It is really quite bad not to stick to the same GPIO pin pitch, the position of other connectors I could forgive but getting the GPIO connector wrong is a real #fail.
I work in consumer electronics and when the RPi was first announced and I told colleagues about it they said "so what? that isn't very difficult to make.", but the product and the price are well positioned, not for consumers but for its target audience of education. It is cheap enough to donate, break, whatever and expensive enough to be useful. At the end of the day it is a good educational tool, the technology in it is nothing special.
Sanjib wrote: With the competition rising, can we expect the next version of Raspberry Pi sooner?
While there are many new boards out there that compete effectively with RasPi on the basis of computing power, I haven't seen one compute with RasPi on price. Model B is still very attractive at US$35, but don't forget that there's a Model A for US$25 and nobody is coming close to that price with RasPi's computing power. Model A has 256MB DRAM (like the early Model Bs) and only has a single USB port and no Ethernet. However, if you're going to be using RasPi in an embedded application that does not need Ethernet or multiple USB ports, you save money as well as power -- the LAN9512 chip uses quite a bit when it's running. Also, if you are using a USB WiFi dongle instead of wired Ethernet, you probably want an external hub anyway so Model A also wins in that application.
I don't expect to see a new RasPi any time soon. RasPi's purpose is to be "a GNU/Linux box for US$25" as their early Web site stated. They want RasPi to be so cheap that a student can buy one (or get one as a gift) and be able to explore without worrying about destroying an expensive piece of equipment. The reason it's so cheap is that the BCM2835 is a media processor with a fairly weak ARM11 processor. To replace it with an ARM Cortex-A drives the price way up and you can forget US$25.
Speaking of media processors, one of the most attractive features of RasPi is that it has a very powerful media engine, the VideoCore IV. This gives you 24 GFLOPS SIMD: a 1980's supercomputer on a chip instead of a room-full of racks. Broadcom recently published the architecture and instruction set for this, making all sorts of interesting graphical and non-graphical applications possible.
There is actually a new RasPi "Compute Module" coming out this summer. It's basically the BCM2835 SoC, 512MB PoP SDRAM (same as Modem B) and 4GB eMMC Flash on a SODIMM. But it's not going to save you any money -- it's reportedly US$30 quantity 100. I believe the Compute Module is intended for products that are developed using a Model A or Model B and need to be converted to product form as quickly and easily as possible. The SODIMM takes care of the high-density PCB so that a base board can be an inexpensive PCB.
With the competition rising, can we expect the nest version of Raspberry Pi sooner? I am sure all those features mentioned for Banana Pi could be met for the next version of Raspberry Pi. One clear differentiating uniqueness of Raspberry Pi compared to the Banana Pi is the processor & SDRAM PoP package on Raspberry Pi. Would that package still be maintained while providing more processing power & more memory? I guess, the PoP would have some limitations in terms of heat dissipation and that would limit the speed and memory. So, would that architecture change in "C" version?
If this trend continues and if the new guys are successful, many other Pi's could reach out to the enthusiasts. What is the way Raspberry Pi foundation could protect its IP and would it rather make much sense for Raspberry Pi org to try protecting it's IP where as others are making their little computers open source? I agree that the concept is taken from the popular Raspberry Pi and there should have been a mechanism for the Raspberry Pi to get credit for it by earning some share of profit from Banana Pi.
By the way, I got my Raspberry Pi just last week and loaded RASPBIAN today (joined the party late but hope to catch-up faster :)) ...already started enjoying it!!
One of the most important points about Raspberry Pi was that profits on sales went to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a non-profit promoting teaching of programming in schools.
Yes, this board out-performs RaspPi. This is no big deal, and not difficult to do. But all the profits go to its manufacturer, which has leveraged Raspberry Pi's reputation and technology to produce what in my view is a cynical knock-off. They even named it to imply a relationship with RaspPi - something that would, I believe, have had them in court in the UK for "passing off" on the Raspberry Pi trademark.
Please don't encourage this kind of exploitation. Don't buy it, and please do support the good work of the Raspberry Pi Foundation (with which I have no relationship, by the way) instead.
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