The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced this week that its $35 Linux computer has entered the manufacturing stage. The system, which is an open board with a 700MHz ARM11 CPU and 256MB of RAM, could be available for sale within a matter of weeks.
The foundation, which is located in the UK, was originally founded in 2009 with the aim of developing an affordable computer that children could use to learn computer programming. The organization produced two batches of sample boards last year for testing purposes prior to the recent transition to full-scale manufacturing.
Raspberry Pi intends to offer two separate models with different hardware specifications. The initial manufacturing run is focused on the “B” model, which is the higher-end $35 configuration. They will follow it up with an “A” model for $25 that will have half as much memory and lack hardware features like an ethernet controller.
The Raspberry Pi computers have RCA and HDMI outputs that allow them to be plugged into a television. Input devices, such as mouse and keyboard, can be plugged in via a USB port.
The foundation discussed its manufacturing plans in a statement published on its official blog. The organization had originally hoped to have all of the manufacturing done within the UK, but eventually decided to rely on foreign manufacturers for reasons of cost and timeliness. It hasn’t decided yet whether it will wait for the initial 10,000 unit manufacturing run to complete before beginning sales.
Chip makers like TI have offered relatively inexpensive ARM systems for hobbyists over the years, such as the popular BeagleBoard. Raspberry Pi has gone further by developing an even more affordable board that is priced to be accessible to a larger audience.