The Raspberry Pi affordable microcomputer is now almost entirely made in the U.K., after Premier Farnell/element 14 — the largest of the Pi Foundation‘s distributors — announced it has shifted all its production to Sony’s Pencoed factory in Wales.
The company inked a multi-million pound contract with Sony to manufacture Pis last fall but also had two locations in China producing Pis — meaning that around 70% of its Pi production was coming out of the U.K. at the turn of the year. Today, after a “period of transition”, Premier Farnell said the Pencoed factory now accounts for 100% of its Pi output.
“The business stated back in September its intention to bring production of the computer back to its home, the UK, and now after a period of transition we are delighted to announce that all production is in Wales,” said Claire Doyle, Global Head of Raspberry Pi at element14, in a statement.
“We are constantly amazed by the demand for the Raspberry Pi across the world and have done everything we can to ensure we keep our supply chain stocked,” she added. “We believe that a UK creation should be produced in its home country and since partnering with Sony UK Tec we have been delighted with the quality and the commitment they have shown in developing the product.”
There is still some non-U.K. Raspberry Pi production, as the Pi Foundation has another distributor, but Premier Farnell/element 14 is apparently the larger of the two. (The Foundation has previously said it does not disclose exactly how much of the Pi pie each of its licensees accounts for.)
Since the Pi’s launch on 29 February last year, Premier Farnell said it has distributed more than 500,000 Raspberry Pi’s. Back in January, it estimated more than a million Pis had been sold – a considerable bump on the Foundation’s original projections of a few thousand units.
The Foundation has previously produced this short video showing some of the manufacturing processes taking place at the Pencoed Pi factory: