31 Jan 2012

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is building a low-cost Linux computer with a 700MHz ARM11 CPU. The board, which is roughly the size of a pack of playing cards, entered the manufacturing stage last month. There will be two models, priced at $25 and $35, with different specifications.

The board is built around the Broadcom BCM2835 chipset, which is designed to handle intensive multimedia. In a recent interview, Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton claimed that the Broadcom graphics hardware in the Raspberry Pi offers twice the performance of the iPhone 4S GPU and soundly beats NVIDIA's Tegra 2. Upton worked for Broadcom on the team that developed the hardware.

At the SCALE 10x conference this month, developers from the XBMC project demonstrated their software running on a Raspberry Pi board. XBMC is a popular open source media center application that has advanced library management features and support for playing video in numerous formats. The XBMC developers ported the media center to the Raspberry Pi using a developer hardware unit supplied by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

The demo, which can be viewed in a YouTube video, shows that XBMC runs reasonably well on the Raspberry Pi hardware and is relatively responsive. It was able to smoothly play an H.264-encoded 1080p video. Another video that was published this month shows Nokia's open source Qt toolkit running on the Raspberry Pi, demonstrating the use of OpenGL shaders in Qt's declarative QML user interface framework.

Graphics hardware in $25 Raspberry Pi Linux box outperforms iPhone 4S GPU

(Via Ars Technica.)