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Raspberry Pi Model A Makes First Appearance 101

Posted by timothy
from the any-color-so-long-as-it's-arm dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It's easy to forget that the Raspberry Pi currently shipping is the more expensive model of the board. It is actually called the Model B as it sports more features than the $25 Model A. The main differences [compared to the B model] include a lack of an Ethernet port and the associated networking chip, as well as the presence of only one USB port instead of two. There was originally going to be less memory on the Model A (128MB instead of 256MB), but the Raspberry Pi Foundation managed to make enough cost savings during a redesign to increase the amount to 256MB on the cheaper version. With all the focus being on the Model B, we haven't actually seen the (near) final Model A board yet. But that changes today, as Eben Upton has just shown off the $25 board."
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Raspberry Pi Model A Makes First Appearance

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  • Re:POS (Score:5, Informative)

    by macemoneta (154740) on Friday July 06, 2012 @07:04PM (#40570811) Homepage

    This "crippled piece of shit" can, among thousands of other things, run XBMC and output 1080p video, turning and dumb TV into a smartTV. Not too shabby for $25.

  • Re:Interesting. (Score:5, Informative)

    by macemoneta (154740) on Friday July 06, 2012 @07:06PM (#40570859) Homepage

    My main issue with the device is that they crippled the openess to include something that no one in this target group actually wants - 1080p video.

    Unless you want to run XBMC, and turn a dumb TV into a smartTV for $25.

  • Re:English please? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nadaou (535365) on Friday July 06, 2012 @07:18PM (#40570989) Homepage

    > There are editors somewhere aren't there?

    No, generally not. This is a semi-automated crowd sourced news aggregation site not a tech news magazine. Spend some time at firehose.pl to understand how it works and how stories get voted onto the front page, typically more verbatim* than not.

    * if that made you cringe then comfort yourself in knowing that it was only a partially unique experience.

  • Re:Interesting. (Score:5, Informative)

    by sirsnork (530512) on Friday July 06, 2012 @07:19PM (#40571001)

    The schematics show that when the ethernet chip (also a USB hub) is missing there are two SMD resistors that connect the actual port up to the single USB pins on the main SOC. When the chip is present those resistors are left off and that port goes into the ethernet chip to give both ethernet connectivity and two additional USB ports.

    No idea what the white blob is, but it's not something required to make the USB port work.

    No idea why the CSI connector isn't attached, seemingly there is nothing stopping it working if the header is attached as it's completely supplied by the main SOC

  • by Vairon (17314) on Friday July 06, 2012 @08:46PM (#40571791)

    The Allwinner A10 has an incomplete 72 page summary of features that calls itself a datasheet [dropbox.com] compared to a fairly nice 205 page peripheral datasheet [raspberrypi.org] for the Broadcom BCM2835 SOC in the Raspberry Pi.

    The Allwinner A10, like the BCM2835, uses closed source proprietary libraries to access 3D features of its GPU. The MALI 400 GPU is being reverse engineered which is why there is a preliminary open source GPU driver [gitorious.org].

    The Allwinner A10 CPU/GPU are faster but less efficient and use more power than the Raspberry Pi's BCM2835.

    The Rhombus Allwinner A10 has no final cost yet unlike the Raspberry Pi. They are hoping to hit a $15 price point if they purchase 100,000 units. The Raspberry Pi is available today at $35 which was achieved with only an initial 10,000 units purchased.

  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Friday July 06, 2012 @08:51PM (#40571821) Homepage
    Seems like history repeating itself here. As Slashdotters may know, the "Model A" and "Model B" designations are a homage to the two original versions of the BBC Micro. [wikipedia.org] In that case (as Braben himself will be aware!), the more powerful Model B was by far the more popular of the two despite its higher cost. The "BBC B 32K" became the canonical version of the computer, with the Model A little more than a footnote.

    So is this the same situation we're seeing here?

    (just don't make an Electron version - even if it has Plus 1 and Plus 3 expansion modules like I had back in the day!)

    Yes... given that the Acorn Electron [wikipedia.org]- intended as a cut-down "home" version of the BBC Micro- was a flop (*) that led to Acorn being taken over, that would probably be A Bad Thing. Also, as far as I know, the Electron was pretty underpowered and needed those add-on modules for any "serious" expansion.

    (*) Sort of- apparently what happened was that there *was* quite high demand for it, but they had problems with the custom ULA chip and couldn't get enough out in time for Christmas. By the time they had the problem sorted out in the New Year, those potential customers had bought rival machines instead and Acorn were left with warehouses full of unsold Electrons.

  • Re:Vaporware (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlueLightning (442320) * on Saturday July 07, 2012 @05:38AM (#40574369) Homepage Journal

    Rubbish. Mine was one of the original orders and it has been fulfilled already. A friend also ordered well after the launch day and has received hers too.

    Next...

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