Raspberry Pi Launched

The Raspberry Pi has been launched. When we first heard of this board nearly a year ago, the idea of a $25 computer that displays 1080p video, runs Linux, and has enough ports to the outside world to do some  very interesting stuff, we were cautiously optimistic. Now that the guys behind the Raspberry Pi are getting units out to the masses, we’re a little excited and also thinking about all the cool stuff we’re going to build.

The Raspberry Pi foundation is going with a licensed manufacturing setup with RS Components and Premier Farnell signing up to manufacture and distribute the boards. Right now it’s a strictly one-per-customer situation, but within a month or so you’ll be able to order as many as you would like.

Right now the foundation is focusing on the slightly more expensive ‘B’ model Raspberry Pi that includes Ethernet and USB over the $25 base unit. The ‘A’ model was originally slated to come with 128 MB of RAM, but due to some clever cost saving strategies, the team increased the base RAM to  256 MB.

Right now the only question we have is if an American distributor has signed on to sell this board; we’re sure something awesome will be built with this awesome little board. Commentors pointed out that Newark was selling Raspis for the US market, but they’re out of stock. The best advice may be to wait a few months for production to catch up to demand.

113 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Launched

  1. newark.com in the US is taking orders, expected to ship in 30 days. However, they are adding a $20 “handling fee” onto each order. What BS, brings the price almost to Beaglebone levels.

  2. I guess Newark is also attaching a $20 shipping and handling fee.

    I stayed up late for this last night. I finally got through on Farnell, went through all the cart and registration steps, only to be told in the end they don’t ship to the US. Newark didn’t have it available for ordering last night, and when I checked again this morning at 9:30 CST, they were already sold out.

  3. Newark is part of the Premier Farnell Group and located in the USA. Although you can find the board on their site when searching for “RASPBERRY-PI”, you will have to pay an additional $20. However, I wouldn’t really believe that the lead time was 30 days. Here in Europe, it’s already impossible to get a Raspberry from the first batch, so it won’t be any better in the states: “Following the successful launch of Raspberry Pi Board B this morning we’ve seen unpresidented levels of interest in this product. Stocks from Raspberry Pi of the initial production quanitiy are limited and these have already sold out. For those of you who have already pre-ordered, we will let you know in the next few days when you can expect your delivery. We’re working very closely with Raspberry Pi to ensure we meet the demand as soon as possible. We will be one of the first to have Raspberry Pi’s in stock and delivered to you, so if you haven’t been able to pre-order, register your interest below so we can let you know as soon as you can order again and keep you updated with the latest on availability.”

    So I guess, I’ll have to wait for the next batch :/

  4. Cool. Unavailablium based products are far more useful and interesting than vapor-based products. : )

    I look forward to playing with one in a year or so when the supply has caught up with demand. (Sort of like a new Atmel release, no?)

  5. This thing has so much potential, and that for around the same price of an Arduino. I’m really anxious to see what the hacker community can make with them. For just $25-35 these are basically ‘throw-away’ devices. I’m seeing ultra-cheap media centres, networked toaster ovens, and perhaps, if it proves popular enough, it may become the first successful open-source game console. I’d imagine there would be quite a market for these devices as a consumer device (rather than the ultimate low-cost devboard us hackers see) in regions like Brazil. Can’t wait!

      1. Doesn’t matter if they open up the design…the CPU is made by Broadcom, who has a horrible track record of closed source and not even releasing datasheets for their products. They think they’re the Skunk Works or something, but their products are everyday. They won’t talk to hobbyists, don’t distribute their products, and there’s no way you could buy the CPU even if this was an open hardware design. The only reason they’re selling chips for the Raspberry Pi is because the guy who started the project works for Broadcom, used company resources to develop the prototypes, and convinced them to sell him the chips.

    1. Sadly, Broadcom chips and most of their drivers are closed as hell. The PI is a great board but don’t expect it to become open hardware anytime soon unless they migrate to a different mcu manufacturer, which I believe won’t happen in the next 2 or 3 centuries.
      There are much better and open choices out there but they’re going to cost more.

  6. @Brett W. They won’t be available for $100 until next Friday. Starting $500 asking price will fall by ~$50 a day until then.

    Now is a good time to go in the naked short selling business. Sell today at inflated prices and drag your heals on delivery while burning time using the victims wishful thinking & the ebay dispute resolution process.

    You can delay shipment date by nearly at month at which point the price will have fallen by 90%.

