LONDON — element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts and a part of global electronics distributor Premier Farnell [LON:PFL], today announced its continued partnership with Raspberry Pi with the launch of a new 512MB board version of the revolutionary, credit-card sized computer. Now with double the RAM, the new higher performance Raspberry Pi 512MB board is suited to multimedia, high-memory and mobile applications. The additional memory is also an enabler to allow the Raspberry Pi to run a future version of an Android 4.0 operating system.
The 512MB Raspberry Pi board is being manufactured for element14 in the UK by Sony UKTec, as part of the multi-million pound manufacturing deal, which was announced last month. element14 has global stock of the Raspberry PI 512MB board available now on a first come first served basis through its brands Farnell element14 in Europe, Newark element14 in North America and element14 in Asia Pacific, as well as through subsidiaries CPC in the UK and MCM Electronics in the US.
Mike Buffham, Global Head of EDE for Premier Farnell said: “We have been amazed at just how successful the first generation Raspberry Pi board has been, now the new version will open up even more possibilities. The extra memory also enables higher performance applications and services — there is real potential to do things like add a touchscreen, then a power back and suddenly the Pi becomes mobile.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing what people will do with the new device and would encourage everyone to join our element14 Community which is packed with conversations, debate and knowledge sharing by thousands of enthusiastic developers and first-time programmers keen to get the most from their Raspberry Pi.”
The launch of the first Raspberry Pi board generated worldwide excitement and stimulated an interest in programming and computing from engineers through to school children and teachers.
“The success of the first board has been outstanding and we’ve loved seeing some of the innovative applications and uses that people have been sharing,” said Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. “The next generation device opens up new possibilities, and can help open up the vast potential developer community. We’re already seeing people starting to develop their own applications and use the Raspberry Pi in ways we would have never thought possible.
Costing $35, the same as the previous board, the Raspberry Pi 512MB will initially be sold in one uncased configuration – which has two USB ports, 512MB of RAM, HDMI port, SD memory card slot and an Ethernet port. With 512MB of RAM, the faster, more rapidly accessible memory can be used to create a more effective multimedia performance. It also means that both CPU and GPU both now have sufficient RAM to function optimally. Previously users may have found themselves having to alter the memory allocation CPU / GPU when they needed to swap between playing multimedia and ensuring the CPU still had enough RAM to work efficiently. Having more memory means users can now easily set the memory allocation to a level which means they can use multimedia at will and still have plenty of RAM to run other processes powered by the CPU.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity formed and supported by influential computing minds and businesses. It believes in the need for more developers to understand what truly goes on ‘under the hood’ of a computing device and is convinced there is a need to rely less on development tools and power hungry layers of code. The element14 Community has been supporting design engineers for over three years and offers organic support, expert advice and information to all members and a platform to share ideas and examples freely.
Members of the element14 Community can join the discussions and share ideas and plans for the Raspberry Pi in the Raspberry Pi Group. Since launch over 7,000 element14 Community members have joined the group from all over the world.
The new Raspberry Pi 512MB board along with a range of exclusive new Raspberry Pi accessories will be demonstrated by element14 at Electronica in Munich from 13-16 November.
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.