BBC micro:bit coding device available to buy from Newark element14 and MCM Electronics

Small coding device aims to inspire the younger generation to learn to code


Premier Farnell, the Development Distributor, has made the BBC Micro:bit available to buy in North America through Newark element14 and MCM Electronics.

The micro:bit was originally launched in the UK in March 2016 following an educational programme led by the BBC, in partnership with a group of technology partners including ARM, Microsoft and Premier Farnell. The programme included the gifting of one million micro:bits to support digital learning in schools. Premier Farnell are the exclusive manufacturer of the micro:bit and distribute the device through Farnell element14, CPC and a network of resellers in Europe.

Measuring only 4cm by 5cm, the micro:bit is a hands-on, easy-to-use introduction to the world of technology and is packed with features that provide endless possibilities for creativity. The device is supported by a website, that features a range of resources and tutorials to help users take advantage of the micro:bit’s vast potential.


The micro:bit includes:

  • 25 red LEDs – light them up, flash messages, create games, and invent digital stories

  • Two programmable buttons – associate them with an action and interact with your projects

  • On-board motion detector – just like a smartphone; the micro:bit can react to shakes, tilts, and even drops

  • A built-in compass – sense which direction you’re facing and your movement in degrees

  • Bluetooth Smart Technology and Low Energy – connect to the internet and the world around you, whether that’s other micro:bits, phones, cameras, or tablets to ‘code on the go’ or take selfies

  • Five Input and Output rings – connect the micro:bit directly to other devices using crocodile clips or 4mm banana plugs, and send commands back and forth

Ralf Buehler, SVP Sales and Marketing for Premier Farnell, said:  “The BBC micro:bit project was a milestone event in the world of STEM education and computer programming in the UK – and we are delighted to make it available to buy through Newark element14 and MCM electronics. As the Development Distributor, we are committed to helping develop the future of technology, whether that is supporting customers building products that can change the world for the better, or helping a teacher inspire their class to get into coding. The micro:bit is a fantastic way to introduce students to coding – allowing hands-on application of technology in a way that can inspire our younger generations.”

Hal Speed, Head of North America for the Micro:bit Educational Foundation said: "Premier Farnell is one of the world's leading manufacturers and distributors of single-board computers, and we're delighted that the micro:bit is now available for sale in the U.S. and Canada. Premier Farnell is a vital partner to make the micro:bit available to schools, clubs and families across North America so that every student has the opportunity to learn the foundational skills of computer science in elementary and middle school."

The micro:bit is available in a range of pack sizes from single micro:bit and ‘micro:bit go’ packs which include a USB cable, battery holder & 2x AAA batteries along with a Quick Start Guide and four inspirational ideas to get started; to ‘Club’ packs of 10 and bulk boxes of 300.

The micro:bit will be available to demo at ISTE in San Antonio, on June 25-28, 2017 – visit stand 3241.


About us

Farnell Global is a fast and reliable distributor of products and technology for electronic and industrial system design, maintenance and repair.  From research and design through prototype to production, Farnell helps its customers access the products and services they need 24/7.  With more than 80 years of experience, 47 localised websites, and a dedicated team of over 3,500 employees, Farnell provides every component its customers need to build the technology of tomorrow.

Farnell Global trades as Farnell in Europe, Newark in North America, and element14 in Asia Pacific.  It also sells direct to consumers through its CPC business in the UK.

Farnell Global has been part of the established global technology distributor, Avnet (Nasdaq: AVT), since 2016. Today, this relationship allows the company to support its customers at every stage of the product life cycle, offering a truly unique distribution model, as well as expertise in end-to-end delivery and product design.

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