  7. Awesome! A proprietary chip with no TRM, sold with an insane markup through RS or Farnell(including an insane shipping price), arrogant insider developers at Broadcom who think Pi stands for Python, etc.

    I won’t buy it. I was starting to get interested, but the RS/Farnell sent me over the line into the not-buying camp.

    Why not buy another Beagleboard instead? That chip at least has a Technical Reference Manual that isn’t leaked/unofficial..

      1. @HAD

        There isn’t a TRM for Arduino because Atmel has full datasheets, programming specs and information about the Atmega chips used in the various Arduinos. The rest of it is in the Arduino libraries which have source.

        There isn’t any secret sauce code for the Atmega chips but there is for the Broadcom chip in the Raspberry Pi. Lots of stuff about the GPU is encapsulated inside some big binary libraries which you don’t get source for.

      2. Everywhere. I haven’t seen an Arduino not based on either an AVR, STM32, or similarly documented device.

        I want to hack it. I don’t want just a Linux distro and a browser. The beagleboard’s OMAP3530 had its massively awesome 3423 page TRM. The BCM2835 has a 6 line introductory text on the Broadcom homepage…

  8. What a botched launch for such a product with such great potential. Sites were unavailable. Can’t ship to the USA. Confusing retailer partnership. Minimum order of $50 for a product with a pricess less than that and a single order limit. The only company that is taking orders isn’t even a launch partner and charges a $20 markup with delivery in 30 days.

    It’s not like nobody knew demand was going to be huge for this thing.

  9. Much as I want one, they’ll need to land a US distributor (at the $35 price point) for me to jump on board.

    Last I checked the site, the Raspberry Pi dealership option came at the cost of buying 500 units up front, which seemed outrageous. There is no way Sparkfun or Adafruit would sign onto that.

    They sold out quick anyways, but I can’t help but wonder if their margins would be better if they were able to place larger orders.

    1. Getting Sparkfun as a distributor would be a good thing. I suspect a 500 MOQ is not a roadblock for this product with them.

      I certainly hope they can find someone other than Newark. That company is crap compared to many other distributors.

      It’s sad — but not unexpected — to see all the whining about this cool product. As someone who is a small-scale manufacturer, the decisions they’ve made and the problems they’ve had seem all par for the course. The whining seems to be from the crowd who has no experience and expects everything to be free.

      Wonder if Gumstix will come out with a lower priced device now.

      1. they might, but in order to use the processor whatsoever you’ll have to buy a $100 serial i/o and power board, the wifi board (thats another $200), an sd card board… $90, and an lcd board $200, $250 w/ lcd… oddly enough for processor intensive embedded apps i do prefer gumstix.

      2. While I don’t know much about it, it looks to me that Gumstix has been serving an entirely different user than Raspberry is targeting. I could be wrong but I don’t see Gumstix developing a lower or equally priced product to compete with 25, 35,or 55 dollar product. As for those complaining, challenge them to start developing an open source project project, that can compete.

  10. What the hell did people expect with 10k first batch? That more than 1% of people would be happy today?

    Quit whining people, they were up front about the orders today on their webpage, they said it wouldn’t be available to order in all regions today.

    This way, both partners can take pre-orders and the 2nd batch won’t be limited to a rather lowly 10k batch, in fact, it won’t be a 2nd batch, they will just be rolling off the presses.

    as for sparkfun not stumping up $17.5k for 500, really? Why shouldn’t they be able to manage that? They give away 5 times that amount and more on freeday.

    1. I really don’t get all the crying. People are acting like we would be better off if the board never existed in the first place.

      okay, so you can’t grab one right now, but you WILL be able to eventually, it’s not like this is a limited time thing.

      Yeah it sucks the launch was a bit of a mess. It might have been better to have a lottery, or maybe a voting type thing to get the boards into the hands of people who will be able to get the most out of them initially. (so when you get one there are some mature projects rolling)

      The whole point is this is really cool, it could mean other single board computers will drop in price, or even stuff like the arduino. It also means others can learn from this and release similar products.

      So can we stop the bitching? This is really cool stuff, lets not discourage others from attempting something similar in the future.

    2. yes they let us know they would not be shipping to US markets… today. For all of us who stayed up last night till 1am (est) and fought with web traffic until 3am(or late), to only find that they weren’t shipping to the US, yes I believe we have a legitimate right to be pissed off. Whether someone gets one or not is up to chances, but whether an entire country gets one or none, that is completely foreseeable. I’m not happy with how the raspberry-pi organisation dealt with this issue.

