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RPi with 512mb Memory?

wallarug Level 15

I just found this: http://au.element14.com/raspberry-pi/raspbrry-modb-512m/sbc-raspberry-pi-model-b-512mb/dp/2191863

 

Is this a raspberry pi with 512Mb RAM or is this a joke.

  • 1. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    John Beetem Level 15

    Interesting.  Site looks legitimate.  512MB Model B is listed as "coming soon", and price difference is reasonable.  When people were whingeing about 256MB being too small a year ago, the RasPowersThatBe explained that 512MB was a lot more expensive.  But that was a year ago, so the differential may be a lot smaller now.

     

    I wonder if this is something that slipped through and au.element14 was supposed to keep mum so that people wouldn't cancel current orders, leaving distributors stuck with 256MB inventory?  Personally I'm quite content with 256MB -- hey, it's twice the size of my BeagleBoard rev B4.

  • 2. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    wallarug Level 15

    I recon that the price should drop another $10 dollars if it is just a RAM upgrade.  But what If there is other fixes such as RG1 and maybe a processor boost?

     

    Who knows.

  • 3. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    John Beetem Level 15

    Fergus, I think you're onto something with the 512MB discovery and your question about the Model A.  My guess is there's something afoot, to coincide with the Raspberry Pi Foundation US Hackspace Tour which begins 18 September.  I'm planning to go to the San Francisco event on 29 September, mostly for the talk by RasPivangelist Rob Bishop, described thusly:

    RaspberryPi: Past, Present & Future - An introduction to the RaspberryPi, including an overview of its history and development, details on the technical specification and an outline of future developments.  Followed by a Q&A session.

    The timing of the tour combined with your 512MB discovery jumps me to the conclusion that RasPi will be announcing a Model B upgrade to 512MB combined with availability of the Model A, ending the "please Liz, may I have some more RAM" whingeing at the high end and the "GNU/Linux box for $25 -- some day" whingeing at the low end.  This is similar to what BeagleBoard did by introducing the more expensive XM while reducing the price of the BeagleBoard rev C.

     

    This is all light-hearted SWAG based on the facts outlined above and I have no other information to confirm or deny whether this is going to happen.  In any case, I'll be nice to Rob :-)

  • 4. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    Level 15

    Great find! 

     

    A 512MB model is consistent with the 31 July announcement

    that Android 4.0 is being ported.  It seems all the recently

    announced ARM devices have at least 512MB, and Eben's

    recent interest in benchmarking against these devices indicates

    he is paying attention to what the competition is doing.

     

    There seems to be a recent pattern where RPF is paying attention

    to issues that previously they said were inconsistent with their

    educational mission, such as MPEG-2 decode, polyfuses,

    and now 512MB ram.

  • 5. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    wallarug Level 15

    Thanks guys!

     

    Anyone know of other changes in this upgrade?

  • 6. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    Level 15

    we don't know anything for sure, but apparently the ram can be upgraded

    to 512MB simply by replacing the 256MB PoP ram chip with a 512MB chip.

    So no board redesign is needed.

     

    There have been some hints of board redesign, such as to align the USB

    connectors, to move the capacitor that tends to fall off, to achieve

    residential FCC/CE compliance, and to fix the 1.8v power issue.

    But any such redesign would presumably work with either 256MB or

    512MB memory.

     

    I don't know whether 512MB is the maximum that the SoC can support,

    or how difficult it might be to modify the SoC to support more ram.

    A lot of the competing ARM devices appear not to use PoP ram.

    Instead, they use DDR3 ram, typically two 256MB chips, for a total

    of 512MB. 

  • 7. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    John Beetem Level 15

    The RasPi forum has just twigged to the 512MB version: see this thread.  On 31 August jamesh said that 512MB is the limit for the current board.  He didn't give away any RasPi Foundation plans.

     

    It may be that the Ohmless F1+F2 and 512MB are the only changes.  I expect these can be done without recertifying.  Any significant board change like moving connectors generally requires recertification, which is painful and expensive.  It's also a pain to deal with multiple board versions, so if most people are able to survive "as is" there's a lot of incentive to wait on major changes.

