Raspberry Pi heading to customers next week

April 12, 2012 | 10:58

Tags: #ce #element14 #farnell #liz-upton #rs-components

Companies: #arm #broadcom #raspberry-pi #raspberry-pi-foundation

The Raspberry Pi foundation has confirmed that customers who pre-ordered the much-delayed device from partners Farnell and RS Components should start to receive them next week, following the completion of compliance testing.

The $35 credit card-sized computer, built around a Broadcom system-on-chip and designed to offer an affordable 'tinkerbox' for the enhancement of computing education, hasn't had an easy route to retail. Manufacturing began in January, but shipments were delayed while tax issues were resolved and a distribution network organised with partners Farnell and RS.

When the device finally did go on sale in February, high demand shut down both websites and panicked the retailers into demanding Conformité Européenne (CE) certification before any boards could be shipped to customers. Disappointment led to an angry backlash as consumers, many of whom had been waiting since the original estimated release date of September last year, saw the launch pushed back once more.

Thankfully, the delays look to be finally coming to an end. The Foundation's spokesperson, Liz Upton, has confirmed the Raspberry Pi boards have passed the emissions tests required to obtain a CE mark, making them legal for sale in the UK. 'Given that we've had the [anechoic testing] chamber for the whole week, we've used the time to make sure that alongside the CE requirements, the Raspberry Pi also complies with FCC regulations (USA) as well as CTick (Australia) and what we’ve been calling "that Canadian thing."'

While testing was completed last week, the paperwork has taken somewhat longer. 'Our partners hope to begin shipping units to those at the front of the queue around the start of next week,' Upton explains, giving hope to those who braved the unintentional DDoS on the suppliers' websites and actually managed to place an order hope for the future.

Boards are also being shipped to a 'small number of developers we have pre-selected outside the Foundation this week,' thanks to newly-appointed educational coordinator Myra VanInwegen. These developers are believed to be selected based on their experience with computing in education, and will help drive the development of the platform ahead of its full-scale 'commercial' roll-out as a boxed product for schools and universities later this year.
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