Raspberry Pi Release Date Announced

Read our full feature on the Raspberry Pi computer here including specs, availability and release date.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has confirmed that the first batch of its ground-breaking computers will roll off the production line on 20 February and will go on sale by the end of the month.

Announced back in May last year, the tiny computer is designed to plug into your keyboard and monitor and will come with a choice of 128MB or 256 MB of RAM and despite its diminutive size will still be able to power games, word processing, spreadsheets and even HD video – thanks to a Videocore 4 GPU. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says:

“We want to see cheap, accessible, programmable computers everywhere; we actively encourage other companies to clone what we’re doing. We want to break the paradigm where without spending hundreds of pounds on a PC, families can’t use the internet. We want owning a truly personal computer to be normal for children. We think that 2012 is going to be a very exciting year.”

Raspberry Pi computer

The mini computer, which measures 85.6 x 54 x 17mm and weighs just 45g, will feature a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC at its heart and the company has even produced an abbreviated datasheet describing the ARM peripherals in the chip which will be of interest to those looking to port their own OS to the Raspberry Pi or those just wanting to understand the Linux kernel sources. It can be downloaded here(pdf).

The team from the Foundation will be heading to China in a couple of weeks to make sure there are no last minute glitches, before shipping the first batch of computers back to the UK where they will be available to purchase from the Raspberry Pi website for $35 (256MB) and $25 (128MB).

The computers feature a USB 2.0 port (two for the 256MB version), Ethernet port (only in the 256MB model), an audio jack, RCA video port, SD card slot, HDMI port and a microUSB port for powering the computer. The first batch of the computers will ship without a case, and will also be missing leads, power supply or SD cards, but these can be purchased from the online store.

Raspberry Pi computer

You will need an SD to boot it up, but once boots a hard drive connected via USB can take over. Switching the computer on and off is simple a case of plugging it in and out.

Will the Raspberry Pi revolutionise the way we teach IT and programming in schools? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Raspberry Pi Blog

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