Since its launch, in February 2012, the Raspberry Pi has been one of the hottest electronic products on the market, with element14 selling over 500,000 across the world in that time. While the new board, has a few slight differences with only 256MB of RAM included as standard, no Ethernet connection and only one USB port, it does use considerably less energy – quite a feat for such a powerful credit-card sized computer.
The launch of Raspberry Pi last year was seen as a huge opportunity to fill the gap left by the demise of computer programming courses in education, and the increase in ready to use PC’s, laptops and tablets. As such demand for the Model A board is anticipated to be from those making industrial control modules, from roboticists, automation, and significantly, to use the Pi as a very cheap media centre.
In recent weeks element14 has launched two exclusive accessories to support the development of new applications and uses: The Gertboard, a flexible experimenter board that connects the Raspberry Pi out to the physical world, and PiFace, which allows the user to sense and control the real world. Both are available to buy to supplement activity on the Raspberry Pi and can be used with the Model A and Model B boards.
Claire Doyle, Global Head of Raspberry Pi at element14, said: “The Model A board is the next item in the Raspberry Pi range to be manufactured exclusively in Wales by Sony in partnership with element14. Being a part of the Raspberry Pi revolution is something we are very proud of as computer science and programming skills are key to ensure future generations of design engineers.”
The Model A board costs $25 (£15.95) plus tax and shipping, and is available today through Farnell element14 in Europe and CPC in the UK and Ireland. Further countries will be added in the coming weeks.