  • 8. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    wallarug Level 15

    Just read the above.

     

    Doesn't say much about the new model.  Maybe this is meant to be a sceret.

     

    Keep updates coming though here.

  • 9. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    John Beetem Level 15

    Back at the RasPi Forum thread, liz has denied RasPi is releasing a $50 512MB model and explains the au.element14 product page as follows:

    liz wrote:

     

    ... we are NOT releasing a $50 512MB model...  that supplier has read that it's a frequently requested thing, and had put a placeholder on their site in case because they wanted to talk to us about whether we wanted to do it.

     

    We don't, and you will notice that there is no longer a placeholder on their site!

     

    We do encourage speculation and discussion of what future Pis might be like - but we will ANNOUNCE them when they happen. Promise.

    Edit: the element14.au "2191863" link still works for me.

  • 10. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    Level 15

    well, kudos to element14 then for taking the initiative on this issue.

    512MB PoP chips have been in mass production for quite a while now,

    and since no board redesign is necessary, it's a no-brainer upgrade.

    The quantity prices I've seen for DDR3 ram are about $1 for a 256MB

    part and about $3 for a 512MB part.  If PoP prices are similar, it would

    add about $2 to the BOM cost, and about $10 or more to the profit.

     

    Liz promises to announce the 512MB board when it happens, but

    we saw what happened with the polyfuse and D14 issues, where you

    heard about the changes first from actual customers.

     

    JamesH said recently that even if the 512MB part was only $0.10 more

    than the 256MB part, it wouldn't be an obvious choice. 

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=13908&start=95

    Perhaps this startling bit of value-engineering wisdom is what convinced

    element14 to take matters into their own hands.

     

    I wish we knew more about the supposed 512MB limit, and what would

    be required to increase it.  There was a brief discussion on that here:

    http://www.element14.com/community/thread/17561?start=102

     

    We don't know much about the contract element14 has with RPF.

    Does it prevent parts substitutions, such as 512MB ram?

    Does it prevent surveying potential customers for what they

    would like to see in future versions of the product?

     

    p.s.

    we also don't know if the polyfuse fix was initiated by element14

    or by RPF.  I haven't seen any reports of 0 ohm boards other

    than from element14 customers.

  • 11. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    Level 15

    Since element14 is at the point where it has neither a large

    backlog of orders, nor a large inventory of completed boards,

    this would be the ideal time to offer a 512MB version, since

    there would be no worries about large numbers of customers

    cancelling existing orders, or about warehouses full of completed

    boards becoming unsellable.

  • 12. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    Level 15

    > In any case, I'll be nice to Rob :-)

     

    Can you make any sense out of Liz's request that you "be nice"?

    The "journalist" used the exact same words.

  • 13. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    mikebuff PremierFarnell

    Hi

     

    I just wanted to update all of our forum members who have joined the discussion on the 512MB Raspberry Pi today.

     

     

    As you know there has always been talk of increasing the RAM size on the Model B and we had this part created (but hidden) on our system a little while ago as part of the initial  product roadmap. I must stress that the part should have remained inactive but a flag was removed in error from the part last Friday which caused the part to be visible, in error, on our web site in a number of countries globally today.

     

    The part is now removed from most of our sites and will be finally removed from all sites by around 10.30 UK time this evening and in the meantime the part has been made “un-orderable” on the sites where it is still visible (i.e. our UK site).

     

    I apologise for any confusion this error has caused

     

    Best regards

    Mike Buffham

     

    Director of Product & Supplier Management

    element14 (Europe)

  • 14. Re: RPi with 512mb Memory?
    Level 15

    Mike,

       Is element14 prevented by contract from selling a 512MB version of the RPI?

    Is element14 prevented by contract from discussing possible upgrades such

    as 512MB, including the desirability and costs of such upgrades?

     

    I think a lot of folks here would welcome some 2-way discussions.

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