Feeds

World's Raspberry Pi supply jammed in factory blunder

Unprotected network jacks spark delay fears

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Shipments of the long-awaited and heavily fought over Raspberry Pi boards could be delayed thanks to a manufacturing cock-up.

The assembly lines churning out the first 10,000 units used the wrong kind of RJ45 networking jack, according to the team behind the $35 Linux computer, and the parts will need to be replaced before they can be posted to punters.

Specifically, the boards should use sockets with built-in transformers to isolate the delicate circuitry from whatever voltage is put down the cables; the factory used to build the Raspberry Pi instead ordered jacks without the so-called magnetics.

Although the first job lot is being hastily re-soldered as you read this, future batches will be affected if the project can't get hold of enough replacement magnetic jacks for much larger production runs.

Relying on sockets with built-in protection, rather than discrete components, is one of the tricks the designers used to keep the board to its credit-card size proportions.

The Pi shot to fame when first announced by being very small, very cheap and the brainchild of Blighty's computer boffins: it's a fully functional system capable of, among many things, 1080p video playback and hardware-accelerated graphics. It uses a Broadcom multimedia SoC that includes a 700MHz ARM1176JZF-S core and 256M of RAM.

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

The Foundation's Liz Upton told The Reg the first lot of boards should go out as planned, but "it's later batches which may be problematic - that's a lot of parts to source at short notice".

She explained to Pi fans today: "This could very well cause a delay – we still aren’t clear on whether it’ll be possible to get the parts we need for the huge numbers of orders we have in time now, because all the sourcing the factory had done for us was on the wrong part."

She added: "We’ve known about this for four days now, but we haven’t been able to tell you about it because it meant we had to do some further tests to make sure that nothing else was affected.

"We are very, very sorry. We’ll keep you updated with how manufacture is moving; this is, in the scheme of things, a minor problem, but it’s still a bump in the road and we know that we rely on your goodwill to keep things moving forward."

After much hype and fever, the first batch of the ARM-powered computers went on sale at 6am GMT on 29 February - and sold out within minutes, bringing down the websites of its distributors.

If you weren't able to grab one of the first lot in time, you could always try winning one of three boards by coming up with a novel use for the compact, low-power computer. The winners will be chosen on “Pi Day”, 3/14/12, or 14 March. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs
Thus doth tech of future illuminate present, etc
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.