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Powerful, wallet-sized Raspberry Pi computer sells out in SECONDS

Tiny Brit wonder hardly even touched the shelves

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The first batch of 10,000 ARM-powered Raspberry Pi computers went on sale at 6am GMT on Wednesday - and sold out within minutes.

According to distributor Premier Farnell, there were at least 600 orders, visits or pre-orders every SECOND, producing a 300 per cent hike in web traffic. The electronic component sales site was knocked for six by the surge in demand for the $35 GNU/Linux-powered gizmo.

The board's other distributor, RS Components, also received a huge number of orders. Both companies are now taking pre-orders for the next batch of Raspberry Pis.

Designed by boffins in Blighty on a not-for-profit basis, the Pi shot to fame when first announced by being credit-card sized and very cheap: it's a fully functional system capable of, among many things, 1080p video playback and hardware-accelerated graphics. It used a Broadcom multimedia SoC that includes a 700MHz ARM1176JZF-S core and 256M of RAM.

That's the Model B's specification and there's also a cheaper Model A coming. Both of these are named after the BBC Micro, the 1980s computer best known for its role in UK education - and the charity behind the Raspberry Pi hopes to similarly jumpstart interest in computer science among young Brits.

Raspberry Pi Foundation spokeswoman Liz Upton took to Twitter earlier to say: "We're amazed at the level of interest and sorry so many of you were frustrated today."

Farnell spokesman Ken Leitch told El Reg: "It's been a phenomenal day. This is an incredible little computer, we knew anticipation was huge and it sold out very very quickly, within the hour. We had a massive amount of interest across different territories - half a million interactions with our site in 15 minutes at its peak."

The next batch of boards is expected to go into production within the next few weeks. ®

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