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back to article Raspberry Pi ship date slips

Raspberry Pi won't make it into buyers' hands before 20 February and perhaps not until the end of the month, the organisation behind the $25 microcomputer has admitted. The compact yet fully laden motherboard went into mass production early in January. The hope was the gadget would be available to buyers by now. Alas not. …

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Anonymous Coward

You forgot the datasheet news!

Also on the same blog post a link to a datasheet on the SoC! Probably one of, if not *the* first public datasheet ever produced by Broadcom!

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Anonymous Coward

But it's not complete and is full of typos.

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Full of typo's?

Really? I proof read it and thought I got most of them. 'Full of 'seems a little harsh. Still, there's a wiki page somewhere for you to log any issues, which will then be plugged back in to the original document. You will be contributing in this way I hope, rather than just commenting about the typos?

And it is complete from the Arm point of view. Nothing in it about the GPU, but that was never going to be released anyway.

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Joke

Will it be able to play

Duke Nukem Forever?

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A better question is would you want to?

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Trollface

Ought to be able to listen to the MP3 of Guns N' Roses' latest album, at least...

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Gold badge

Just go get an LPC1769. Does everything the raspberry pi does for about the same price. There's even a PCB to go with it. Teach em to solder too.

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No it doesn't you fibber

It's a microcontroller for a start, compared with a proper microprocessor with a GPU. It has 256KB flash, 64KB RAM, comapred with 256MB of RAM on the Pi. LPC runs a microcontroller RTOS, Pi runs Linux. LPC1769 120Mhz, Pi 700Mhz. Cost of LPC dev board around 100euro, Pi about 35euro.

Does the LPC do 1080p30 encode/decode? Does it have accelerated 2d/3d graphics. No.

So, before you go spouting off misinformation, try getting your facts right.

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Anonymous Coward

Could not have said it better....

...and add to the mix that it is British innovation !!

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Anonymous Coward

@ Giles... "Teach em to solder too"

Somebody should teach you how to tell the difference between your arse and your elbow.

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Facepalm

Ohh.. And I got an Arduino.. So I'll be chucking out my desktop any day now. .

Pratt or troll.. I'll leave it for others to decide.

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Really ?

From where I'm looking the base board (which gives USB, etherenet, dispaly i/o) starts at ~4 times the cost of the pi.

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1080p30 encode/decode?

As I understand it, the Pi will be licensed only for H.264/MP4 GPU support, so 1080p30 only for these codecs. The updated product blog makes no mention of encoding, only decoding. While we're getting our facts right, can anyone confirm whether the licence for H.264/MP4 includes encoding?

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GPU supports encoding...

I'm trying to find out whether it will be there as standard. I don't see why not, but there may be legal reasons to which I am not privy.

A few codecs that don't require licences will be there, WP8, for example, although I think that tops out at WVGA 30fps (runs on the GPU but doesn't have h/w acceleration)

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Encode information

H264 and MPEG4 encode will not be present. This is because of the increased licence fees required. - you have to licence encode and decode separately - strange but true. Blame MPEG-LA.

VP8 does not have an encode option on the GPU at this stage.

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Pirate

I'd be interested to know

if one could find another device with the same SoC, download its latest official firmware and rip the closed-source libraries for any other codecs from it.

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AIUI this is completely normal practice for video codecs. Decode is cheap and cheerful and encode costs actual money. It helps drive use of the codec by making it cheap to consume content. No one wants to pay to watch a video file, but people will pay for a lower-weight encoding.

Although technically a decode-only solution isn't a "codec" :)

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I assume x264 is an option ?

No hardware assisted encoding but I use it for 1080/50p encoding and it works well, if rather slowly, on anything less then top-notch kit. Playback on VDPAU/Nvidia assisted decode is excellent using ~5-10% cpu even on an old dual core AMD 64

There certainly have been ARM versions

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Pirate

Drink up me 'earties yo ho

".....and rip the closed-source libraries for any other codecs from it."

I can almost guarantee that this will happen... but then its up to the individual user to decide on the ethics of it !

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The open source for x264 ...

is readily available e.g.

ftp://ftp.videolan.org/pub/x264/snapshots/last_x264.tar.bz2

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Take it from someone who has to deal with them regularly...

The Chinese will promise you the moon on a stick if it means money in the bank and boards fabbed in their plant, "we've actually got all the parts in the warehouse already, and my brothers mate owns broadcom, and there are like 200 guys just sitting here doing nothing." When it comes to actually delivering the goods, that's a completely different matter.

I predicated this loudly to anyone who would listen when the raspberry pi folks had their little sob story about how they wanted it done in the UK, but there was no way of doing it economically outside china. I honestly don't think I've ever had anything back from china that wasn't significantly delayed and / or wrong.

India isn't great but they are much better.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh

Weird how so many companies keep choosing to manufacture in China. Must be masochists.

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Stop

Right but

A delay of a week or so isn't exactly the end of the world, is it? I mean maybe they can't speak for the quality yet (but maybe they can if some product has already come off the line) but otherwise it seems like a delay of a few days doesn't exactly invalidate their decision to pick China for the manufacturing.

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Anonymous Coward

It horses for courses

Or pay peanuts, get monkeys.

Like anywhere else, you can get good and bad stuff from China - you get what you pay for. In the Pi's case, they have chosen one of the better fabrication companies (as in one used by some of the majors), choosing to pay more rather than risk much badness. Even so there have still been minor delays.

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Bronze badge

You know.. I noticed the same thing. And I've bought lots of stuff that has so far resolutely failed to electrocute, poison, or otherwise damage me.

