Raspberry Pi Turns 2, 2.5M+ Units Now Shipped

March 2, 2014 by Dave Haynes

raspberrypi1The Raspberry Pi people marked two years of having the teeny $35 Linux computers on the market with news that more than 2.5 million units have shipped worldwide. The project was first intended as a means to get schoolkids tinkering with affordable computing gear, but everyone from hobbyists to engineering companies have also invested in the concept.

In the context of digital signage, UK-based Silver Curve has demonstrated even a low-cost, supposedly low-end ARM device can do the business of driving a digital sign.

Now there’s news that Broadcom, which makes the graphics core used on Pis, has released the full documentation for the VideoCore IV graphics core, and a complete source release of the graphics stack under a 3-clause BSD license (please don’t ask me what the heck that latter bit means).

The technical papers relate to another, similar cellphone chip, but the Raspberry Pi people are looking for people who want to do what they can to open source the graphics drivers for the Pi devices and, presumably, optimize performance and capabilities. 

The source release targets the BCM21553 cellphone chip, but it should be reasonably straightforward to port this to the BCM2835,  allowing access to the graphics core without using the blob. As an incentive to do this work, we will pay a bounty of $10,000 to the first person to demonstrate to us satisfactorily that they can successfully run Quake III at a playable framerate on Raspberry Pi using these drivers. This competition is open worldwide, and you can find competition rules here which describe what you have to do, and how to enter.

You can read full coverage on Raspberry Pi and digital signage here …

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