The $25 Computer’s First Batch Is In Beta

The $25 Raspberry Pi computer (which can run Quake III) is still on track for production next year, and they’ve released pictures (after the break) of their first batch of beta devices. The only difference between the boards seen above — which are the exact same length and width as a credit card — and the finished product is that the ones above have their GPIO pins soldered on to aid in testing them. I’m going to pretend I understand what GPIO pins do because journalism.

The computer plugs into any TV with an HDMI output and has enough graphics power to display 1080p videos. It has a 700MHz ARM11 processor and 128MB of SDRAM (fuller specs here). SAI interviewed Eben Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and found out the foundation plans on remaining a not-for-profit endeavor and open-sourcing the computer so that any company can mass produce the cheap computers for the developing world and for schools. They estimate they have an upper limit of around 100,000 computers they’d be able to produce in a year (in batches of 10,000), so they want others to be able to produce more of them if needed.

Upton also said the multimedia performance of the computer is “substantially better” than the Tegra 3 chip (used in smartphones) and that the only smartphone with a performance equal to the $25 computer is the Samsung Galaxy S II, which costs just a tad bit more than $25. Just a smidge.

[Sources: Raspberry Pi Foundation (1, 2), SAI]