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Raspberry Pi Linux micro machine enters mass production

Model A, Model B cheap as chips

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The Rapberry Pi Foundation has begun manufacturing its pocket-sized Linux-based micro in volume, with the first batch set to roll off the line by the end of the month.

The charity revealed the news this week after finalising payment details, stating its Dyson-esque regret that Raspberry Pi production had to be moved overseas due to the high cost of building the wee device in the UK.

The Raspberry Pi - which is about the same size as a credit card - uses HDMI for connection to a TV, USB for the keyboard, SD card for storage, and runs Linux on an ARM chip, with OpenGL ES 2.0 for the graphics. Its 700MHz ARM-11 processor is supported with 128MB of on-board memory.

Raspberry Pi Model B

Two versions of the gadget are on the way. The Model B packs a 10/100Mb/s Ethernet port and will retail for around £23, while the smaller Model A comes without the network connecter and will sell for roughly £16.

Model A? Model B? Bit of a BBC Micro fixation there, d'you think? It's not surprising. The driving force behind the Pi is famous BBC micro games coder David 'Elite' Braben.

"This first batch will consist only of Model Bs, although you will be able to buy Model As later on," the Raspberry Pi Foundation said in its blog, stating intentions to bring production back to the UK for the stripped-down version.

By the end of January, though, punters should be able to get their hands on Model Bs, which the Foundation says have a 3-4 week turnaround on the factory line.

"Details about whether we'll wait for all 10k to come off the line before starting sales, and about what date we'll be starting on, will come later."

The Foundation put a batch of ten beta Model Bs up for sale on eBay this week, with one auction fetching figures of £3500. Good work chaps. ®

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