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Raspberry Pi landmark: A gold-plated display case awaits the millionth manufactured in the UK

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has, in its own words, “reached a bit of a landmark”, announcing that the millionth of its tiny computers has been manufactured in the UK.

The small, credit card sized computer (pictured) was launched in February last year with the sole and very valiant aim of transforming education by creating an easily accessible computer upon which people could learn to program.

The total number of Raspberry Pis sold has actually reached 1.75m, as the company first used a factory in China, but moved its manufacturing operation to a plant owned by Sony in South Wales. 

The Pi was co-created by Eben Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft all of whom worked in the at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory. 

It's development was in direct response to what they deemed to be a general decline in the number of students applying to study computer science at university due to a drop in A level students taking it at school.

There was, they felt, the need for a cheap computer, which enabled people to learn computer programming, just as they did with the BBC Micro back in the 1980s.

Google instantly recognised the worth in the £30 computer and donated 15,000 to UK schools, and the Raspberry Pi foundation is now producing around 12,000 a day to schools around the world.

Globally the mini-computer has been seen as a step-change in the way computing is taught in schools although its small number of critics have worried that it is only of interest to those that would already have been attracted by coding. And that includes adult enthusiasts.

Its creation was part of a wider educational zeitgeist, with the UK government placing computer science in the national curriculum, meaning children from Key Stage 1 onwards will learn about programming from 2015.

And according to the people at Raspberry Pi headquarters the millionth computer has a very special home.

“What’s happened to the millionth British Raspberry Pi, you ask? Sony has made us a gold-plated case to keep it in, and we’ll be displaying it proudly here at Pi Towers,” the company not-for-profit charity says.

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