You might have heard of the Raspberry Pi computer—it’s a credit-card sized Linux machine starting at $25. There’s been some confusion recently over the release timeframe of the device and when it will be available to consumers, but there’s good news: the Raspberry Pi is coming out this month, it will cost $25 for the lower-end model, and you’re eligible to buy one.
The Pi runs on a 700MHz ARM11 CPU with either 128MB ($25) or 256MB ($35) of RAM and includes HDMI and USB 2.0 ports, audio and RCA video jacks, an SD card slot and a LAN controller. The Pi’s hardware is surprisingly capable; the GPU is reportedly able to handle Blu-Ray quality playback and includes support for OpenGL ES 2.0. The version being released this month will use a Debian or Fedora software stack with a more polished software package for educational use coming later this year, according to Eben Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
The misunderstanding surrounding the release date of the Pi stems from future plans for the device. The current iteration of the microcomputer is a development board, which ships as a bare circuit board without a case. The Foundation plans to release a cased version for educational use in Q3 of 2012. That version will come with a more user-friendly software stack and a collection of support materials. Raspberry Pi hopes to keep the cost of the educational version at the same $25/$35 price point if “[they] can possibly help it.”