Photo Skeleton of the pi: all it needs now is a pad PiePAD !
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools.
The Raspberry Pi is manufactured through licensed manufacturing deals with Element 14/Premier Farnell and RS Components. Both of these companies sell the Raspberry Pi online.
The Raspberry Pi has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor (The firmware includes a number of "Turbo" modes so that the user can attempt overclocking, up-to 1 GHz, without affecting the warranty), VideoCore IV GPU, and originally shipped with 256 megabytes of RAM, later upgraded to 512MB. It does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, but uses an SD card for booting and long-term storage. The Foundation's goal is to offer two versions, priced at US$25 and US$35. The Foundation started accepting orders for the higher priced model B on 29 February 2012. and the lower cost model A on February 4, 2013
The Foundation provides Debian and Arch Linux ARM distributions for download. Also planned are tools for supporting Python as the main programming language, with support for BBC BASIC, (via the RISC OS image or the "Brandy Basic" clone for Linux), C, and Perl.
On 17 December 2012 the Raspberry Pi Foundation, in collaboration with IndieCity and Velocix, opened the "Pi Store", as a "one-stop shop for all your Raspberry Pi (software) needs". Using an application included in Raspbian, users can browse through several categories and download what they want. Software can also be uploaded for moderation and release.
The Raspberry Pi uses Linux kernel-based operating systems. Raspbian, a Debian-based free operating system optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware, is the current recommended system, released in July 2012.
The GPU hardware is accessed via a firmware image which is loaded into the GPU at boot time from the SD-card. The firmware image is known as the binary blob, while the associated Linux drivers are closed source. Application software use calls to closed source run-time libraries which in turn calls an open source driver inside the Linux kernel. The API of the kernel driver is specific for these closed libraries. Video applications use OpenMAX, 3D applications use OpenGL ES and 2D applications use OpenVG which both in turn use EGL. OpenMAX and EGL use the open source kernel driver in turn.
Visual diagram of API connections
On 19 February 2012, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released its first proof of concept SD card image that could be loaded onto an SD card to produce a preliminary operating system. The image was based upon Debian 6.0 (Squeeze), with the LXDE desktop and the Midori browser, plus various programming tools. The image also runs on QEMU allowing the Raspberry Pi to be emulated on various other platforms.
On 8 March 2012 The Raspberry Pi Foundation released Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix, at the time its recommended Linux distribution, which was developed at Seneca College in Canada. The Foundation intends to create an App Store website for people to exchange programs.
Slackware ARM (formally ARMedslack) version 13.37 and later runs on the Raspberry Pi without modification. The 128–496 MB of available memory on the Raspberry Pi is twice the minimum requirement of 64 MB needed to run Slackware Linux on an ARM or i386 system. (While Slackware can load and run a GUI, it was designed to be run from the shell.) The Fluxbox window manager running under the X Window System requires an additional 48 MB of RAM.
In addition, work is being done on system-specific light Linux distributions such as IPFire, OpenELEC, Raspbmc and the XBMC open source digital media center.
Trustee Eben Upton publicly approached the RISC OS Open community in July 2011 to enquire about assistance with a potential port. Adrian Lees at Broadcom has since worked on the port, with his work being cited in a discussion regarding the graphics drivers.
On 24 October 2012 the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that "all of the VideoCore driver code which runs on the ARM" had been released as free software under a BSD-style license, making it "the first ARM-based multimedia SoC with fully-functional, vendor-provided (as opposed to partial, reverse engineered) fully open-source drivers", although this claim has not been universally accepted.
A cheaper version of the bare-bones Raspberry Pi computer has gone on sale in Europe.
The Model A lacks some of the features of the bigger version such as a network jack and has less memory.
The Model A has also been designed to use less power to make it more suitable for projects involving robotics, remote sensors or which rely on solar power.
Cutting out a few components means the gadget is even cheaper and now costs $25 (£16).
Liz Upton, community manager for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, said it was "very, very pleased" to have the new version go on sale.
"It's what we said we'd do all along," she wrote. The release of the A version fulfils the promise to make a computer for about £15 that was made when the first prototype Raspberry Pi computers were unveiled in early 2011.
The Model A Pi has less onboard memory than the Model B which has been on sale for almost a year. The A lacks ethernet networking and has only one USB port.
Initially, the Model A is only available in Europe but this restriction will be lifted "very soon" said the foundation. Orders placed from outside Europe would be honoured, she said, though there would be a delay as the order is processed.
More than one million Raspberry Pi bare-bones computers have been sold since the official launch in late February 2012. The credit-card sized computers have been used in a huge variety of DIY computing projects. One reached an altitude of 25 miles (40km) attached to a high-altitude balloon.
Model A now for sale in Europe -
RS Components and Premier Farnell/element14 have Model A Raspberry Pis in stock as of this morning. (See the Where To Buy area on the right side of the page for links.) For the first tranche of orders, Model A will only be available in Europe. We’ll lift this restriction very soon so the rest of the world can order too.
The Model A is a stripped-down version of the Model B Raspberry Pi, with no Ethernet, one USB port and 256MB RAM. If you’d like to learn more, check out this post from a couple of months back.
Stripping down the Model A means it has two important differences from the Model B: we can make it ten dollars cheaper, at $25; and it consumes roughly a third of the power of the Model B, which is of key importance to those of you wanting to run projects from a battery or solar power: robots, sensor platforms in remote locations, Wi-Fi repeaters attached to the local bus stop and so forth. We’re working on software to get the power consumption even lower. And we’ve seen how well XBMC works on the early 256MB Model Bs we sold last year; it’ll work just as well if you want to make a $25 media centre out of your Model A.
RS customers outside Europe (Allied in the US) can order a Model A now, but there will be a short delay in processing their order because we’re waiting on some paperwork before the Pis can be shipped. Farnell customers outside Europe (Newark in the US) will see Model A appear on their local sites when this paperwork has been filled.
We are very, very pleased to finally be able to offer you a computer for $25. It’s what we said we’d do all along, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it.
To order yours in nigeria email