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U.K. Charity Preps $25-$35 PCs For Early 2012 Launch

U.K. Charity Preps $25-$35 PCs For Early 2012 Launch
By Mark Long

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Don't be fooled by the device's tiny footprint and low cost. Raspberry Pi is fully capable of rendering Blu-ray-quality, 1080p video playback. What's more, the Raspberry Pi integrates the requisite hardware-accelerated graphics capabilities for supporting imaging, a camcorder, streaming media and 3D gaming.
 

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Raspberry Pi
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Broadcom


(Page 2 of 2)

The Raspberry Pi will initially ship without a case, though the U.K. charity expects to offer one later on. The 5-volt power supply, which connects to the board via the USB port, will be sold separately.

An Opportunity For Hobbyists

The Raspberry Pi is also expected to provide adult hobbyists with a basic platform for experimentation even as ARM chip architectures make forays over time through the sheer weight of the diversity of the chip ecosystems being designed today, noted Al Hilwa, director of applications software at IDC.

"As systems trend towards further miniaturization, they will inevitably grow lower in cost," Hilwa said. "It is not inconceivable to have PC functionality shift to phone CPUs as these chips ramp up in cores and gigahertz, but this scenario is at least five years away from mainstreaming."

In the meantime, Hilwa believes there will likely be a renaissance for Linux systems such as the ArchLinux, Debian and Fedora distributions of ARM GNU/Linux that will be supplied for the Raspberry Pi at the outset.

This will especially be the case "for hobbyists who will be increasingly cut out of mainstream platforms because of their tight control through app stores and restricted programming models," Hilwa said.

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