IoT: Raspberry Pi is making Pi-powered devices easier to design and build

Raspberry Pi is making it easier for industrial customers to innovate by using its devices inside new products.

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Nearly half of Raspberry Pi sales are to industrial customers.

Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

Raspberry Pi's products aren't just popular with consumers: according to the British computer maker, approximately 44% of its yearly sales are to industrial customers, who often use the boards to serve a range of automation, IoT, robotics and other embedded applications.

To support this ever-burgeoning market of industrial interest, Raspberry Pi has launched new dedicated support services for industrial customers. Through its website, these customers can access information regarding industrial applications of Raspberry Pi and support for various settings, as well as access data sheets, compliance documents, and other information to help support their products.

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"Raspberry Pi computers have always been used in a huge variety of settings, since the combination of low cost, high performance, and ease of use make it an ideal device for almost any application," said Roger Thornton, Raspberry Pi's principal hardware engineer.

Industrial customers are more likely to be interested in older Raspberry Pi models too, Thornton explained: unlike consumers, who tend to opt towards the latest and most powerful version of a new piece of kit, this is often not necessary for industrial settings. This is part of the reason why you can still buy up a Raspberry Pi Model B+, which was launched by Raspberry Pi in 2014. For those customers who do have higher power requirements, there's always the Compute Model 4.

"Typically sales of a consumer product drop off once a new product is released, but we still see incredible sales of older models of Raspberry Pi," said Thornton.

"Our inference is that these are destined for embedded applications, where changing to the latest model is not practical." 

As part of its commitment to industrial customers, Raspberry Pi guarantees product lifetimes on all products until 2026 at the earliest.

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Along with new dedicated support for industry, Raspberry Pi has launched a programme for customers who want technical assistance with integrating Raspberry Pi into their products.

The Raspberry Pi Approved Design Partners programme connects design consultancies that have been approved by Raspberry Pi with customers who need support building products based on the company's computer boards.

"We're launching with a select set of designers whom we already know and work with, and we hope to grow this group over the coming years," said Thornton.

"We're excited to help customers build fantastic products using Raspberry Pi, and we're looking forward to working with a diverse range of designers across the world."

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