$25 Raspberry Pi Credit Card-Sized PC Available by the End of February

Having finally overcome a component shortage, the manufacturer is almost ready

Looks like people won't have to wait much longer for the arrival of the Raspberry Pi credit-card sized computer, in the United Kingdom at least.

The super-cheap and very small device invented by the Raspberry Pi Foundation (and bearing the same name) is almost ready to ship.

It used to be scheduled for January, 2012 (last month), but the company was unable to make enough of the things, due to shortage of certain quartz crystals.

After finally getting a supply of such crystals, which are easy to find in the UK, but not in China (where the item is made), production sped up substantially.

Now, the foundation says that it should be done building the things by February 20, at which point it will send out shipments, to the UK anyway.

“We’ll be airfreighting them to the UK immediately, so you should be able to buy them before the end of the month,” says this update.

For those that need a reminder, the Raspberry Pi is a very small computer that relies on a system-on-chip (SoC) called BCM2835.

An ARM processor with a clock speed of 700 MHz is the centerpiece and is backed up by 128 or 256MB RAM.

The Pi also possessed an SD card slot, RCA and HDMI ports and a 5V Micro USB connector, for power. The full list of hardware details is found on this PDF.

It is unclear how close to the original price goal ($25 / 19.07 Euro / 15.82 pounds) the foundation will manage to stick.

That said, there will no doubt be skeptics wondering how worthwhile this miniature PC can be, even if it can turn any HDTV into a SMART TV.

Fortunately, there is a way to get a clear answer to that dilemma: the Raspberry Pi was found to be much better than both the iPhone 4S and the NVIDIA Tegra 2 tablet platform in terms of graphics/video support.

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