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element14 drives Raspberry Pi revolution to educate a new generation of programmers

Global distribution deal agreed with Raspberry Pi Foundation with orders being accepted immediately

  • Units available to pre-order from 29 February in Europe, US and Asia

  • Raspberry Pi dedicated area on the element14 Community

  • Support materials and PCB tools available free in the Knode on element14 and the Community

LONDON - Feb. 29, 2012 - element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts and a part of global electronics distributor Premier Farnell [LON:PFL], today announced a global distribution deal with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to offer its ground-breaking credit card sized computer. The element14 Community will support the conversations, debate and sharing of knowledge and information from the anticipated flood of enthusiastic developers and first-time programmers keen to get the most from their Raspberry Pi.

Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell, the company behind element14, said: "This partnership brings together the world's biggest online design engineer community with one of the most exciting electronic/embedded computing products to be launched for decades. We believe it will provide the catalyst for a programming revolution. The opportunity to engage a new generation of engineers and computer experts is very much in our sweet spot as a company. Through our element14 Community we will encourage everyone from developers, modders, coders and programmers to discuss, share and develop their ideas and fully utilise the game-changing potential of the Raspberry Pi computer."

There has been real excitement in the marketplace around the launch of the Raspberry Pi computer, a device that takes its lead from a history of iconic educational-targeted computers that influenced the adoption of automation in industry, science and research from the late 1970s. Today design engineers and would-be coders across the world are clamouring to get their hands on the device to see how it can be modified and what innovative programs can be created to run on it.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity formed and supported by some influential computing minds and businesses. It believes in the need for more developers to understand what truly goes on 'under the hood' of a computing device and is convinced there is a need to rely less on development tools and power hungry layers of code. The element14 Community has been supporting design engineers for over two years and offers organic support, expert advice and information to all members and a platform to share ideas and examples freely.

Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, commented: "The decline in core computing skills is something we really want to address with Raspberry Pi and the way the element14 Community supports developers of all skill levels makes it a really strong partner in tackling this issue. Overcoming the students' fear of programming for the first time is a critical step in unlocking the full potential of the smartest people in any industry. I have no doubt that having the support of a community of like-minded developers will be a catalyst for success."

Robert Mullins, co-founder of Raspberry Pi Foundation, and Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell, talk exclusively on video about why the computer was created, how element14 can support and why this is such a game changer in computing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gky68aE578

The distribution agreement, which will see Premier Farnell distribute in all its territories under the brands of Newark element14 in North America, Farnell element14 in Europe and element14 in Asia Pacific, offers the education-aimed computer available for just £22 or $35. Units are available for pre-order from 29 February on a first come first served basis and bundles of essential ancillary products such as cabling and power supplies have been added to the line-card to simplify users purchasing needs. See one of the first unboxing to "hello world" videos here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BbufUp_HNs

Initially the Raspberry Pi will be sold in one uncased configuration - the Model B - which has two USB slots, 256MB of RAM, HDMI slot, SD memory card slot and an Ethernet port. This will be followed later in 2012 by the Model A which has 256MB RAM, one USB port. Raspberry Pi breaks new ground with a selling price of just $35 for the 'Model B', and $25 for the 'Model A'. As a result the market opportunities in all areas of the world are huge as well as providing access to a wealth of literature and software, as well as a unique opportunity to start to learn coding and programming which has been created on a Fedora OS.

ENDS

Editors' Notes:

The element14 team will demonstrate Raspberry Pi units live at Embedded World in Nuremberg on Booth 5-236.

The Raspberry Pi Model B computer is available through element14 at http://www.element14.com/community/groups/raspberry-pi

About element14
Launched in June 2009, element14 is the first information portal, collaborative community and electronics store specifically built for electronic design engineers. The community recently unveiled its element14 knode, a unique automated platform that enables engineers to quickly research, design, develop and prototype in a single, intelligent environment. element14 is an innovative offering from Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), FTSE 250, a leader in multi-channel electronics distribution trading throughout Europe (Farnell), the Americas (Newark) and Asia Pacific (element14). The company had group sales of £990.8m and underlying profits of £93.3m last year.

About Premier Farnell
Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) is a global leader in high service distribution of technology products and solutions for electronic system design, maintenance and repair. Its differentiated proposition includes 29 local language transactional websites, and the critically important element14 Community for design engineers - an industry first (http://www.element14.com). With sales last year of £990.8m and underlying profits of £93.3m the Group distributes its comprehensive portfolio of products and services throughout Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, supported by a global supply chain of over 3,500 suppliers and an inventory profile developed to anticipate and meet its customers' needs.

While global in scope, Premier Farnell recognises the individual needs of each market and has continued to internationalise its model accordingly. It trades locally as Farnell in Europe, Newark/element14 in North America and Mexico and Farnell Newark in Brazil. Across Asia Pacific the business trades as element14.

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