The educational and hobbyist gizmo du jour adds extra memory, but doesn’t hike the price
The Raspberry Pi model B — a cheap, customizable Linux computer the size of a pack of cigarettes — now boasts 512MB of RAM, for the same price as before, according to the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
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The model B, which costs $35 plus shipping, used to have 256MB of RAM, but founder and trustee Eben Upton said in an official blog post that the foundation was consistently receiving requests for more.
“One of the most common suggestions we’ve heard since launch is that we should produce a more expensive ‘Model C’ version of Raspberry Pi with extra RAM. This would be useful for people who want to use the Pi as a general-purpose computer, with multiple large applications running concurrently, and would enable some interesting embedded use cases (particularly using Java) which are slightly too heavyweight to fit comfortably in 256MB,” he wrote.
However, given that the foundation was unwilling to go above its $35 price point, Upton said, the decision was made to simply double the device’s RAM without charging the consumer. Users with an outstanding order for a 256MB model should receive a 512MB model instead, he noted, and the foundation has released a firmware upgrade to allow access to the additional memory.
Given the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission to promote hobbyist programming and increase educational opportunities for budding programmers, it’s not necessarily a surprise to see the price remain the same despite the extra capacity. If the gadget was a commercial venture, a more-expensive “C” model — as outlined by Upton — would be the more likely outcome.