Raspberry Pi

This week the Raspberry Pi Foundation brought to market two computers. Model A is $25 and Model B is $35.  Here's what Model B looks like:

Raspberry pi
Here's a description of what this thing does:

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer board that plugs into a TV and a keyboard. It’s a miniature ARM-based PC which can be used for many of the things that a desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays High-Definition video.

Here are the specs:

  • Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM1176JZFS processor with FPU and Videocore 4 GPU
  • GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
  • 256MB RAM
  • Boots from SD card, running the Fedora version of Linux
  • 10/100 BaseT Ethernet socket
  • HDMI socket
  • USB 2.0 socket
  • RCA video socket
  • SD card socket
  • Powered from microUSB socket
  • 3.5mm audio out jack
  • Header footprint for camera connection
  • Size: 85.6 x 53.98 x 17mm

Needless to say they are sold out of the first run which are available at Element 14 and RS Components.

There are some challenges to working with one of these devices. You'll need to use a Linux operating system, for one. But unlike Arduino, this is a full blown computer, minus display and keyboard.

The target market for this is education, DIY types, and hackers.

But for me the important thing is we can have a full blown computing device for $35.

When the cost of tablet displays comes down, which they will, I think we'll see sub $100 tablets. And I suspect that will happen in the next 3-5 years.

For markets that can be end to end digital, like education, this is a game changer.