      1. @Lee

        Since you seem to be too butthurt to realize your folly I will make it clear. THEY WERE SHIPPING TO THE US. Most of the masses were trying to order through uk.farnell.com which ONLY deals to the UK. For those of us stateside we used the export.farnell.com site and now we get pi.

      2. I wish I would have known that. I made it through a couple of times, but realized my country wasn’t on the list. My butt isn’t hurt, I felt like I had a very small chance of getting one as soon as I heard the 10k number. The foundation is kinda like a garage startup, so it’s legit they couldn’t meet commercial demands. The product is out there, I’ll get one prolly sooner rather than later

    1. Don’t bother with the Gert board, I’ve already got the prototype of my Pi-Duino Board so you can power both the PI and this board with Shield and protyping area. Obviously using the Arduino means you can develop on the PI in an IDE you already know!

      I’ll stick the video of it on you tube over the next day or so and get some boards done when I confirm functionality. My ‘Pi is due on the 12th if you believe Farnell!

  11. I’ve not seen any evidence that Newark ever had the Raspberry Pi in stock for launch.

    About 3.5 hours after launch, they started listing the option to direct ship it from Farnell, with the $20 charge which I believe is standard for anything Farnell stocks that Newark does not.

    Hopefully they’ll actually be getting stock in the US at some point so we can avoid the charge.

    1. I don’t think they even say they had them in stock. I’m sure the article on the raspberrypi.org site before it went to static pages stated they still had problems which were been worked though even as we speak. PITA but not the end of the world after waiting 9 months!

      From the released board dimensions we’ve knocked up a prototype board specifically for the PI.


      All early days yet, holding breath for my delivery!


  12. @mods:
    a short link to RaspBMC would be nice to see as hackady is a very xbmc-friendly community and the dev would appreciate help i think.
    btw, the model a’s do have usb, too, but only 1 port and without an extra controller iirc.
    and yes, it’s not open hardware, there are binary blobs and closed libs needed for the gpu.
    greetz from germany,

    ps: i have hit my f5 countless times at 6am gmt, but no chance to get one, servers were down till all boards were sold :-/

  13. I have no issue with it going out of stock, my guess was 100k demand on opening day and I wasn’t going to fight it out, even though I really wanted to.

    I do hope they find a better way to get them to the US. It’s hard to justify a shipping price that is about the same as the product price. If I can get two or three for the same $20, then I’m better with it.

    It’s a tough roll out, Raspi did the best they could and hopefully they’ll learn and grow and things will get better.

    It’s a better world with them in it, than without.

  14. True, newark is not adding the surcharge anymore but talking to customer service leads me to believe that they will all be routed through the US warehouse which will add 2-3 weeks to shipping.

    1. I’m sure you can. The nice thing is that you can “loose” the RaspberryPi some where in the equipment it’s controlling and all you would see is the kit and a monitor..Sweet

    2. Well, atom mini-itx boards are already perfect for this (good support, low latency, small size).
      Stick a dual LPT card and you have 3 LPT onboard. You can even use a mesa board if you want servos.

      Otherwise you will have to struggle with:
      – ARM11 RTAI (does not exist afaik)
      – EMC2 ARM (does not exist)
      – hope that binary-only GPU driver will not cripple latency (like other binary only drivers usually do)

      1. Why do people insist on wanting to run emc2 on non-x86 platforms. It is a resource hog enough on a standard PC and the developers do not care to support anything else than x86_32 running Ubuntu with a 2.6 series kernel.

        To get a clean & efficient build on ANY architecture would require a major, ground up rewrite rather than another round of hacks & kludges that infect the current source tree.

  15. Am i the only person that finds this latest incarnation of a TI powered ARM development board tedious because of the hype…

    when i see stuff like this hitting the BBC news i feel like downing all my tools and becoming a farmer..


  16. I’m not in the least surprised demand exceeds supply, and that it will be this way for a while. Or that some sites are having difficulty dealing with the initial load. Just be patient. I’ll definitely get one when things settle down.

    I do hope Newark eventually stocks the Pi *directly*, as it appears they plan to do. Newark’s one of my favorite suppliers, but their shipping policies can be dumb. Anything fulfilled from their sister company Farnell has a hefty, additional shipping charge.

    They got me once on shipping because these items are listed by default along with all the others, and I forgot to check everything I was ordering.

