COOL! Cant wait to buy a few!

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I am so excited for this!! You guys are changing the way of the world with these devices. Keep up the great work! Count me in for purchasing some as soon as they are available

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Verry exciting project. Great work guys.

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I loved the portability suggestions!

HP has recently released a wifi mouse (instead of BT), if the trend continues perhaps even sound (and those troublesome BT headphones) could be replaced.

Imagine how much circuit area it would save having only a wifi for everything (mouse, keyboard, network, hopefully even the sound jack) plus 1 USB for universality and power (if future versions can get to the 5V range).

This could be the perfect portable programmable platform!

Cheers.

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yes, but think of a classroom with 30 students and 30 R-Pi and 30 Wifi keyboards and 30 Wifi mice….”Miss, Jimmy’s hacked into my R-Pi with his keyboard again!”

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Jimmy sounds like my kind of kid!

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Hello!

Which touchscreen monitors are supported?

Your sincerly

Stephan Krauß

Eben Upton

We don’t have any data on display support at present, I’m afraid.

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But touchscreen monitors will be supported, or?

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We still do not have any data for touchscreens – not something we have tried.

My guess would be if there is a Linux driver you should be OK, but YMMV.

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You can definitely put me down for an order of 10 at the $25 price point and 20 at the higher price point! They look awesome. I was just wondering if they can handle web surfing if an externally powered USB hub was used with some type of usb wifi receiver hooked up? or even a LAN adapter hooked up via USB, this could be the most amazing thing to come out of 2011

Eben Upton

If you need wired networking, I’d suggest you pick a Model B, which has this built in.

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Really nice progress guys, Cant wait to get hold of one and check out its possibilities! Im an I.T guy by trade and a couple of my customers are educational/charitable trusts, i can see potential for using these to put simple computing and internet access into the hands of people with learning disabilities who just couldn’t otherwise justify having a full pc.

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Nicely done – like all great ideas this one really resonates in a why-didnt-I-think-of-that way! Really exciting project and I wish you great success!

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Such a great idea. Will the OS be locked down at all? Im just wondering if kids could use it for the wrong reasons like getting round the household computers safety and security measures…
I suppose the few that want to abuse have other means anyway like their phones but its food for thought.

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It won’t be locked down – my own perspective on this (and Eben’s – I can’t talk for the other trustees!) is that if a kid is competent to hack the family PC, they can look at what they want on it!

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I’m looking forward to buying a model B Raspberry Pi.
Good luck and thanks for creating such an exciting product !
Open-source, mobility, low power consuption,… whoever likes freedom will enjoy this great project.

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I work for many school districts as a sys specialist. This is awesome and can really work well for the schools. Keep the rj-45, many prefer wifi but seriously for us at least, lan is better and works better for online testing. Glad you guys got the website finally up. Keep at it. You have a customer which hopefully I can push this in the districts.

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It’s good to see you say that! The educational market is definitely our main focus (we’ve been delighted at the interest from everybody else, though!), and as such, wifi has been a “nice to have” rather than a necessity, especially in this first iteration of the device. We do hope to have onboard wifi in later versions, but this will depend on how many sales we can rustle up – if we can order parts in bulk, it means we can keep costs down.

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” how many sales we can rustle up ” You start taking order’s + deposit and you would have some idea. Count me for 85 for first School if this works [ sure it will work ] then few thousand more in first few months. We would prefer Wi-Fi as in less developed countries this is more practical / cheaper option.

When could we have a link / Email ID to place order’s ?

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We’ll only start taking orders when we have real, honest-to-god physical boards to sell. We’re very prepared to do risk production (which is to say, we’ll be building units for which we don’t have orders yet), but at this stage in the development process we really don’t want to start taking money from people. There are also a lot of unresolved legal niceties around licences, international trade laws and country-specific stuff like the Sale of Goods Act which we have the lawyers on at the moment. This all restricts what we can do right now in terms of agreeing to sell you one until it’s all sorted out.

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I really wish you would add at least 2 USB ports so you can plug in keyboard and mouse, and dont have to buy a USB hub that costs at least as much extra.

I’m really looking forward to this!

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The hub will be part of the device – you won’t need to buy one. Part of the problem here is in keeping the footprint of the device small – once you start adding more ports for peripherals, the perimeter of the board gets bigger, and we are committed to keeping it nice and teeny!

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Maybe worth clarifying: Model A has one USB port (no Ethernet); Model B has two USB ports (and Ethernet).

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[…] 25-Dollar-Computer der Raspberry Pi Foundation kommt wirklich! Zumindest werden gerade ein paar Testexemplare produziert. Noch vor Ende 2011 sollen die ersten Mini-Rechner verschickt werden. Vorbestellungen sind leider […]

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Does it provides any serial port ?
(I was thinking about controlling the TV through LIRC)

Other option could be to add an extra FTDI FT232R to the model B (or C):
http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/ICs/FT232R.htm.

It provides a bitbang mode that allows to control up to 8 distinct I/O ports and generate/capture analog signals fully controlled by software so the possibilities are endless (see for example http://www.huitsing.nl/irftdi/) .

Eben Upton

We have 1x 3.3V UART brought out to headers.

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I want… scratch that, i need one!, i need to replace my NSLU2 ASAP with cool mini server like this RaspBerry Pi!

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This is the kind of show and tell that I would do with this board, besides showing it working as a home server:

http://orvtech.com/general/regreso-al-lug/

This kind of products are in need in center and south America but I have found that once start talking and showing all what this mini-devices can do with a little of software optimization and you mention the cost, people in the US gets interested too.

