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It looks like the Raspberry Pi Foundation is actually Broadcom. There's a Broadcom logo on their board, and this Eben Upton fellow appears to work for Broadcom: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ebenupton

My hunch is that they'll hit the low price point by selling it at a loss, with the expectation that it will be worth it in the long run as a marketing effort for Broadcom. That seems a little skeezy to me.

On the other hand, there could be a lot worse marketing efforts than flooding schools with cheap Linux boards.

[Edit: see response below from liz_upton, who convinces me I'm wrong. I do still think it's weird that they're "having a hell of a time" distinguishing themselves from Broadcom, but haven't tried removing the Broadcom logo from their product yet. If I were really a conspiracy theorist, I would point out the Broadcom logo is a sinc function, and the integral of sinc is pi. But that would be crazy!]

The Raspberry Pi foundation is not Broadcom - we're having a hell of a time getting that message out. We're an independent charity.

Our director does work for Broadcom, which meant that we were able to get a foot in the door to discuss buying chips from them in much smaller numbers than they're usually prepared to sell people (their normal sales to a single customer are in the tens of millions range) once we'd explained the aims of the charity. They did allow to use their parts library to make the alpha boards which you can see in the video. Outside that, we're not receiving any other help from them (we source all our own parts for the final boards). All of us have day jobs and are doing all our Raspberry Pi work on a volunteer basis because we believe it's a project that can make a real difference. (I'm volunteering full-time - I'm freelance, so I've been able to put other work aside for at least the rest of the year.)

We're not selling at a loss. This isn't a Broadcom marketing exercise. Our relationship with Broadcom is one of customer/supplier - and that's it.

That's a reasonable explanation-- I'll take you at your word here. Thanks for your efforts to push Linux in education.

Would you consider open sourcing your design, so the rest of the community could build on your efforts?

There's no point - the SoC is not available to the general public. You cannot build this board, you can only buy it.

There is a lot to be learned from the design, even if you can't buy the SoC. Other chips may be compatible with existing footprints, and you could build extra features onto the current design.

Additionally, having a schematic would make OS development a lot easier. The information can be obtained from the currently published source code, or at $25 it would be cheap to sacrifice one to a hot-air gun and generate some schematics.

There is always a point, even if it isn't immediately obvious. People are curious and inventive and wonderful - they will surprise you! Just because you can't see somebody immediately being able to build this board, doesn't mean that the knowledge your work contains isn't useful, or won't be useful in the future.

Besides, you have no reason not to. Couldn't hurt, right? And it would make the open hardware community promote you even more.

Please seriously consider doing this. :)

thanks for clearing that up for us. hate it when people speculate wildly.

That seems a little skeezy to me

Since when has it been wrong to promote your product by taking a loss?

I think loss leaders are fine. The skeezy part, to my mind, is a company representing themselves as an educational foundation.

However, liz_upton claims that they really aren't part of Broadcom, despite the logo on the board. If they're really just a bunch of volunteers supporting Linux in education, they have my support 100%.

Is the broadcom chip the only component not publicly available? I hope you're able to also reduce the Rascal Micro price to at least the same range.

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