Manufacturer:VIA UK price (as reviewed):£39.99 (inc VAT) US price (includes PSU):$49.00 (ex TAX)
It should surprise no-one, given its incredible success, that the Raspberry Pi has inspired competitors. Ignoring those devices that existed prior to the Pi hitting headlines around the world - things like the open-source BeagleBoard and BeagleBone platforms, both of which preceded the Pi - there has been an explosion of low-cost - and not-so-low-cost - single-board computers.
VIA, meanwhile, has had a rough time of it lately. While the company is hanging on despite failing to make a dent in the processor market with its low-power x86 chips, it is certainly far from its glory days - and Paul Otellini using the company as the punchline to a joke about ARM's chances against Intel must have surely stung.
VIA has high hopes for its APC family, starting with the APC8750.
Enter the company's newest product line, designed to thumb its nose at Intel and its high-power x86 designs while simultaneously pushing its way into a market for low-cost low-power tinkering boards that few in the industry had guessed existed prior to the launch of the Raspberry Pi.
VIA's first entry into the ARM-based single-board computer market comes with a new sub-brand: APC. Allegedly inspired by a quote from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, in which he described his company as being in the business of making 'bicycles for the mind,' APC is being operated as an entire sub-brand with one goal: to produce low-cost computers for education and developing nations.
VIA's Richard Brown announces the APC at TED@Shanghai.
Freeing itself from the constraints of size - the APC design is significantly larger than the Pi, for reasons that will become readily apparent - and with a team of actual, full-time and salaried engineers rather than a rag-tag group of volunteers, VIA should have been able to come up with something that can wipe the floor with the Pi.