In what is described as the next phase in the development of the Raspberry Pi Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, said: “We are expecting to produce 3miilion boards this year and this deal will enable our customers to customise the Raspberry Pi for a particular design.
“Around 1m Raspberry Pis are already being used in industrial or embedded applications and this announcement comes in response to customer requests. We believe it will enable OEMs and, more importantly, SMEs to produce industrial grade products while avoiding the need for the large volumes usually associated with cost efficiencies.”
According to Richard Curtin, senior director, strategic alliance, at element14:“We will be able to support OEMs through every step of the design process from concept right through to the manufacture of the final boards.
“Customers from the engineering and maker markets will have access to more than 200 engineers through our in-house technology businesses AVD and Embest Technologies.
“This agreement opens up the opportunity for customers to customise the Raspberry Pi technology platform to better suit specific applications across a wide range of industries – from the Internet of Things to industrial and end customer devices. We think we will be able to address the needs of a large number of verticals.”
According to element14, the ability to reconfigure the board layout will enable designers to add additional functionality, redesign interfaces allowing the board to connect to other equipment and change the board and memory configuration.
“As these will be bespoke designs, it is envisaged that order quantities will start in the region of 3000 to 5000,” Curtin said, “but it will depend on the nature of the customisation required.”
Reaction to the announcement has generally been positive, although some concerns have been expressed at the minimum order level, which may put the service beyond the reach of smaller businesses.
The announcement also comes after Intel recently announced the release of the Arduino 101 - a stripped-back computer that is likely to go on sale next year.