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Any insight into which Linux Distro (or whether the Foundation is doing its own) and what would be in it? Fabulous work so far, best of luck with the Alpha run!!

Eben Upton

Hey Marty
No insights yet. Either Ubuntu or Fedora; the main point in Fedora’s favour is their ongoing support for ARMv6 architectures.

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I wonder whether Ubuntu and Fedora can run in 128 or 256 MB RAM.

FWIW: System requirements for Lubuntu ( Ubuntu) as in some quotes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubuntu:
“Chief developer Julien Lavergne stated that the minimum RAM to install Lubuntu 10.10 is 256 MB.”
“Lubuntu 11.04 can be run with as little as 128 MB of RAM, but requires 256 MB of RAM to install from the graphics installer.”

Eben Upton

Ubuntu is marginally usable in 128MB, and much better in 256MB. Fedora is pretty good even in 128MB.

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archlinux.org is up and coming. Arm 5 great and 7 with hard float now

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Any more info available on the OpenGL capabilities of this? Does it have a GPU or it it software GL? What kind of performance will this have, say in comparison to the OMAP 3530?

Thanks and keep up the great work.

Eben Upton

It’s has a hardware OpenGL ES GPU. No figures on the older OMAP 3530, but a couple of data points to give you an idea

– 3x faster than an OMAP 4430 when rendering high-shader-complexity content
– can play Quake 3 timedemo at 1920×1080, 4xAA at 30-35 fps

So it’s basically an XBox 1 level of performance.

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I think I speak for all with the following comment:

w00t!

That’s seriously awesome. Have you thought about talking with automotive OEMs about your technology in infotainment displays?

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I don’t think 3x the shader power of 4430 is possible in 2011 without Imagination SGX-MP. Are you integrating one?

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No. It’s a proprietary GPU design. The Imagination stuff is really pretty appalling when you look at it closely; not hard to do better (ARM Mali, Qualcomm Adreno and our GPU all do much better in terms of performance per square millimetre).

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What are the details on the OS and onboard storage (is there any?) I.E. How do I get this thing to boot? Will it ship with something already installed or will there be instructions on installing some standard form of Linux?

Eben Upton

No onboard storage. Everything is on the SD card, which has a FAT32 partition with GPU firmware and a kernel image, and an EXT2 partition with the rootfs.

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Definitely after the Model B.

What’s the possibility of getting RISC OS to run on the thing? ^_^

Eben Upton

Should be feasible, but we’ve yet to seriously engage with the ROOL guys.

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Ah, like the beagleboard, this has connectors on all four sides. This makes it a little tricky placing it in an enclosure or similar (without having wires spidering all over your desk).

Have you considered making a board longer in one dimension but with all the connectors on one side?

Doesn’t matter too much, as I’d still like to get a ‘B’ :)

Eben Upton

I know what you mean. We’ve tried to keep it simple (analogue and digital TV out of the back, USB and SD card in the front, power, audio and network at the sides). We’ll see how much pain this causes, and whether it justifies a pricier PCB in the future.

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Any chance of LCD interface on a header (if the chip has one)?
How do you intend to distribute?
What about sources? (broadcom doesnt like Linux, they dont share their drivers, not to mention mpeg patents/licensing)

Eben Upton

There’s a 4-lane DSI header. We’ll be distributing direct, and engaging with local dealers to mitigate the cost of international shipping. Linux sources are fully open.

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Can I buy one of the alpha boards to help support this project? I would like to lend a hand and have something new to mess around with.

Eben Upton

We’re unlikely to be selling any alpha boards, I’m afraid. We’re fairly fully subscribed with internal and external devs, press, and engineering test units.

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When I first heard of this I thought right away about plugging in an ethernet pen into a hub and run a keyboard and mouse from the same spot.

Right now I can actually see advantages to both items as I actually need a simple computer to run very basic software during class and just project it to the students.

It is also idea for a project I’ve been working on where a small computer might be an added bonus.

The ethernet one would be useful around the house.

You can count on me to buy at the very least one of each. Is there some sort of pre-order form?

Eben Upton

No pre-order. We don’t want to look like a scam that wants your money before we’re done with development.

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How will file storage work? USB hard drives seem to be the best option.

Eben Upton

USB HDDs do work rather well with the earlier prototypes we’ve been using. By default, storage is on the SD card that contains the GPU firmware, kernel image and rootfs.

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you say “the SD card” – is the plan to supply a pre-programmed SD card with both models?

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Yes, although this will be an option to purchase. Otherwise, we’ll be making images you can download if you want to use your own SD card.

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I think it would be an interesting option to buy the device with a SD card with an OS, a browser, an email client, some games and SDL programming examples and documentation, and an development environment like CodeBlocks. This way children would learn to program video games.

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So…come preloaded with a Linux distro of some sort? Ideally something lightweight.

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Or a hardback book with the raspberry pi attached to the front in a bubble pack, like the 1980s electronics books in Marks & Spencer.

This is the closest image I could find online: http://tinyurl.com/3b42ymq

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How much would be saved if the HDMI were replaced with the royalty free VESA standard DisplayPort?

Links:
http://www.displayport.org/
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/DisplayPort

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HDMI is what’s supported by the chip, and makes the best sense because we’re specifically looking at markets where everybody has access to a TV but not a computer.

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In all fairness, if someone has access to an HDMI-equipped TV, but no computer…their priorities are in the wrong places…IMHO.

