CHICAGO — Almost one year since the launch of the Raspberry Pi , the global computing phenomenon, element14 has announced it has signed a new distribution contract with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to sell the credit-card sized computer  around the world.
element14, the leading high-service distributor of electronic components and home to the award-winning element14 Community , has also announced that it has now manufactured more than 500,000 Raspberry Pi’s since the launch in February last year. If that number of devices stood end to end, they would span 25.6 miles, a distance exceeding even the 24 miles Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner skydived last year.
In a year that saw the world fall in love with the microcomputer, element14 brought production of the Raspberry Pi to the UK from China in September 2012.
There is no sign of a slowdown in demand for the revolutionary computer with the element14 Community, the world’s largest online community for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, helping to bring together Raspberry Pi fans to share ideas and further fuel innovation through the Code Exchange .
Mike Buffham, Global Head of EDE at element14, said: “It seems every time we talk about the Raspberry Pi we say it has been a true phenomenon, but it genuinely has been one. Now less than a year on, we have manufactured over 500,000 at element14 alone, and we are delighted to have signed a new global contract with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to continue to play a pivotal role in putting computer programming back at the heart of engineers, both young and old.”
Eben Upton, Co-Founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, said: “Since the Raspberry Pi was launched globally in February 2012 it has been a tremendous success story. The younger generation has demonstrated significant intrigue in learning how to build and program their own computer device. And what has been great to see is the enormous growth in the hobbyist market. I have seen projects from Twittering chickens to home beer brewing kits being created using the Raspberry Pi and its accessories.”
Since the launch of the Raspberry Pi Board B element14 has released a series of exclusive accessories  that enable owners to build their collection with the addition of extra functionality and capabilities. These include:
- PiFace digital: Targeted at 11-16 year olds this new device stacks on top of the Raspberry Pi and connects it to physical devices such as lights, motors and sensors.
- Gertboard: The Gertboard is an add-on GPIO expansion board which allows Raspberry Pi users to connect to and control more advanced physical devices.
- WiPi - wirelessly connects the Raspberry Pi to a network.
- PiView - enables the direct connection of the Raspberry Pi to VGA monitors from the HDMI output.
Computing enthusiasts can expect to see a lot more from Raspberry Pi in 2013 and can purchase the minicomputer at Newark element14  in North America, Farnell element14  in Europe and element14  in Asia Pacific. The Raspberry Pi is also available through CPC  in the UK and MCM  in the United States.
Launched in June 2009, element14 is the first information portal, collaborative community and electronics store specifically built for electronic design engineers. The community recently unveiled its element14 knode , a unique automated platform that enables engineers to quickly research, design, develop and prototype in a single, intelligent environment. element14 is an innovative offering from Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), FTSE 250, a leader in multi-channel electronics distribution trading throughout Europe (Farnell), the Americas (Newark) and Asia Pacific (element14). The company had group sales of £973.9m and underlying profits of £104.6m last year.