The Raspberry Pi, often called the R-Pi, is a single-board computer which can run Linux. The R-Pi is made by The Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charitable organization which aims to provide children with low-budget computers so that they will be interested in computer science and related topics. To reach that goal, they first want to appeal hobbyists, casual developers and home users so that they can help further development of the platform’s software base and documentation.
The Raspberry Pi is available in two models, Model A and Model B, which cost respectively 20 and 28 euro. The main difference between the two is that model B has an onboard rj45 Ethernet connector, 256MiB instead of the 128MiB which comes with model A. For other differences, see the specification-table below.
As you can see the R-Pi is capable to display 1080p video through HDMI, which was proven with the h.264 Inglorious Bastards trailer which they played for a couple of hours in a loop. One thing to add: the SoC can’t transcode 1080p30 in real time but it could probably transcode 720p30, but we’ll try it out and post it here as soon as we get one (or both) the models in our hands.
The R-Pi can be used like a normal pc, with of course the hardware limitations that is. There is a YouTube-video demonstrating the R-Pi running Quake III. You can run a lot of basic things on it like a LAMP-server or an IRC-server.
We here at hexample were thinking of running a Minecraft-server on the R-Pi with a lightweight javaVM or to use it for domestic purposes. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
The hottest topic the past month(s) was when will it be released? Well initially it would be released by the end of November, then it was postponed until the end of December, now the current release-date is at the end of January. The first batch of boards are being auctioned at eBay.