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Most of the developing world wouldn’t agree with you! In an ideal world, everybody would have access to a computer, and that’s the reason we’re developing the Raspberry Pi in the first place.

I saw some interesting stats last week from the (awful) Heritage Foundation, who were trying to assert that there’s no such thing as poverty in the USA because pretty much everybody under the poverty line has access to things like TVs and refrigerators. (See http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty.) Imagine that you and your spouse are manual workers, who have never had to use a computer (you’d be amazed at how many people are in this situation in countries like the UK and the US) and who are, perhaps, rather scared of them. Of course you’re going to prioritise buying a TV or something else that makes your leisure time more pleasant. There’s no way in for them – and there’s *especially* no way in for their kids, who don’t have the family computer sitting in the study like you do, and likely don’t have good (or any) provision at school. I was talking to a kid here near Cambridge a while ago whose parents are brilliant people who adore their children and care for them fantastically, but who have big computer terror. He told me how much he loves computers; but at home, his only networked device is a Wii. A Wii that his family spent ages saving up for as a gift for him. He doesn’t have a PC at home.

We’ve had emails from remote parts of the USA, where people are desperate for a way for kids to get access to computers – for the internet, for schoolwork, and so on, not to mention the very important leisure and social function. It’s easy for people like you and me to assume that everybody else in the world’s from an educational and family background which, if not similar to my own, is at least *recognisable*, but in the real world it turns out that that’s just not the case at all.

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Kinda makes a person want to buy $40k worth of these little guys and move to Chile!

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I agree that it is the more widely available (especially on TVs) standard and probably the right choice for this project. I was also not aware that it was built into the chip.

I’m still curious as to how much cost it adds anyway. I can’t find the licensing fees at the official http://www.hdmi.org/

Searching for HDMI licensing fees gets me articles from 2006 about cost being reduce to $10,000/year. I believe that there are per unit costs as well, but I don’t know. That $10,000/year figure might also include HDCP licensing as well as the licensing for the signaling and physical connectors.

Are you directly paying any licensing fees, or are they all built into the cost of the parts? (chip and physical connector)

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That’s one of those things that’s under discussion at the moment, so I’m afraid I can’t enlighten you right now – I’m pretty sure we can let you know once we launch, though, if you’re still interested.

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Yes, actually I would like to know. I created a log in (with a more oft checked email address) and made a forum post: http://www.raspberrypi.org/?page_id=43&mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=21#postid-166

Another good question is exactly which SOC you are using, I can’t seem to find that information. I see mention of broadcom in one of the other comments, and also note that Eben works there. But all I ever find mentioned “spec” wise is “700MHz ARM11”

The follow up questions are:
1) Is there a datasheet publicly available? (The 2 page advertisment doesn’t count)
2) How open is the hardware? Is there a schematic, or at least a GPIO map?
3) How customized is the kernel? Is all the hardware support I need in the mainline? If not, is there a public repo with commit history back to the mainline or is it just a code dump?
4) Is there any hardware that doesn’t have an open driver? Am I required to load proprietary kernel modules? (This is often the case with GPUs, MPEG decoders, etc…)

Thanks for answering all my questions, I’ll put any other follow up questions in the forums.

Eben Upton

1) Is there a datasheet publicly available? (The 2 page advertisment doesn’t count)

No public datasheet for the part at this time.

2) How open is the hardware? Is there a schematic, or at least a GPIO map?

ARM-side hardware is pretty open and standard (Synopsys USB 2.0 host, ARM UART, SDHCI SD card) multimedia side is pretty much completely closed.

3) How customized is the kernel? Is all the hardware support I need in the mainline? If not, is there a public repo with commit history back to the mainline or is it just a code dump?

Small customisations (mostly just a machine def and some new tweaks for sdhci etc). Not currently mainlined, but there will be a patch dumped out to support the release; maybe even a repo in due course. We’ll push upstream if we can.

4) Is there any hardware that doesn’t have an open driver? Am I required to load proprietary kernel modules? (This is often the case with GPUs, MPEG decoders, etc…)

Depends how you look at it. Multimedia is driven via a stream-like interface in the kernel.

– the ARM end of this is (naturally) open
– the messages sent over the stream are open but sparsely documented
– the thing at the other end is closed of the link is closed and undocumented

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Are there any plans for perhaps a $45-50 model that includes 512MB of RAM and/or a 1Ghz CPU (or faster)? I know a 700 Mhz CPU might be come an issue for more advanced programming languages (ie. compilers). Really looking forward to this, and as mentioned earlier, if you need beta testers, I’d love to help out my local community.

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Not yet – we’re holding off on exactly what’s going into later versions until we can see how the first iteration performs.

Amazed how many of you are champing at the bit to be beta testers!

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Of course, your two USPs at the moment are size and price. Together (and to some extent, individually) it means the Raspberry Pi can be put to uses that simply aren’t possible with competitor products – in a similar way that ALIX and Beagleboard did when they first appeared on the scene.

That’s why we’re all so excited – its the next-generation beagleboard. Add-in Rasperry Pi’s cool, memorable name and charity/social responsibility/educational mantra and you’ve bought yourselves a lot of early customer loyalty :D

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Even 5 mhz were never an issue for compiling on the Amiga

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Fascinating!

I would really like to be added to your mailing list, if you’ve got one. Not terribly interested in beta testing, but I’d definitely like to know when you guys go to regular production with this.

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Well, we’re not looking for beta testers at the moment – although a lot of people seem very, very keen on the idea!

