Raspberry Pi manufacture relocates to UK from China

By Peter Gothard
10 Sep 2012 View Comments
rpi-rev2

The Raspberry Pi, a charity-funded pocket-sized computer that costs in the region of £20, will now be manufactured in the UK, its creators have announced.

The Rev 2, which will cost £16 and £22 for the Model A or ISDN port-equipped Model B respectively, is being assembled at Sony's UK manufacturing plant in Pencoed, South Wales.

Further reading

The Raspberry Foundation approached Sony back in April to seal the deal.

Foundation founder Eben Upton said: "It's amazing - particularly as it's South Wales.

"I have family down there, and can still remember when I was a kid that there were factories everywhere. It's nice to feel we can still compete, that we can still build stuff here, and at a very competitive price and at a competitive quality."

While seeking alternatives to the Shenzen, China facilities where the first wave of Raspberry Pis were manufactured, Upton was surprised to find Sony was a viable UK possibility.

"I hadn't actually realised until we got involved with Sony, but they have quite a large contract manufacture business in addition to building Sony hardware, so they'll build other people's hardware on Sony lines, alongside Sony products," said Upton.

Containing "comfortable lighting, ergonomic workspaces, cool air and relaxed staff," as the Foundation writes on its blog, the Sony Pencoed plant also, importantly, has taken on the "huge task", of ethically sourcing components to ecological standards.

This has previously been the work of UK distributors RS Components and Premier Farnell, who have already been struggling to keep up with huge demand for the product.

30,000 boards per month will be produced in Pencoed, creating 30 new UK jobs. Rev 2 boards carry the legend "Made in the UK" just next to the power socket on the Raspberry Pi board.

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