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Raspberry Pi production shifts to the UK via Sony deal

The popular Raspberry Pi microcomputer is now being manufactured in the UK after a multi-million pound deal was established between tech titan Sony and Premier Farnell, the component specialist and electronics distributor helping to power production of the credit card-sized, single-board device.

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation's blog, the British enterprise is now largely back on home soil, having jettisoned its Chinese manufacturing facilities in favour of Sony's plant in Pencoed, South Wales.

The initial contract is set to push out some 30,000 Revision 2.0 Raspberry Pi devices every month, with around 30 new jobs expected to be created as a result of the deal, which is thought to have taken six months to hash out.

"The Raspberry Pi is a British enterprise, and as well as improving things in the computing industry's future here by educating kids, we wanted to improve things in the present too, by actually doing our manufacture here in the UK," wrote Liz Upton, wife of Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton and the non-profit organisation's sole full-time employee to date.

Apparently, native production of the Pi commenced in mid-August, with the first shipments of British-made computers going out at the beginning of this month with "Made in the UK" now emblazoned next to the power jack.

Previously, production had been based in the Far East, according to Upton, so that the Pi could maintain the ultra-competitive £25 price tag necessary to ensure the microcomputer is a realistic purchase for schools and educational enterprises.

"We had been unable to find a British manufacturer whose prices per unit – especially at a point where we were thinking of sales in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands you're seeing now – would work for us," she noted.

The latest, Rev2 iteration of Raspberry Pi is said to include tweaks to improve the way the device works, as well as some minor bug fixes.

For more on the microcomputer, head to James Morris' Raspberry Pi review.