    They got me again because I ordered some stuff overnight for an emergency repair. A $0.25 ultrafast recovery diode was out of stock, even though it originally showed in stock. So I had to order it overnight elsewhere. And I forgot to cancel the backorder with Newark, that’s my fault; so they eventually shipped it. But it was dumb for them to put the tiny diode in a 12″x12″x12 box, shipping it overnight when it’s already three months late, and charging me the exorbitant shipping charge for the privilege.

  17. I think it was foreseeable that 10k units were not enough. I got up at 1am and was not able to order one because of DDOS and web page crashes. However I’m happy that it was launched, that it will be widely available in the very near future. It’s good to see that the $25 A model gets also 256MB ram now. For us in the US it looks like the $20 handling fee is now gone. This was a good day! Don’t let your ego take over your happiness, I think the DDOS was a good sign to the distributors that there is a high demand for stuff like this… we will all benefit in the long term.

  18. though I would have like to have been able to get a first-batch order in, so I can play with it sooner, I think it may be worth waiting for the supply to catch up with the demand.

    this will give the product time for the community to turn out working projects, tutorials, help forums, kits and ideas to work from. this will also expose any yet-to-be-discovered flaws or bugs in the design or hardware that may be fixed for future productions.

  19. I do not understand why people are so freakin’ angry they aren’t get a Raspberry Pi from the first batch.

    Or why people seems to think this is the ONLY batch.

    Or why people think it’ll take another year to make another batch.

    This is an organisation (meaning Raspberry Pi Foundation) that is in on this project for the long haul.

    If you have not read up about their ambitions, philosophy and so – I think you should. Even if the only thing that interests you is the “35$ ARM hardware!!!”.

    There will be more batches coming. They won’t take as long as the initial batch has taken. I’d estimate a week to three weeks and the price will most likely stay the same.

    1. Yes they batterned down the hatches and went over to a static site and let Farnell and RS take the flack. I’m sure they are glad they did as well.

      Don’t know how long they’ll be in hiding?

  20. What is with all the rage? You didn’t get a Pi today? neither did I. I never even got close to the farnell website, and RS dicked on everyone from on high. However I don’t see how the Ras Pi organisation are to blame.

    2 of the world’s largest component companies couldn’t handle the traffic, do you really think a small charity could do any better?

    As for whinging about the limited number released, I do believe the members of the charity put the capital for production up front themselves, literally betting their house on these selling. That’s a pretty big risk.

    Would you be willing to do that?

  21. I wish these people would just admit that they cannot meet their price target of $25-$35 (like that’s a shock) and sell the board at a realistic price. $20 “handling” fee? $75-$100 is a typical price for these kinda things (chumby hacker board comes to mind). The closed source nature of the BCM2835 chip only means more expenses down the road anyway. Bottom line: Don’t make promises you cannot keep..

    1. I wish some people would investigate things fully before coming onto websites and talking utter rubbish. They fully meet their aims in terms of price. The shipping and handling charge is nothing to do with the foundation it’s to do with the distribution company.

      Bottom line: Don’t be a dick.

      1. Utter rubbish? When i can get this for $25 or $35 +$5 shipping sometime in the next 2 months, I’ll retract this post.

        > They fully meet their aims in terms of price.

        Right, fully and completely. Everyone here is so happy with the practices of “the foundation” ’cause they’re completely innocent. We feel so sad for them because they’re just pawns in an evil chess game of deception and lies by greedy distribution companies. I mean, gosh, they couldn’t have ever anticipated the markup.. It’s just unimaginable.. And no, they couldn’t possibly ever sell these boards outright or through a contact here in the states to prevent this. Their hands are just totally tied, and they have nothing to do with it. Yea, they kept their promise. Is that angel wings and halo above your post? Aiya……

      2. They’re price point has nothing to do with shipping, it never did. They never promised a $25+$5 Shipping PC, they promised a $25 dollar PC, which they will provide. I’m guessing from the nature of your complaints you’re from the good old USA, are the USPS now offering a free door to door delivery service worldwide or are you just being a complete ass demanding cheap shipping from the UK?

        The RasPi community wanted model Bs on release, so they made more of those. Hence the $35 launch machine. On the flip side the $25 machine now has twice as much RAM. Damn evil charity making things better for us.

        Can’t buy one inside 2 months? How has that anything to do with anything? They made us well aware (months ago) that there would only be 10k available at release as that is all the foundation could afford, out of their own pockets, to produce for a first run.

