Reuters visits the Raspberry Pi factory

This piece of news footage is all about how the Raspberry Pi you own is made in the UK. It gives you another really close look at some of the processes in the factory – as well as some crystal-clear video of pick and place, you’ll see some of the ladies on the line doing hand placement of through-hole parts, and learn a bit more about plans for increasing production (even with a million sold in our first year, sales show no sign of slowing down). The video also discusses our plans to move all of the production (except the red boards for the Chinese market) to the Sony factory in Pencoed, S Wales, where Raspberry Pis are made for us under licence.

And Eben has a new t-shirt.

42 comments

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I really want to buy a six pack version board…..

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We know you do! Broadly impossible for us to fulfil, unfortunately – the test process requires that the boards have been broken down.

I know Pete was making noises last year about perhaps auctioning off six-pack PCBs, without components, as framed collectables. We might revisit that in the future; I think the Christmas charity auctions will probably become a tradition.

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We would buy six-packs unpopulated or populated, even if the latter were untested. Some of us have so much time on our hands that we can hand-test six Pii at a time. Just stick a rubber glove standing up on six-packs that aren’t to be tested, ala the opening credits to the 1970s “Laverne and Shirley” TV show where there was a beer bottle with a rubber glove on it as it wended its way through the bottling plant line.

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I think rubber gloves don’t survive wave soldering well…

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Reshoring “… high value, low volume …”
$25 and 1 million are new definitions of those!

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There’s still “high value” in the precision machines needed to actually manufacture the Raspberry Pis ;-)

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Yes I thought the “high value, low volume” quote was slightly out of place as well. I think that was related to the fact that the factory also does broadcast quality video cameras – presumably high end HD TV cameras.

Really good piece, and it was interesting to hear a bit more about what the Sony factory does, i.e. the other products it assembles.

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So if there’s “plans to move all of the production (except the red boards for the Chinese market) to the Sony factory” does that mean there’s still some production *not* being done in the Sony factory? I thought all Revision2.0 boards were “Made in the UK” in Pencoed?
Just curious…

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RS are still making some in China. The plan is to move all of them out to the UK Real Soon Now.

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Interesting… does that mean non-UK (and non-red) Revision 2.0 boards do exist?
Are they the revision 000f boards? http://www.elinux.org/Rpi_Hardware_History

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I got got one yesterday from Allied / RS. It’s made in China, but it’s a 512KB version without the F1, F2 fuses, unpopulated P2, and holes for P5 and P6, so it’s a Rev. 2 board. Oh yes; It’s green too.

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Will Raspberrypi follow the Moore law ?
can we expect a Rpi2 in the near futur ?

keeping is main advantage, low power, open (gpio/ehternet), but with a bit more speed and ram, and maybe usb3 or sata …

just a dream… (happy to pay 50 usd for it)

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Eben & Pete have both said previously that there’s no plans for any “Rpi2” yet – they want to keep the hardware “standard” to benefit all the people that have already bought Pis.
But of course I’m nothing to do with the Foundation, just a fan.

If you want a more powerful ARM board, there’s plenty of other devices coming out of China… but AFAIK nothing has the incredible community support that the Raspberry Pi has.

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It’s because I am already on Rpi and it’s incredible community, I wish to keep on with it.

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I notice farnell have started taking registrations of interest for a “next gen beaglebone”. IMO it’s a good one to watch because afaict the beagleboards have pretty good software support and they say it will be “significantly cheaper” than the current beaglebone which should bring it into the price range the OP is talking about.

http://downloads.element14.com/beaglebone/

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a better name for the next one could be 2piR ;-))

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Then surely that would be known as simply “C” ;-)

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http://www.math.utah.edu/~palais/pi.html

I therefore suggest: RPt

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A circular argument? ;)

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If RAM prices continue to fall – will we see a Rev C with 1Gb of ram late this year early next? I know it has been mentioned that the CPU supports it – but that the price is still too high.

Any thoughts on opening up any more of the codecs?

