Electronic components distributor element14 has signed an exclusive agreement with Raspberry Pi Trading to offer design and manufacturing services to original equipment manufacturers for custom designs based on the Raspberry Pi technology platform. Element14 has distributed the low-cost, credit-card sized programming computer and its accessories since 2012. The expanded agreement is in response to customer demand for more advanced, customized boards based on the Raspberry Pi platform, according to Claire Doyle, the distributor’s global head of Raspberry Pi.
The design and manufacturing services will be done through element14’s Embest and AVID Technology businesses.
“We have more than 200 engineers in those business units,” said Doyle, adding that Raspberry Pi Trading and Broadcom will provide training for the service; Broadcom’s application processors will be designed into end user’s applications. “Raspberry Pi trading has selected element14 because of our capabilities through those units for design and manufacturing services. We are leveraging our partnership, our experience … in order to offer this service.”
Doyle added that the service is predominantly for OEMs with production runs of between 3,000 and 5,000 parts, but that it can be expanded to larger OEMs as well.
Customers will be able to customize Raspberry Pi solutions for a range of applications and industries, including the Internet of Things, energy management, industrial projects, and consumer devices.
“Because customers are asking for this, it really moves [Raspberry Pi forward] as well,” said Doyle, pointing to the product’s original launch as an educational tool for computer programming. “… It then moved to the maker and hobbyist and consumer markets. Now, this is a different customer base [OEMs].
“To take this to the next level—from engineering to supply chain and manufacturing—we’re very excited to see where it ends up,” Doyle said.
element14 offers the service globally.