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February 29, 2012

US$35 Linux computer launched

As reported by Ars Technica, UK based, Raspberry Pi foundation has launched a low cost Linux based compute amidst very high level of interest. Raspberry intends to launch two versions of the system a US$35 version and another lower cost US$25 version. Today’s launch was for the US$35 (Model B) version while the US$25 (Model A) version will be launched later, sometimes in 2012.
While, as expected, the specs of the devices are on the lower end, in a recent interview with Eurogamer Raspberry had claimed that its GPU outperforms the iPhone 4S GPU by a factor of 2 (across a range of content) and is also better than NVIDIA’s Tegra 2. While it needs to be seen how the GPU hadles real world tasks, if the GPU is anywhere close, it would prove to be useful in various applications.

  • Price: US$35
  • Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM1176JZFS processor with FPU and Videocore 4 GPU
  • 256MB RAM
  • 10/100 BaseT Ethernet socket
  • HDMI socket / USB 2.0 socket/ SD card socket/ 3.55mm audio jack
  • Fedora Linux; Booting from SD card
The major difference between the two versions is that US$35 version includes 2 USB ports and an Ethernet port. The RAM on both the version will be the same after the RAM on US$25 version was upgraded to 256MB.
Production and Ordering
Raspberry has currently tied up with 2 companies, Farnell and RS Components who will handle the manufacturing and distribution.
But both the websites were not able to handle the initial surge in users trying to buy and became inaccessible but are currently online, though not accepting new orders. You can, however, register your interest and hopefully you will be contacted soon as there are units to sell (assuming that the first batch of 10,000 units is not sold out).
Currently, the order is also limited to 1 unit per customer, but Raspberry expect that it will be available for general sale in a month or so and later model A – targeted at educational institution will be launched.

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