Oct 282013
 

Article from Tcat Houser editor-in-chief of TRCBNews.com.

You might not have noticed that the $35 computer, Raspberry Pi has exceeded 1 million units shipped. Further, they have production volumes cranked up to the point where you can order more than one unit.

In early March this year Raspberry Pi signed a deal with Sony to move a large part of the manufacturing process to the United Kingdom. This decision was based on high demand in the UK and Europe for the unit and the relative technical expertise of UK production processes.

“In June we scheduled 204 units per week. By July that had climbed to 10,000 units per week – this month we will achieve 38,000 output per week, and this is just the beginning,” said Gerald Kelly, the General Manager of Sony’s Pencoed plant.

Since the production process moved to UK manufacturing the numbers produced in the UK alone have risen to 40,000. This means in quantifiable terms the UK now produces more than the Chinese facility – impressive stuff. As a result shipments have now exceeded the 500,000 mark but with production ramping up so quickly 1 million units shipped is a landmark expected to be achieved in July.

Source http://www.eteknix.com/




That a great news for this small hardware also if contrary to popular belief, the hardware does not fit in Altoid can. :(

However there are some very cool accessories which include some low-cost plastic cases. The organization is finishing up a standardized case for the educational market.

Adafruit Pi Box

Adafruit Pi Box from adafruit.com

Also if you fancy to have a webcam or an hardware able to do video you could check the Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Module

Pi NoIR

From adafruit.com

The Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Module is a custom designed add-on for Raspberry Pi that does not have an ‘IR cut filter’ installed. Like the regular Pi camera, it attaches to Raspberry Pi by way of one of the two small sockets on the board upper surface. This interface uses the dedicated CSI interface, which was designed especially for interfacing to cameras and is capable of extremely high data rates, and it exclusively carries pixel data

I was looking at OS installation options and noticed they have created a boot loader that let you have more than one OS installed. One of the options include, XBMC which I only recently discovered as an amazingly diverse community supported multimedia galaxy. If not universe.

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the latest Ubuntu is ported over to these SoC ‘s(System on Chip) is moved over for easy installation.

Did you notice the small ‘s’ after SoC? Yes there are plural systems out there. Even Intel is getting into the act with the MinnowBoard. This is an entire open platform based on the aging Atom CPU, however is married to a slightly stripped down version of the Ivy Bridge (third-generation iCore) chipset.

Intel’s entry is not geared for the hobbyist. The open source design of the hardware platform allows designing around the x86 hardware platform, effectively giving ARM a run for the money.

Manufacturers will be happy because the reference system is rated for industrial use. In human that translates to operating in temperatures neither you or I could, for upwards of 10 years.

Intel is not the only competitor that is shipping

The A13-OlinuXino-WiFi https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/A13/A13-OLinuXino-WIFI/open-source-hardware is also shipping.

Think of it as a Raspberry Pi only with a more powerful CPU, built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and a real-time clock. Yes it runs Android and supports an SD card for booting Linux images.

Also unlike Raspberry Pi, it supports VGA out in addition to HDMI, and the LCD signals are still available if you disable VGA or HDMI.

On November 1 the firm ships its version of the Arduino!
http://olimex.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/look-mom-i-shrink-the-arduino/

We love to play with Arduino and like it very much but one thing have always bothered us – it’s HUGE.
What you do when you want to make small data logger, RF/Zigbee baecon, sensor network, something wearable etc? use this BRICK? No way.

This is how the idea for OLIMEXINO-NANO came.

We made complete Arduino replacement with size of only 30x30x8 mm

nano-front

 

Conclusions

The “open hardware” market it’s more live than ever and this is really a great news IMO, I still think on partial to a Raspberry Pi in my Christmas stocking.

And if this might not be for you there is a huge variety of SoC projects out there. Just take a look at wikipedia at the page: List of single-board computers

PS: Still searching for an hardware in an Altoid can ?




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  One Response to “Open Source Is Useless – Without Hardware”

  1. How is any of this open hardware?

    Aaron Seigo spoke about open hardware on one of his blogcasts. Maybe you could do an interview.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_hardware

    http://www.muktware.com/2013/10/motorola-announces-project-ara-modular-smartphone-open-hardware-platform/15297

    http://opensourceecology.org/

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