I’ve added you to the mailing list because I am a super-helpful human being – but please, people, use the form on the front page if you want to be added in future!

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Any word on the dimensions of the alpha board? Both versions?
(length, width, and height?)

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I don’t have the stats in front of me, but it’s about the size of a business card. With a case, you can probably round that up to credit-card size.

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Any idea on height? As tall as RJ-45 female port?

Also, do you suspect the versions that will be for sale will conform more to the flash drive style form factor we’ve seen in photographs thus far? Height on that?

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What about case? do you plan to sell it with case or just as a micro-scheme? The best solution would be to sell every board in 2 variants: with and without the case, so people may choose whether they need it or whether they want it be more thin and cheap.
Could you please gather all info about both version in one place?
Their size, all their ports, the controllers, their ram, their CPU?
It is said that they will use an external adapter – how it will look like? If this tiny PC consumes ~1watt as stated in the article – could you please add to FAQ – why are you not going to use PoE technology to power that device over Ethernet port? it will be minus one wire for the user, so the device becomes more portable. And about the portability – just imagine in that case how awesome it would be for the user: 1xUSB for tiny bluetooth dongle to support wireless mouse/mouse+keyboard, 1xUSB for storage device (usb-flash/external hdd), 1xEthernet for the internet+power supply, 1xHDMI for video output.
You can call an ultra-portable PC (all you need is a free Ethernet cable near any HDMI-compatible display).
Or you can call it a device that makes a PC from your TV.

Please re-consider adding a PoE compatible lan module!

Eben Upton

We’re constantly trying to balance the needs of various potential users of the device. Adding PoE increases the cost of the device; if it is only of benefit to a minority of users, we just decreased our attractiveness to a large part of our target market. My feeling right now is that PoE is most naturally addressed using an add-on board, potentially from a third party.

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I am totally psyched about this project. As a linux user and hobbyist programmer, this is going to be so fun for me, and that’s not even taking into account the great stride this project could represent towards a) the further democratization of technological innovation and b) the improvement of educational opportunities in already well-off countries.

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In the interest of space, would it be more efficient to drop the SMSC USB/Ethernet chip off the model A and go with just a USB Controller? Or possibly 2 USB controllers? I don’t know size differences but something like the TI 8052 seems smaller.

Also, ethernet is nice, but in the interest of versatility, it doesn’t seem like everybody WOULD use. Though if you bought an external ethernet->usb adapter, like you did in the prototype, you would have equally as much of an option as the person who bought a usb wireless adapter.

I am pretty excited over this project. If the model A was nothing more than (Processor + RAM + Video + SD Card + 2 usb ports), you could pretty much do anything.

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Great stuff! I’m glad that it has Ethernet as well. Does it have an RJ-45 connector too? I’m very interested on how this will turn out and I’m sure I’ll buy one of these, just for fun.

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If there’d be a Model C then I’d opt for even more RAM (possibly a standard laptop DRAM slot), 4 USB’s and Linux Mint.

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So add the price of the memory slot, the memory controller and the extra size of the card. I think thats not the target of this project. For that things you ask for, you have the beagleboard or the pandaboard (no ram slot, only more power, ram, USB’s and money); obviously no linux mint support, is a x86 distribution.

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What abou wifi? I think keyboard and mouse hardware ports will make the thing bigger. InStead you could provide a blue tooth interface. Although we got many wifi remote software that turn smart phones into a pc remote control, thats an interesting idea i guess.

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Interesting idea. WiFi and Bluetooth both come with a requirement to put “cans” down on the board, so they’re not really saving area in comparison with a simple USB port. It’s still something we’d like to consider for future revisions though.

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I can’t wait until you start shipping. I see lots of potential uses for this $25 board!

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Oh lordy, I would do anything to get a chance to get my hands on one or 4 of these, please add me to any list or something, I’ll do whatever man, I’m going to get my tony stark on with this stuff, I can’t even procrastinate about it anymore.

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great idea, great project and great progress! looking forward to take it in my hand! Good luck!

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[…] extremely cool gadgets we get to choose from. The folks at Rasberry Pi are creating this computer (alpha boards have been sent to the manufacturer), that just a bit larger than a credit card, and is designed to plug into a TV or be combined with […]

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[…] leer el anuncio oficial puedes pinchar aqui: Alpha boards in manufacture. Etiquetas: Embebido, Hardware, […]

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[…] In addition to the basic $25 model, there’s going to be a pricier $35 variant as well, with an extra USB port, Ethernet port and 256MB of RAM. No word on a release date yet, but if testing goes well, it shouldn’t be too long until then. Find out more. […]

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I hope you have high-volume production facilities in mind.

I think these devices are going to sell like hot cakes! :-)

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We have a solid production plan in place.

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[…] In addition to the basic $25 model, there’s going to be a pricier $35 variant as well, with an extra USB port, Ethernet port and 256MB of RAM. No word on a release date yet, but if testing goes well, it shouldn’t be too long until then. Find out more. […]

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[…] In addition to the basic $25 model, there’s going to be a pricier $35 variant as well, with an extra USB port, Ethernet port and 256MB of RAM. No word on a release date yet, but if testing goes well, it shouldn’t be too long until then. Find out more. […]

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Extremely excited by this news. Can’t wait to purchase some model B’s!

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I’ve got my money all ready to order/pre-order. :D

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I would love to beta test this but it seems to me Im kinda late any way count me in I will buy one also let me know

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I would love to beta test this too

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Why heavy weight Ubuntu? Why not AROS or somthing else light weight?

