Raspberry PI minicomputer release delayed by faulty assembly

Posted on 9 Mar 2012

Sales of the UK-manufactured minicomputer Raspberry PI are to be delayed, due to a hardware parts substitution accident in the Leeds factory.

A spokesperson for the manufacturer, Liz Upton, released a statement on the company blog detailing the problem: “Where we’d specified jacks with integrated magnetics in the BOM and schematics, the factory soldered in non-magnetic jacks. No magnetics means no network connection.”

She added: “We’ve known about this for four days now, but we haven’t been able to tell you about it because it meant we had to do some further tests to make sure that nothing else was affected.”

The minicomputer costs just £22, and is capable of an impressive number of things a regular PC processor is. Because of the small size of the Raspberry Pi (its board is about the size of a credit card) the designers included an Ethernet jack with integrated components that filter out electromagnetic noise. Modern high-speed network equipment can be sensitive to this noise.

Premier Farnell and RS Components are the two British companies responsible for the manufacture and distribution of the minicomputers.

The Raspberry PI team was upbeat, arguing that the problem was minor and that the units would be ready for sale in a short, but undisclosed time: “Our partners at Premier Farnell and RS Components are working hard to help us cater for this, and to expedite supply of the Raspberry Pi.”

The spokesperson added: “We’ll keep you updated with how manufacture is moving; this is, in the scheme of things, a minor problem, but it’s still a bump in the road and we know that we rely on your goodwill to keep things moving forward.”