This week sees the start of sales for the $25 Model A version of the Raspberry Pi microcomputer here in the United States. It’s not the first Raspberry Pi we’ve seen; the slightly more expensive Model B version of the board went on sale last year. It’s this new model that many have been waiting for, however, offering anyone the chance to experiment with tiny programs on tiny computers for less than $30.
Both versions of the computer run a Broadcom BCM2835 system-on-chip, or SoC. That includes an ARM11 core running at 700Mhz, as well as a Videocore 4 GPU capable of decoding “Blu-ray quality” video of H.264 files at 40Mbps. They both measure just under 86mm by 56mm, and weigh only 45g. The Model A cuts a few extra corners in order to make its $25 budget, moving from 512MB RAM to just 256MB, dropping the two USB ports to just one, and does not feature an Ethernet port (or any sort of network connectivity).
That makes the Model A board perfect for uses where network connectivity is not required, such as standalone interfaces, supplying the computing power for automation, running a little robot, etc. The $25 computer when on sale earlier this year in Europe and Asia, not long after the Model B revision (which launched last year) sold its one millionth device in January.