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Well, we’re looking at Fedora as well, which should be a bit lighter. I expect we’ll see a lot of third parties porting various distros to the device.

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Because emphasis has got to be made on ease of use. Ubuntu, so I understand, is the most user-friendly of distros. If people get to the level where they’re installing their own distros or, even better, constructing their own, then that’s all good.

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I am more excited about this than I was on my wedding day…….

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[…] (Registration Number 1129409) and the group has finalised the spec of the main board and the Alpha release has been sent for manufacturing. There have been some small changes in the interim and the now credit card sized board will sport […]

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[…] платы утверждены, и вот теперь альфа-версия Raspberry Pi отправлена в производство. Читать дальше → VK.Widgets.Like("vk_like", {type: "mini", verb: 1}); […]

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[…] платы утверждены, и вот теперь альфа-версия Raspberry Pi отправлена в производство. Читать дальше […]

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Very nice! Good luck!

Do not forget about sales to Russia!!!

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Do you have an RSS feed to this project?

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You can save more space if you use mikroUSB and microHDMI port. Than, in future, you can use SDXC instead SDHC. And you can use some WiFi module (as used in USB wifi) – they have small size.

sry my english.

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Hallo !

Which part of energy is recommended?

Your sincerly

Stephan

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Hello !

Which Type of Power Device needed by the computer ?
Which device do you recommend ?

Your sincerly

Stephan

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Very excited about this, just getting back into computer tomfoolery after 10yrs and think this would provide excellent lowcost low energy solutions. i’m hope to use 5 of them, as NAS device w/ bt, 2 SD media players, 1 HD media player and internet access for my son.
With many people finding there cash flow restricted do to the economy this could open the doors for many people in numerous wqalks of life
Well Done

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[…] dernier, nous avons envoyé une version alpha du circuit pour qu’elle soit fabriquée » explique Eben Upton, l’un des responsables du projet. A partir de cette version alpha, des tests seront […]

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This is AWESOME!
Could I run QNX on it? I am going to learn this OS.

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A video upload to youtube of the PI in action would be great, even the Alpha board would give us all an idea of how this thing will run … can’t wait for more info to trickle out !

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What processor used in this computer (manufacturer and name)?

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Have you did any test with armedslack distro?

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Can’t wait to buy one! Will most likely go for the 256mb model! Keep up the good work ;)

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This is awesome. Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these.

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Brilliant progress so far, I’m definitely up for buying the model B. It will be just like buying the BBC Model B all those years ago :)

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Do you have any plans to support HDMI-CEC ? (CEC=Consumer Electronic Controle) so it will be possible to controle the TVset or other devices on the CEC bus ?

Eben Upton

The hardware supports CEC, but we have no firm plans as to how we bring this out to userland. Probably something for a subsequent firmware revision.

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We’ve built a module to allow HDMI – CEC communication on the PC quite easily, would be interested in seeing if we can either help in this area

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Hello !

If the computer is shipped with an operating system?

Your sincerly

Stephan

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Very nice project !
But will be possible to install another OS (for examples Windows XP/ 7 or Android)?

sorry of my english.

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shure you can install the whole world on it and it works out of the box everywhere without power.

sorry, but i think some people can’t read.

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Quite opposit of some people can’t read, i think that some people simply dont know any better – especially when it comes to different cpu architectures eg x86 vs arm

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This is so cool i want this. I domt know much about
computer electronics and such but if you made this faster it would still be pretty small nd also if it was in a guad core and it has a bit more ram and maybe a gpu it would be a definate by for me

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I don’t think you understand that the raspberry pi is meant to be as lo cost as possible. It isn’t a desktop computer.

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Doesn’t it already have a GPU? Maybe it doesn’t I might be confused.

Eben Upton

It has a VideoCore IV GPU, which supports OpenGL ES 1.1, OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenVG 1.1.

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[…] to the Raspberry Pi blog, the alpha boards for this ARM-chipped Linux device are now in […]

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This thing have an audio port?

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+1 for me. I’d like to buy one as soon as I can get my hands on one.

I’m experienced with embedded and Linux driver development and want to help. I have several applications in mind and would love to help contribute in getting some useful software working after the hardware part comes alive. Please let me know if there are any opportunities for early access in exchange for help with software.

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[…] Link to the Raspberry Pi Foundation post. […]

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Support for standar TOUCH DSI/LCD screens? :-)

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I’ve watched the concept of the product with a great deal of interest.
The significance of the Model A and B was not lost on me as soon as I saw this.

But the lessons of the production lines for the two models are also not lost on me.

Back in those days the expectations for volume shipping of the two models were found to be quite innaccurate.

In the same way, at the spec prices being considered I rather expect the split to be 3 to 1 in favour of the model B.

The model A is all important to get that headline price…. But for most people the model B would look to be the better utility.

Since Mr Braben was talking in interview about the vital importance of the education sector (no doubt for market and critical mass), i would expect the educational purchasers to go for the stripped down model A whilst most retail would select the Model B is the ideal present for the christmas market…

Presummably this will be able to run a version of Arm Basic V from the BBC stable….

I can see the point of the usb 2 interface, but I wonder in the production whether theModel B might vonsider an uprated Lan chip that provided the USB 3 standard,
cost, being the overwhelming factor, I realise, but usb 3 offers a more long term prospect and thus enables perhaps greater opportunities for follow-on versions that would remain retro compliant?

