Raspberry Pi Model A arrives in Australia

piaThe long-awaited Model A version of the Raspberry Pi has finally landed in Australia.

The new board is a cut-down version of the originally-released Model B variant, without Ethernet, only 256MB of RAM and just the single USB port.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation initially described the Model A as a response to those who were using the Pi as a low-cost media centre device, where ethernet was not required.

Otherwise, the boards are the same with HDMI and composite-video output options.

Power continues to be supplied via a microUSB port, but with the reduced features, the power draw should be noticeably less. Any smartphone USB charger should be more than enough to power the Model A, although extra peripherals such as hard drives will need extra power.

The Model A is now available in Australia through Element14 for $AUD28.50 plus shipping (the Model B remains available for $AUD41.80) with the company offering free shipping on all Pi orders over $75.

The Raspberry Pi features a Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11-class SoC chip clocking in at 700MHz. Pi Foundation-backed overclocking up to 1GHz is now possible, although it does place some extra strain on the CPU (particularly when the over-voltage option is included). While it doesn’t support the newer ARMv7 language structure, there are a number of Linux distros available from the Raspberry Pi website at http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads, some that now include hardware-based floating-point processing for greatly increased performance.

UPDATE: The Raspberry Pi camera module will also be available through Element14 in Australia, priced at $AUD38.95, plus shipping.

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