Raspberry Pi Foundation
|Founder||David Braben, Jack Lang, Pete Lomas, Alan Mycroft, Robert Mullins, Eben Upton|
|Headquarters||Cambridge, United Kingdom|
|Board of trustees|
|Mission||"To further the advancement of education of adults and children, particularly in the field of computers, computer science and related subjects."|
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity founded in 2009 to promote the study of basic computer science in schools, and is responsible for developing a single-board computer called the Raspberry Pi, the UK's best-selling PC of all time.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charitable organization registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. The board of trustees was assembled by 2008 and the Raspberry Pi Foundation was founded as a registered charity in May 2009 in Caldecote, Cambridgeshire, UK. The Foundation is supported by the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Broadcom. Its aim is to "promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing." Project co-founder Eben Upton is a former academic, currently employed by Broadcom as a system-on-chip architect and associate technical director. Components, albeit in small numbers, were able to be sourced from suppliers, due to the charitable status of the organization.
When the declining of numbers and skills of students applying for Computer Science became a concern for a team that included Eben Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory in 2006, a need for a tiny and affordable computer came to their minds. Several versions of the early Raspberry Pi prototypes were designed but were very limited by the high cost and low power processors for mobile devices at that time.
In 2008, the team started a collaboration with Pete Lomas, MD of Norcott Technologies and David Braben, the co-author of the seminal BBC micro game Elite, and formed the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Three years later, the Raspberry Pi Model B was born and it had sold over two million units within in two years of mass production.
Founders and current leadership
The original founders of the organization includes
- Eben Upton
- Rob Mullins: a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge
- Jack Lang: an affiliated Lecturer at the Computer Laboratory and the founder of Electronic Share Information Ltd
- Alan Mycroft: professor of Computing in the Computer Laboratory and co-founded the European Association for Programming Languages and Systems
- Pete Lomas: director of Engineering at Norcott Technologies
- David Braben: CEO of Frontier Developments and co-writer of the seminal Elite
The organization is made of two parts. The engineering and trading activities are overseen by Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd and its founder and CEO Eben Upton. Lance Howarth took over the charitable and educational part from Eben and became the Foundation CEO in 2013.
As of 31 December 2015, the foundation has 7 Trustees:
- Jack Lang (trustee and company secretary)
- David Braben
- David Cleevely (Chairman)
- Sherry Coutu (angel investor, Canadian but now Cambridge-based)
- Louis Glass (corporate lawyer; partner at Olswang)
- Pete Lomas
- Chris Mairs (chief scientist at Metaswitch Networks)
The Foundation expected that children would program using Scratch and that the input/output functionality would be used to control external devices. Additionally, the low power requirement facilitates battery-powered usage in robots, while the video capabilities have led to interest in use as a home media centre.
In April 2014, the foundation announced a £1 million education fund to support projects that enhance the understanding of computing and to promote the use of technology in other subjects, particularly STEM and creative arts for children. They offer to provide up to 50% of the total projected costs to successful applicants.
In October 2011, the logo was selected from a number submitted from open competition. A shortlist of six was drawn up, with the final judging taking several days. The chosen design was based on a buckyball.
In 2011, the Raspberry Pi Foundation developed a single-board computer named the Raspberry Pi. The Foundation's goal was to offer two versions, priced at US$25 and $35 (plus local taxes). The Foundation started accepting orders for the higher priced model on 29 February 2012. The Raspberry Pi is intended to stimulate the teaching of computer science in schools.
Raspberry Pi Zero
In 2015 the foundation unveiled the Raspberry Pi Zero. This little machine cut the form factor of the Raspberry pi in half and reduced the price by a factor of five. For $5 you get a 1Ghz, Single-core CPU, 512MB RAM, Mini HDMI and USB ports, Micro USB power, HAT-compatible 40-pin header as well as Composite video and reset headers . Much like the original Raspberry Pi the zero's release pushed the limits of computer affordability. As a fully functioning Linux system the Raspberry Pi Zero's 1 GHz processor is comparable to the middle of the road for the Intel Pentium 3 architecture (450 MHz to 1.4 GHz), a standard in 2000. This low price and minimal form factor promises to inspire embedded electronics in all manner of consumer products.
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