Q&A with our hardware team

A few days ago, Ringo, a newly minted member of our forums, posted this:

As an Electronics Engineer i’m interested with in the way the PCB has been routed and what constraints/difficulties you had during the layout process, try to fit everything on board (i’m not even refering to the updated credit card size which blows my mind how you guys can make it that small!!). I’m also interested in the power requirements and high speed digital routing (such as HDMI). Care to shed any light on this?

Most of our technically inclined readers are experienced on the software side of things, but have had less exposure to hardware engineering. Hardware’s always been a bit of an arcane art to me – I can solder things messily to breadboard, and I’ve helped Eben etch simple PCBs in our kitchen, but that’s about the limit of my knowledge, and it seems a lot of people are in a similar position. But this hardware stuff is fascinating, and Ringo’s not alone in having questions about how on earth it all fits together.

We thought the best way to structure an interview with the hardware team would be through a community Q&A. Leave questions for the guys below, and I’ll sort through for the best ones, which will be answered by Pete Lomas and Gert van Loo. Pete is MD of Norcott Technologies. He’s one of Raspberry Pi’s trustees and our Operations Director, and is responsible for the overall hardware design and implementation of the final board. Gert is a Senior Principal Engineer at Broadcom in Cambridge, and is volunteering for Raspberry Pi in his non-work time. He’s responsible for the schematic design of the alpha boards, and he’s working alongside Pete on the final board.

Please leave questions for Pete and Gert in the comments below!

205 Comments