New manufacturing hub in Japan complements UK production operation and expands capacity for famed Raspberry Pi microcomputer

RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers, announced in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi Foundation that its latest iteration Raspberry Pi 3 credit-card-sized single-board computer will be manufactured in Japan under a local contract manufacturing arrangement. This increase in global production of Raspberry Pi is to serve large and increasing demand for the popular platform in the Asia Pacific region.


“Existing models of the Raspberry Pi will continue to be manufactured in South Wales, UK, with the dual manufacturing locations in place to cater for future demand growth globally,” commented Rob Maycroft, global product manager for Raspberry Pi at RS. “Asia Pacific is a significant growth market for Raspberry Pi, and this new “Made in Japan” element means that we are now geared up for this growth.”


Driven by the powerful on-board 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, the first “Made in Japan” model will be the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which has significantly upgraded processing capabilities and delivers 10x faster performance than the original Raspberry Pi.


The Raspberry Pi 3 is the latest iteration of the Raspberry Pi series, which has been a huge success since its introduction in 2012, with engineers and hobbyists alike. The 10 millionth Raspberry Pi was celebrated in September, demonstrating that an immensely versatile but low-cost computing platform has extraordinarily wide appeal and can provide a solution for a host of applications in education, industry, hobby electronics projects, and the maker movement. In fact, the range of applications seems unlimited.


Lindsley Ruth, group chief executive at Electrocomponents, commented, “We are privileged to be a part of the phenomenal achievement that is Raspberry Pi. It has been a huge hit in many industrial applications as well as in the education sector. RS is a key link in the supply chain of this remarkable success story, and that will continue to be the case as added production is implemented in Japan.”


“At RS we are confident that this expansion of manufacturing into Japan will see the Raspberry Pi phenomenon continue to grow globally. As ‘computing everywhere’ increasingly becomes the ‘new norm’ there will undoubtedly be increased growth opportunities in industry, education, and the growing maker movement. As we see the proliferation of smart home, smart factory, smart grid and smart city applications, the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to be a huge growth driver for Raspberry Pi,” continued Ruth. “Already the Raspberry Pi has become a laptop – the “Pi-top“, a build-your-own laptop, teaches the basics of computer architecture and enables students to access and modify the hardware capabilities of the laptop, not only the software.”


The Starter Kit comes in three versions, including the “official” high-quality kit and the lower-priced premium and value kits, meeting the needs of a range of customers and budgets. Time-saving and convenient, these Starter Kits allow users to begin their prototyping and development projects as soon as they have the board in their hands. Backed by RS’s smooth ordering process, including optimally convenient online ordering through the RS website and by the company’s promise of on-time delivery, the Starter Kits represent great added value.


The Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kits are yet another example of how, backed by almost 20 years of experience in the Asia Pacific region, RS strives to offer brilliant customer experiences through innovative solutions, serving the needs for tomorrow’s procurement, asset management and design projects.

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