Being now in the Linux camp, there are many possibilities with this product…

It looks very promising…

I can see how such a product could ‘break the mould’ and restore the educational aspects of computing back to their original, bright possibilities…

And beta testing could be a most rewarding experience…thus I would like to put myself down for being in that camp.

Eben Upton

Interesting comments. I had a partially-upgraded BBC Model A as a kid, which really brought home to you how marginal the 16K version was. From comments and mails I’ve received I’d expect us to sell many more Model Bs than Model As.

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I would imagine that you will indeed sell more Bs. I am keeping my eyes open for release info for a B. The ‘UI’ side is (sadly) somewhat useless to me, I cannot imagine composite video would be pleasant, and I have nothing that understands HDMI (shame there’s no VGA), however it isn’t a big deal as I plan to set one up as a server and plug it into my Livebox and just leave it running.

I am ARM-familiar, grew up hacking RISC OS, and am currently playing with my PVR (an ARM powered Neuros OSD). I skipped the initial BeagleBoard due to its lack of ethernet, and I skipped the xM version because of the expense. The RaspberryPi, on the other hand, looks to be a good price for somebody who wants a decent level of flexibility without breaking the bank.

I notice a few postings further up it is mentioned that the media side of things is closed source? Let me guess – it’s a TI chip, right? Hmmm… Same damn problem with the OSD – it’s all fine and dandy to play with the kernel, but God help you if you want to try something like adding the option to alter the contrast/brightness/sharp or colour saturation. The hardware can do it, it’s a simple IIC call to the tvp5150. But can the closed source driver? Hmph!

I don’t want to rain on your parade, as this device really does sound great, but I suspect one of the reasons the OSD project didn’t set the world alight is exactly due to the lack of documentation and code access. Think about it, I had to go to a website in *China* to get a copy of the NDA-protected documents[*] after TI refused to talk to me due to my not being important enough to be worthy of attention (and, besides, you try finding info on the DM320 on their site!). So I ask you, who the hell is going to want to write code for an ARM based DSP chip with ZERO documentation? You can’t say the ARM is documented, as there is MUCH more to it than that – knowing ARM code won’t give you enough information to even get the chip to a booted state. Then there’s the problem with the codecs. It might have been possible to write a FLAC decoder, or have the thing able to export DivX AVIs instead of H.263 MP4s. But with the codec modules completely closed, a lot of the hardware and media access is just not going to happen. I think devs were interested, but they pretty quickly realised that they could write graphical code, or maybe hack around the on-screen UI, or try to add stuff like an EPG. And, well, that was pretty much it.
Please, please, please don’t let RaspberryPi suffer the same closed-source nonsense!

Best wishes,

Rick.

* – I don’t get the NDA angle; it’s a chip datasheet that lists addresses, registers, and describes stuff like the data format for the frame buffer. Run of the mill datasheet guff. Exactly the sort of thing you’d want to provide people so they could use their hardware…?

Eben Upton

It’s a Broadcom chip (OMAP is too expensive and rather underpowered on the multimedia side). Sadly, if you didn’t like the syslink stuff on the OMAP, you’ll find the multimedia driver architecture equally opaque (open-source user-land and kernel-land components talking to proprietary multimedia hardware via a FIFO). I’m not sure I agree that this is a problem however; provided we give you the ability to make a series of API calls to decode a video, configure the display, or render some 3D, does it really matter that you’re not building graphics engine command lists and poking registers yourself?

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Using this API, could one hope to port a VP8 or H264 encoder on Pi ? Also, DSP could be used for many other interesting applications to offload some routine but voluminous tasks around machine vision. Are these aspects addressed in any way ?

Eben Upton

Potentially. We support H.264 encode in hardware anyway, but haven’t brought it out to Linux userland yet.

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Eden,

Have you all decided to bring the H264 encoder to userland yet? I am *extremely* interested in using both. That enables this to be the first low cost video conferencing device that I can think of.

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I am already suggesting usage of such products in robotics as they are small and it is very easy to connect to every single robot and control the whole thing through the remote control features. Think of all extra processing power it gives if you have one of these on the robot

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Amazing how many of the kids we’ve spoken to about the device have *immediately* glommed onto the idea of using it in robotics. (As well as plenty of the grown ups!)

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Yea, maybe an inexpensive version of the ePuck?

http://tinyurl.com/3kvx4o3

or something like alicebot?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_mobile_robot

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Regarding OS, have you considered making an ARM version of Puppy Linux (http://puppylinux.com/) this is typically 100Mb in size on focuses on using small streamlined software and being user friendly. It is built using a system that can use different repositories, there are versions based on Debian, Drake, Mageia and Slackware. There is an Arm version of Slackware.

Eben Upton

It’s unlikely that we’ll be doing this ourselves due to resource constraints. We do hope that third parties will port a variety of distros to the platform.

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An Arm version of Puppy has been experimented with, but not completed. Qemu can emulate Arm boards. If version of Puppy could run on Qemu emulating an Arm – how likely is it that it would also run on the RasPi?

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Please include a HW watchdog!

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There is one. Huzzah!

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Yes!! now please hurry up!!

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A be an option to buy Raspberry Pi from memory RAM 512 MB or 1024MB

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Definitely not 1024MB, but there may be a 512MB option in due course.

