Raspberry Pi Held Up By CE Certification

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The £22 Raspberry Pi PC needs the CE mark for sales in Europe (assuming no mutant lizards)

The Raspberry Pi computer, launched in February, has finally arrived in the UK, but the distributors have refused to ship it before it gets the “European Community” certification mark.

The first batch of 2,000 boards arrived in the UK on Monday, but it requires testing before it can be sent to customers. Raspberry Pi Foundation previously believed certification will not be necessary.

Mutant Lizards

Both official distributors (RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell) are not willing to ship the Raspberry Pi until it has received the quality control CE mark. The mark was previously overlooked because the Raspberry Pi Foundation believed its computer is not a “finished end product”, so it didn’t require certification. It is now working to get the devices CE marked “as soon as is humanly possible”.

The CE marking is a mandatory conformity stamp for products placed on the market in the European Economic Area. It can be found on anything, from toys to explosives. With the mark on a product, the manufacturer ensures that the product conforms with the essential requirements of the applicable EC directives.

The Foundation expects emissions from the uncased product to meet category A requirements comfortably without modification.

It is also talking to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to better understand the terms under which other devices without certification are permitted to ship to domestic end users in the UK, and to find out it it can distribute Raspberry Pi on the same terms.

At the moment, Raspberry Pi still doesn’t have a definite shipping date. It was previously set for January release, but, as a statement on the Foundation’s blog put it, “We’re not counting our chickens before they’ve been hatched and inspected in very great detail to make sure that they are not mutant lizards.”

There had been a serious hiccup in manufacturing process earlier this month, when the Chinese factory responsible for miniature computers decided to solder in non-magnetic Ethernet jacks instead of magnetic ones. The problem has now been fixed.

Raspberry Pi contains a 700MHz ARM11 processor, VideoCore IV GPU and 256MB of RAM. There is no hard disk on board; the computer uses an SD card instead, and USB connectivity can be used to provide another storage port. The available connections include an HDMA port, RCA video port, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. Pi can work with any of the Linux operating systems, such as Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu or Fedora.

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