A low-cost, low-power, credit-card sized computer developed by a charitable foundation set up by some computer science instructors from Cambridge University. Their goal was to produce a very inexpensive, low-power computer that could be used by kids to learn programming. Now the first examples of the resulting low-cost credit-card sized computer are about to reach the market with a starting price as little as $25.
"The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming."
The Raspberry Pi is an ARM-based, SoC (system on a chip) computer that is just slightly too large to fit in an Altoids tin. It will run several varieties of Linux operating system. Fedora Linux is its recommended distribution, and it will also support Debian and ArchLinux (some issues with Ubuntu and the ARM processor prevent Ubuntu from supporting it at this time).
The Raspberry Pi is capable of delivering BluRay quality display. The developers say that "graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to Xbox 1 level of performance. Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics." It has ports for composite and DVI (using a cheap adapter for the DVI) video output.
Power to run the Raspberry Pi can come from a phone charger or even from 4 AA batteries. A 700 mA USB charger will be the power source for the Model B, and the Model A can get away with even lower power requirements (300 mA). At that low power level, solar powered options should be practical and not terribly expensive.
The Raspberry Pi comes in two models (A and B) with 128 MB and 256 MB of RAM and priced at $25 and $35 respectively. Lots more information and specifications are available in the Raspberry Pi FAQ. The Raspberry Pi will be available beginning at the end of February 2012.
image: via Raspberry Pi
Hat-tip to @chrissalzman for the heads-up