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[…] that’s unbelievable, well, believe it! Sure it’s not available just yet but already the Alpha Boards are being manufactured and they anticipate the devices will be available for sale later in […]

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[…] es que el Raspberry Pi, que es así como se llama la criaturita, ya ha entrado en fase alpha. Dicho en cristiano, ya hay […]

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This is some great work going on! I was wondering if it is possible to install an alternative OS on this, and if so, how?
I can totally imagine running Debian or Arch on this. :)

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We’ll be upstreaming all of the ARM kernel-land software; there may be some closed-source user-land software. In the medium term we hope it’ll be feasible to port other OSs onto the device, although possibly with reduced multimedia functionality.

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Hey, still can’t wait for this!! How does it fair up with full screen hi quality video playback e.g. films?

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1080p – same as your HD TV.

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One thought, directly out of the BBC architecture stable

Is an architecture connection in a later design version of the model B

Something similar to a protected edge connector/slot connection.
Thus, a slim box-like device that can clip to the side of the basic PI,
But the clip-on box might offer the missing circuitry for the expansions that people seem to be clamouring for, with access to any secondary power that might be required. Under the old acorn regime the nearest equivalent in design terms was the Electron plus 3 interface box.

Being a more robust structure, such slimline boxes would provide a secure method of reliably adding various standard features in a universal expansion box that might avoid the potential crows-nest of cables that are going to proliferate around this small device. Because of the size and weight of the PI, it will definately amount to a case of the tail wagging the dog with various stuff being daisychained onto the usb port. That could be a recipe for problems in a school environment with cables being tripped over, and resulting overstressed connectors on the basic machine.

For educational establishments the pseudo docking-bay facility, would provide a simple, robust and reliable base connection for most of the standard requirements in a classroom environment, yet at the same time add a universal level playing field for general expansion options on the kit.

One of the potential problems with any such product is conformity to the standard, thus any extensions to the basic design should be robust but produced in such a way that manufacturers can adopt the standard for addons, andthus ensure conformity with that standard.

It is clear that the device may hit the sweet spot on price/performance and inspiration in the market.

Eben Upton

We bring out most of the GPIO, the I2C and SPI to a vertical pinstrip. Building a Plus-3 style add-on of the sort you describe should be pretty straightforward, and indeed is one of the first things we plan to do after the device is released. Possible features include

– level conversion and buffering
– analog I/O
– accelerometers, gyros and temperature sensors

We really like what the Arduino guys have done with their “shield” board concept. Definitely something we want to emulate.

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Don’t think it’s been raised but why SD as opposed to MicroSD? As far as I know they cost pretty much the same and have the same throughput, so why not save space on the board and go with MicroSD? The only reason I can think of is that SD cards are more widely available but that’s not true in the Western world.

Eben Upton

It’s primarily a mechanical robustness issue. MicroSD slots I’ve seen are rather more delicate than their full-size brethren.

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I would suggest potting in connectors like the SD Card, I know it sounds overkill but if you are shipping them to the nether regions of the world where conditions are harsh then the possibilities of repair might be limited. Experience says that in the hands of learners things tend to take more of a bashing. I know one college repair technician who spent half his time re-soldering Firewire connections on video equipment because students had used a surprising amount of force on them. The boards will last longer and need less maintenance. You might even pot the entire bottom of the board if there aren’t sensitive ICs under there, just to re-enforce the soldering on through-hole connectors?

Just a suggestion.

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I think the possibilities of this device are quite astounding. Myself, I am interested in home automation projects. I’ve looked at any number of ARM- (and other architecture) devices, and they are either lacking punch, or are expensive. If this project manages to pull it off, we could be seeing a proliferation of web-enabled appliances, including the holly grail of the web-enabled toaster… :)

BTW, will alpha boards become available for purchase, or are they strictly for internal use only?

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Strictly internal use only, I’m afraid. We need them all for development!

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And what will be powered by the computer?
Apparently, the 9V battery if so, how such a battery is enough?
When the computer goes on sale?

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Need beta testers or developers?
Count me in!

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I’m already thinking home router, web server etc.

Have you thought of giving people the opportunity to over pay by a few pounds to offset the costs to those in developing counties to make it even more accessible?

With all the corporate greed in this world it’s so refreshing to have such a project that is done for the benefit of everyone and not just shareholders.

Good luck.

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Definitely – we’re hoping to start a buy one, give one scheme, alongside opportunities for smaller donations for people who can’t afford that. (We’ll get all this in place when we’re ready to ship – we don’t want to take people’s money before we have a shippable product.)

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I don’t want to sound mean but I’ve never been sure about Buy One, Give One as a model, I would be happier with “For every n sold in the UK we give m to a developing community.” That way we don’t have to feel we are paying over the odds and those of us who might buy multiple units can directly contribute. Buy One, Give One also means you have to make it optional in the developed world in case those less fortunate can’t afford it, but if the entry level of donations was lower more people might participate in donation.

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I am very excited about this project!

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Would commercial usage (i.e. high volume usage) of Pi be permitted ? Would it be possible to order it from the manfs, or the foundation in bulk quantities ?

Might be a good idea, since it increases uptake considerably, thus pushing up overall volumes and pushing down costs. Beagleboard (and many other similar) boards have an unwritten policy of not being very supportive of commercial ventures with those.

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Absolutely – there aren’t any restrictions on who can buy Pi.

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When they start selling this mini computer?
And where will you order it?

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The Order on this Computer ist End of the Jahr 2012

Gretings

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I don’t know how many alpha boards you have ordered to be produced, but is there any plans to sell them?

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No – they’re all for development.

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i am not sure if somebody asked it before, but does the board provide any screw holes for mounting it on other devices? Does it have a surrounding box just like a normal pc?