Still .. I'm sure the BNP are compiling a dossier of such crimes to show just how bad China is. Staying over there stealing jobs that were never ours to begin with.. Seducing their own women.. Eating their own food.. How dare they.

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@AC at 15:33

The RaspPi people didn't choose to manufacture in China, the UK government forced them to. They actually wanted to fab in the UK, but the import duties on the components meant that wasn't viable (taxes would have killed all profit) - so they had to go to China to get the fabbing done.

Is it any wonder that our economy is in the current mess then our own government is actively attacking local manufacturing?

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We have...

... always been at war with Eastasia.

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Anonymous Coward

No, its not weird. At the end of all the extra grief, there is extra profit to be made.

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"No, no, this is whole new chip, much better, for the same great price..."

... without mentioning that the new chip has no Linux driver support. Happy days.

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Anonymous Coward

The fine art of scapegoating

"The RaspPi people didn't choose to manufacture in China, the UK government forced them to. They actually wanted to fab in the UK, but the import duties on the components meant that wasn't viable (taxes would have killed all profit) - so they had to go to China to get the fabbing done."

I am not convinced. From figures in their own forum the total import tax or duty would have been less than 50p per board and it appears what UK board manufacturers wanted to charge made a far more significant difference in cost.

It may be convenient to blame the UK government but it looks disingenuous to me.

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Anonymous Coward

@Kristian Walsh - RTFA

It's the timing package, not an IC.

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Happy

s/masochists/cheapskate masochists/

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@AC 17:28

I know what the Raspberry Pi problem is, thanks. My post, like yours, was in reply to the poster who commented about the other side of this availability problem: silent component changes when you get stuff manufactured for you abroad.

I know of situations where an outsourced manufacturer has made major component changes silently, with the excuse that "Hey, [the new chip] runs fine on Windows", despite the fact that the old chip was specified precisely because it had Linux driver support where the new one didn't.

Or in another case, a particular component that was hard to find, but essential for the correct working of a system, was swapped for another one that didn't meet the specification, just so that the manufacturer didn't have to re-engage with the client.

As in any outsourcing, you gain low price at the expense of control and feedback.

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IT Angle

Preorders?

It's when and where I can preorder one that I'd like to know? The foundation shop still just has keyboard stickers available...

Icon: sod the angle, Where is IT?

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The foundation have repeatedly stated that they will not take pre-orders because they don't want to take people's money before they have a product read to ship.

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The foundation have repeatedly stated that they won't take pre-orders because they don't believe in taking people's money before they have something ready to ship.

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Thank you, I had not seen that.

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"admitted"

Spin much?

Announced, to the great excitement of their patient would-be customers.

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if only you could have crowbarred "and Alastair" into the subheading?

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Meh

Proof that you just can't please some people. The foundation has been incredibly open about this project right from the start, and notified every single problem they encountered. That in itself is unique, and highly instructive. Furthermore I very much doubt the people complaining here (and elsewhere) have the slightest intention of actually buying one.

I'm not in the 'I want NOW!' crowd. I'll wait and see then probably buy one and have a lot of fun with it.

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That's why you don't manufacture in China

Manufacturing in China is riddled with such problems and inflexibilities. I mean seriously, how hard can it be to produce such a device in Europe? Germany for example has tiny little companies around an SMT mounter which would happily build those things for you.

Alternatively you could have designed it in a way which could be sold as kit. Of course it wouldn't have such fancy graphics, but considering what you can do with such micro-controllers, that might not be an issue.

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WTF?

A kit?

Oh really? Have you actually looked at what is being built? Have you seen the size of the board? Do you seriously think the average D.I.Y.er can handle BGA devices? How about chip on chip assembly?

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True. There's not much point to a 35 quid computer if you have to buy a hot air reflow station in order to assemble it.

Still, I wouldn't have minded the excuse to buy a reflow station......

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Why not?

Why does it have to have BGA devices?

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@ Christian

"Why does it have to have BGA devices?"

The whole point of the Raspberry Pi is that it is based around a Broadcom SoC (system on chip) which is an ARM CPU with various peripherals and a Broadcom GPU (for graphics - video - etc) on one chip. That chip also requires its RAM to be mounted on the SoC package itself. As the Broadcom SoC is very fine pitch BGA and the POP (package on package) RAM is even more difficult to manufacture reliably you may as well use BGA for anything else you like.

The Broadcom SoC is designed for mobile phones and the like and is not normally available unless you have a serious business plan and are buying in serious quanties (100K+ per annum). However, it is very powerful and fantastically cheap if you are able to get hold of it, which is what the Raspberry Pi foundation have done. If you redesigned the Raspberry Pi to avoid the Broadcom SoC, I have no doubt that it would cost more. Like other boar.ds such as Beagleboard and Pandaboard.

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"Still, I wouldn't have minded the excuse to buy a reflow station......"

bah.... save yourself a few quid...

have a read of this... http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/59 I have used a induction hob and get 100% success rate in soldering surface mount and other small components for the pricely sum of £35...

the key is to improvise !!

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Anonymous Coward

It was a beautiful dream

As soon as I saw this mooted I thought 'you know what that's a fantastic idea' but it was blindingly obvious it was never gonna ship on time and I'll be amazed if it comes out at the price point they've been suggesting.

"They don't believe in taking peoples money before they have a product ready to ship" more like they've wetted peoples appetites for this product, but they won't take pre-orders so that when it slips late they can charge at the anxiously waiting souls an extra tenner for it

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It was a beautiful dream

How do you want those words served to you at the end of the month. Roasted, boiled, fried, or as a suppository?

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