Skip to main content

1.75m Raspberry Pi computers sold across the globe, 1m made in UK

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the production of the millionth British made Raspberry Pi computer, designed for use in schools to teach coding.

The first Raspberry Pi prototype was created in 2006 by a team based in University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory, who were concerned by the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skills levels of the A Level students applying for Computer Science courses at the university.

Costing just £32, the stripped back computer which looks like a small circuit board and consist of no more than a motherboard, the Raspberry Pi became a worldwide phenomenon, being snapped up by computer enthusiasts as fast as schools across the world.

Now 1.75 million devices have been sold. In 2011, production was transferred to China for a brief time before gradually moving back to the UK from September 2012.

As of the middle of this year, all Raspberry Pis are now produced in Sony's Pencoed factory, South Wales by the Foundation's manufacturing partners RS Components and Premier Farnell, where up to 12,000 devices are made a day.

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

A huge number of uses have now been applied to the computers with a wide range of codecs and software developed. One of the more recent creations has been Sonic Pi, developed by Dr Sam Aaron, from the Cambridge University Computing Lab, which uses the tiny machine to make music.