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There’s lots of talk about this in our forum – do come and say hi. The first run of boards will not be boxed, and we’ll be keeping a non-boxed version for hobbyists, but the later boards, which we’ll be selling to schools as well as hobbyists will be boxed for robustness and so you can keep them in a pocket (although this box will be removable).

We’re still trying to decide between holes and SMD. Drilling boards adds to the price, and at this stage we’re counting every penny to try to come in at the $25 price point.

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Surface mount connectors are much more susceptible to mechanical stress, so I would be careful with selection on those. You don’t want them to wear out when used in a classroom environment and need delicate repairs! Consider gluing or potting of components under mechanical stress.

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Hi,
nice progress so far.

Just a quick question:
Will it be possible to use Openembedded (see http://http://openembedded.org/) to build images (with new kernel / driver versions) and applications for this device?

Regards S.

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I sure hope so, but it’ll need some community members to figure things out and document how to on the wiki: http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoard#OpenEmbedded

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Hello here!

I am must say it looks like very nice and cheap board! I am currently working on Gumstix Overo COMs, but your board might have things.

From what I understand your Model B will have 256MB of RAM, R45, SD card support, HDMI, USB and many more?

Once the board is released I am willing to help bring support for OpenEmbedded (OE).

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Maybe you could add pins to those who have arduino so it can be used in electronic designs and can be controlled pwm motors and other things

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[…] La presse spécialisée s’enflamme actuellement autour de la prochaine mise en production du «Rapsberry PI, un boitier ARM sous Linux pour 25$» […]

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Aloha!

Like the rest of the world (it seems) I plan to buy a board as soon as you open the doors. One question though: What can you tell us about the audio support? DAC performance, any additional HW support for audio etc.

Thanks and keep up the good work, can’t wait!

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The analog out is pretty low quality (Not sure of the DAC) – someone commented elsewhere on the forum about his. The real good quality is over HDMI. 16bit PCM data per channel (CD quality). So you don’t need anything else for digital out.

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What type of processor does this use? Can I run any windows operating system?

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I direct you to the FAQ!

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From your redirect I saw that it can not run windows as it does not support ARM (W8 should :) ).

I still could not find processor speed! Could you supply this or post a new bullet to the FAQ page as I am sure it gets asked a lot. Cheers.

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I want to use it for multiple purposes. First of all, it would be a pretty good nintendo emulator. Second, an ssh gateway and a micro http web server. Third, it would be awesome to play Quake 3 again (of course I would have to download the ARM binary.) Can I pre-order the $35 version? I would like about three of them.

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We’re not taking pre-orders, but if you sign up to the mailing list (home page, top right) you’ll be (among) the first to know our launch date.

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You can send it to Kazakhstan? How much it costs shipping? I can install Asterisk there?

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We will definitely be shipping to Kazakhstan – I don’t have prices for shipping yet, though, because we’re still arguing about what carrier to use! If Asterisk runs under Linux, you should be fine.

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Hi to everyone,

i`m verry interested in Raspberry Pi alpha, the greater Board, wich is obviously used for your inhouse-develpment. I can`t write the exact type number, because I could`nt find them. Is this board also available for selling ?
Thanks for an short replay !

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Very interesting… i want a sample. please show me detail infomation for this production schedule. sorry my poor english. if u can send email, plz send me.

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Hello
Congratulations for all the project. Here we are in the field of interactive art & design and we use a lot of 0-5volts sensors+ digital and analog actuators with softwares like Pure Data or Processing. We would really like to have such in-out features, (instead of 0-3,3 V in the Pi. This would be the perfect tool for installations, architectures, embedded devices for performances in dance, theatre, circus, music, environemental art. Of course, it woul be possible to add an arduino-like to the Pi, but it would be clever to have no additionnal micro-controler. Anyway, we would like to build optimised versions of Pd and Processing for the Pi really soon….

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I need open source yubico com without anything only USB!

look this http://code.google.com/p/openkubus/

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[…] Alpha boards in manufacture | Raspberry Pi Caseorganic published a photo: New graphic | Raspberry Pi: caseorganic posted a photo: http://t.co/zsBBvl3hhttp://t.co/aD6obSm6… Source: http://www.raspberrypi.org […]

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Nice project, will be getting a mod B once it becomes available. Let the fun begins.

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… [Trackback]…

[…] There you will find more Infos: raspberrypi.org/archives/28 […]…

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Are the boards with Eth ready for purchase?

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1-13-12 I just stumbled upon a news item about your terrific mission and product. I would love to get my grandchildren interested in your Raspberry Pi. I’ve been in electronics for over 50 years and have been looking for an ARM SBC for some time now for my own projects ( e.g. remote sensing/control, home HVAC, lighting, and security with cameras — and, if I live long enough, maybe even dabble in robotics.) I almost bought a Beagle Board, but felt it was too expensive. Now I’m glad I didn’t. Add me to the list for 5 when they become available — please keep me posted by email.

Great work,
Fred F.
Sacramento, CA

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[…] The ICs used in the design are an ARM-based application processor (center) and an SMSC LAN9512 USB 2.0 hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller (right and down from center). The SDRAM is mounted on top of the application processor in a PoP configuration. Following the example of the BBC Micro , we intend to launch both a Model A device (lacking the LAN9512, and with 128MB of RAM) at the $25 price point, and a Model B device (including the LAN9512, and with 256MB of RAM) for a $5-10 additional cost. We remain confident of shipping before the end of 2011. Alpha boards in manufacture | Raspberry Pi – Vimperator […]

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