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The CPU supports it, but requires (IIRC) a single chip select, but all the current 1GB chips are dual chip select *. It would need a custom build of 1GB PoP chips.

* I may have that the wrong way round, but that’s close enough…

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…and before anybody gets too excited by the “RASPBERRY PI 4GB” seen in the video, it’s indicating that it’s 4 Gigabits which is the same as 0.5 GigaBytes which is the same as 512 MegaBytes :-)

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Feels like a very long time ago now, but just before the 512MB of RAM was announced, we did some filming in the factory – and we had to take all those placards down so they didn’t appear on television and leak the news!

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This is excellent news and not before time. I think a lot of people on this blog have waiting for this day more in hope than expectation but it has come to pass. I am sure everyone in the new Raspberry Pi office is very relieved, they can breathe easy now. So point Eben at the washing machine and let him finally put that HAL T-shirt where it belongs.

Also good news about Pencoed.

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My 2 x 512MB boards supplied from CPC were made in China – label stick over Made in UK print position. I had hoped they would be UK built – they were ‘early’ in the 512 availablility – but I can’t find the emails with the date to confirm
They were Serial FNX121102178 FNX121100676

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Oooh, that’s interesting. Would you mind finding out your board revisions ( http://raspberryalphaomega.org.uk/?p=428 ) and then adding the info to this forum thread? http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=281039

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Nice to see this video, thanks for putting it up! Was worried a bit there at the end, with the video camera about to go through the machine (reflow oven?)

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Nice to see the products come to life.

It’s great to see the return of electronic manufacturing to Europe, If you are looking for additional volume we have some spare capacity just across the pond in Dublin. Having looked at some of the boards, it’s definitely compatible with our process.

Mail me if you’d like to talk about it.

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It was the PoP of the RAM to SoC which I think was the main issue (plus cost/tax originally).

Great to see them being made near to home. :)

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Yeah, finding a manufacturer technically capable of PoP process and still willing to deal with small volumes also caused headaches for OpenPandora. They’ve now shifted their initial production from the USA to Germany.

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I really feel for those guys. They had a terrible runaround with their manufacturers. We’ve been very fortunate to have been able to build such a good relationship with Sony.

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I just can’t get enough of those Pick And Place Machines. Just think of the Time everyone would spend without them!

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Turning that on it’s head… just think how expensive each Raspberry Pi would be if it wasn’t built by Pick’n’MixPlace machines!

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Great video and great t-shirt!

My fifth Pi is from this facility.

1 x 256mb from China
3 x 512mb from China
1 x 512mb from the U.K. (Courtesy of Kicking the MagPi print edition)

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Yakko,

What are you doing with all those Pis?

Patrick
from Bethesda, Maryland
USA

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1 is a media centre in the bedroom.
1 will be the media centre in the living room.
1 will be a Raspbian/Python learning machine.
1 will be a Raspbian control install.
1 will be an Arch or Slackware learning box.
1 will be ….crap! I have more ideas than Pi. Must order MORE!!!!

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I did wonder about the 4GB sign!

Great video, and nice to see the human touch for the assembly first hand.

Keep up the good work!

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My 5: The whole idea of the Raspberry Pis for me is as a replacement for the BBC Model B, and ideas which started then! The Pis are small and cheap enough to embed into each of our portable model railways, so that some ‘programmable intelligence’ is transported as part of the layout, without requiring additional space or cabling on site .. progress waiting on RISCOS progress and serial port comms., and time. [reading dcc track data, RFids and Expressnet(R)]

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If the above embedded video doesn’t play for you, yo can see-it here:

http://www.reuters.com/video/2013/03/11/homemade-raspberry-pi?videoId=241561705

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Can you tell me what type the video is as my nexus 7 won’t show it.

Gordon77

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It’s some flavour of Flash video (sorry – they use a proprietary player). I guess you’ll have to wait until you’re in front of a PC to view it.

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Thanks for letting me know :)

Gordon77

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