        PS. Hasn’t the $20 fee gone now anyway?

        I’m sorry I don’t see what more the charity can do to please you personally.

      3. > are you just being a complete ass demanding cheap shipping from the UK?

        Yea, of course. Fully.

        Shipping from the UK?? These are not even made in the UK. They’re made in China, as is everything. We’ve all ordered merchandise from China with very reasonable base *and* shipping prices. Also, the USPS, UPS, etc does not overcharge for delivery. 20% shipping isn’t unreasonable for something small and light like this (~$5). What value is there if the mythical $25 (or $35) price point is never realized even closely by the consumer? Don’t wave the $25 price in our face if you cannot deliver on it. And don’t bake additional “costs” into the base price just for the sake of saving-face because the target price was actually higher than expected. If it’s really more like $50, then so be it, at least it’s fair and honest. Make a promise you can keep.

        > PS. Hasn’t the $20 fee gone now anyway?
        Yea, but so has the stock. Did anyone actually get one for $35 with a reasonable shipping/handling price? And it shipped?

        Ok, let’s make it 3, how about 4 months? Need more time? When I can get this for $25 (or $35) +$5 shipping anytime this year (preferably not on clearance or closeout), I’ll retract this post.

        charity? no transparency and honesty? yes. Don’t insult the consumer with overhyped marketing. Cite: The “$99” OLPC, the I-Opener, PeoplePC, and any ebay seller who offers a pack of 100 LED’s for .10c with $15 shipping.

      4. Correct, they were made in China. Then shipped to the UK. The UK RS website are selling the model B at £22. That’d be $35. As always I will expect to pay postage and VAT from RS, regardless of what I buy off RS I have to pay. This will most likely be £10.40. Having said that when I bought £15 of components off RS they charged me £10 shipping and handling + VAT. That is about $16. This is fairly standard. I also repeat my previous point that the shipping and handling cost has nothing to do with the RasPi foundation.

        I’ll break it down real simple for your good self. Y’know when you used to get charged postage at Amazon on most orders, or the way you do now if you want special delivery. You know the way that costs extra money? That’s a shipping and handling charge. If I order stuff from amazon.com to the UK, that costs me quite a bit. This had nothing to do with the people who made the DVD or book, that’s the money Amazon charge to ship and handle the book and DVD.

        You have no basis to say that they’ll not ship for 3 or 4 months, it’s just a number pulled out of your ass. RS reckon the first batch will ship next week.

        As for overhyped marketing, you must be having a laugh. They’re marketing was basically £0. It was all word of mouth by excited followers, the news picked it up and they gave the interviews.

        They’ve went to great pains to be transparent, they didn’t take pre-orders and when people said it was vapourware, they’ve been telling us about every stage they’ve been going through, we knew when manufacture started, we new when manufacture ended and we knew how many they were producing.

        1. Right on, knowing my ability to ignore alarm clocks I actually stayed up until the 6am start then another 2 hours to get online and actually order the thing, I think I’ve got onto the first batch( Farnell still promise the 12th!!). It’s not the foundation’s fault they have been rather open about their development and bare in mind the funding is based on a big mortgage not a few 100’s of mill for an iPhone launch. Those who say it should of been all run out of china should realise that they only do things for money and that 10K units is only an Afternoon’s work. They have gone to the manufacturing houses and basically asked if they can fit this board in a quiet time no hurries just make the price right, as such it isn’t their top priority.

  22. What we see behind the shipping outrage here is nothing more than a European brain’s inability to run anything logistics in a semi-successful manner. This isn’t an isolated incident. They don’t call it EU economy for nothing. If it wasn’t for the third world who do you think would be at the bottom of the barrel?

    Of course shipping from the UK because that’s where the boxes end up from China. Of course an experienced person would ship directly from China but that’s just too hard to grasp.

    So the toys TCO will be $50 and up but let’s be real – that’s still not bad for a board with integrated HDMI. Of course it’s not open hardware but again…$50 for a Linux running board is still pretty good.

    Now if you want to compare the promise with the final delivery.. come on, it’s the UK. Just be happy it’s coming out and that it’s not $300 per board LOL

    1. Keep in mind that the original batch was built by the foundation. This means that they had to negotiate the number of units to give each distributor so it makes sense for them to have the factory ship them en-mass to them and they then test and divvy out the boards accordingly. Future batches are being built by the partners themselves so they will be able to be shipped directly to the distribution warehouses.

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