A million little computers: Factory turns out millionth Raspberry Pi

Sony factory in Pencoed, Wales hits million-Pi landmark.

One million Raspberry Pi mini-computers have been built at an advanced factory located in the Welsh town of Pencoed by Premier Farnell and RS Components, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced today.

Initial production of the bare-bones system boards – designed for embedded use and as a low-cost educational tool – took place mostly in China, but the foundation’s hardware partners began to shift operations to the Sony-run Pencoed facility 13 months ago. (A distinct model made by Egoman – distinguished by its red-colored circuit board – is still manufactured in and sold exclusively to the Chinese market.)

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“For the last few months, all the Pis you buy have been made in the U.K.,” wrote spokeswoman Liz Upton.

The Pencoed facility recently won several Best Factory awards from the manufacturing publication Works Management, and the foundation was quick to credit Sony U.K.’s skilled workforce, attention to detail and environmental awareness.

Raspberry Pi

Credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation

In total, according to the foundation, more than 1.75 million Raspberry Pi units have been put into circulation since the initial release in February 2012, not including Egoman’s red models. Raspberry Pis have since been used as media centers, minecraft rigs, hacking tools and even lashed together into a parallel supercomputer.

But the foundation has kept the focus on the Raspberry Pi’s primary function of education – earlier this month, the group launched a massively open online course or MOOC, in partnership with the Cambridge University Press and the U.K.’s OCR examination board. The free Cambridge GCSE Computing Online class will prepare students and teachers for the British government’s recently instituted computer science requirements.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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