Raspberry Pi, the credit card-sized, single-board computer, created quite a wave when it was first spoken about. We reported in early March about it being available for pre-order on the element14 site. While it faced several roadblocks in the form of shipping delays, production glitches, etc., the miniature computer never faced any dearth of love. Now, however, there seems to be some very good news coming our way. The initial restriction on the purchase of a Raspberry Pi – only one Raspberry Pi per customer was allowed owing to the high demand – has now been waived.

High demand!

No more purchase limit!

An official post on the Raspberry Pi site reveals that both of the company's manufacturing partners have been working towards increasing capacities to be able to lift the limit. The post reveals that at the moment 4,000 Raspberry Pis are being made every day, and that one can now buy as many Raspberry Pis as they want from both RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell. The move will be highly beneficial to those who had been considering using Raspberry Pis in schools and universities. The post adds, “… if you’ve been waiting for the Raspberry Pi to be in general delivery before you order, now’s the time to get your order in; it helps us to plan the supply chain efficiently if we have a bit of visibility of what’s down the road.”

The post quotes Jo from RS Components as saying, “We’re delighted to announce that RS and Allied are now taking general orders for Raspberry Pi. Orders can be placed by visiting http://pi.rsdelivers.com. This means that customers worldwide can now order multiple quantities of the Raspberry Pi Model B board, along with the associated accessories, including SD cards pre-loaded with the latest Raspberry Pi operating system and Raspberry Pi cases for safer storage. Customers will be provided with a forecast future delivery date when placing their order, and these orders will be fulfilled after all orders placed before 16th July have been shipped.”

The high demand for the Raspberry Pi's popularity is not understated. We recently carried a report about 700 units of the Raspberry Pi being sold every second – that’s a staggering number of devices. The official site – www.raspberrypi.org – has seen a lot of traffic over the past month and is partially down at present. The Raspberry Pi has gained popularity because of its simple design and affordable pricing of – $35 (roughly Rs.1,800 if converted to Indian Rupees).

The Raspberry Pi is incredibly compact and bundles a whole bunch of features. It’s powered by an ARM processor on a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC. It’s 700MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM and the Video 4 GPU allows the device to handle full HD video playback and even 40Mbps Blu-ray streams with ease. One of the two models has an Ethernet port and two USB ports, which means you can connect external drives and browse the web. It also has OpenGL support and is capable of some 3D rendering as well. There’s also space for some overclocking.

All in all, the device is pretty versatile and there are demos showing it playing the popular media centre software, XBMC, on it. There are also Linux variants being developed for the platform, so there’s a lot of potential for the device. There’s a way to get it in India as well – element14 will sell it to you for Rs.2,350, including the shipping. 

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