Raspberry Pi foundation celebrates millionth chip

By Danielle Middleton topicIcon Internet News

The millionth Raspberry Pi

The British made Raspberry Pi Foundation celebrates its millionth chip today since its move to the Sony Pencoed factory in South Wales last year.

The Pi has been hugely successful following its launch in February last year, and is set to become the best-selling British computer in 30 years with worldwide sales of 1.75m. Retailing at the rock-bottom price of £30, the Raspberry Pi is the tiny cheap computer designed with the purpose of revolutionising the way ICT is taught in schools.

Pis were originally manufactured in China until the foundation, a UK start-up, decided to bring production back to Britain and moved into the Sony factory where it has since produced one million Pis at a rate of 12,000 a day.

Coding for the under-6s

The foundation's mission is to transform the way children in the UK, and later around the world, are taught computer science; schools in Africa have already started to use the low cost computer. This aim has brought the Pi foundation to the forefront of the debate to make drastic changes to the ICT curriculum, and commit to bringing coding into schools by next September for children from the age of five.

In support of the venture, Google donated $1m (£622,278) to the foundation that would provide 15,000 Pis to children.

Eben Upton, Founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation said: "I remember being told this was an unsaleable product, but we've already surpassed the sales of the BBC Micro - my childhood computer. There was a latent need for something like this."

To further advance the project, Dr Sam Aaron from the Cambridge University Computing Lab has developed a programme called Sonic Pi. This helps young people discover the creative process behind coding as they use the micro computer to type lines of code to make music.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword said: "This is an incredible opportunity for schools who take this on. The UK has a problem at the moment with a lack of adequately trained developers and people who are generally able to write code.

"Companies such as Google and Facebook have been picking up on this a lot in recent years as they've been trying to hire young talent for their UK bases and it's just not here. Helping the next generation in this way is essential for getting us out of this rut."