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Nov 25, 2011

ARM Computer Is Credit Card-Sized, Plays 1080p Video and Runs Linux

It might not exactly be quite as small as the idea originally intended, but the Raspberry Pi will probably make jaws drop regardless. 

The idea used to be for a flash drive-sized computer, but the concept has since evolved, somewhat grown in size, but not by much.

Besides, when someone sees something this small, the first assumption will definitely not be that the critter is capable of playing full HD media.

It turns out that the Raspberry Pi can definitely accomplish that, thanks to its hardware and the Linux operating system.

The target price mostly dictated how many features were possible to cram into the device.

Still, for something that will ship for $25 (18.77 Euro), the Raspberry Pi delivers a lot.

A Broadcom BCM2835 media processor, based on an ARM11 core, will handle things, along with a Broadcom GPU core, DSP core and support for Package-on-Package (PoP) RAM.

Speaking of RAM, 128 MB SDRAM are present so, ultimately, when plugged into a television set, the small gadget can play H.264 1080p30 videos.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is going to launch a slightly stronger model as well, with 256 RAM and a price of $35 (26.28 Euro).

We actually spotted this Raspberry project way back in May, when it was still at the size of a USB stick.

Originally, the plan was to have it distributed for free, which may still happen if schools and such buy them out of their own budget and then place them at the disposal of students.

On that note, even with the small physical size, the ARM computer has a memory card slot (SD/MMC/SDIO support), one USB 2.0 port, Composite and HDMI video outputs, OpenGL ES 2.0 support and various other interfaces via the 1.27 mm pin-stip.

Finally, the Iceweasel, Koffice and Python open software products will be available on it, along with support for various expansion boards.


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