The Rapberry Pi Foundation has begun manufacturing its eagerly awaited pocket-sized Linux-based micro in volume, with the first batch set to roll off the line by the end of the month.
The $25 (£16) machine has been created in the hope that it will inspire a new generation of technology whizz kids amid the current shortage of qualified technical experts.
Two versions of the gadget are in production. The Model B includes a 10/100Mb/s ethernet port and will be sold for around £23, while the smaller Model A comes without the network connecter and will sell for roughly £16.
The Pi uses an Arm chip similar to that found in mobile phones and is intended to run a version of the Linux open source operating system.
Raspberry Pi has been developed in Cambridgeshire and every update has been watched closely by those keen to get working with the gadget. Raspberry Pi took to its blog on 23 December to report that the first finished circuit boards had arrived.
Back in December, Liz Upton announced on the Raspberry Pi blog: "Once we're happy that this test run is fine, we'll be pushing the button immediately on full-scale manufacture in more than one factory."
Ms Upton continued to say that the first batch of 10 boards will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Raspberry Pi initially intended to finish its machine by the end of 2011. However, it said, delays in development meant it was now about three weeks behind schedule. No pre-orders have been taken because the organisation said it did not want to take anyone's cash without having something to hand over in return.
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