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I'm quite new to Raspberry Pi. I recently started hacking my new RPI with raspbian and working on a video streaming project.

I finished my prototype and things are ready for production.

RPI is awesome no doubt about, but can I use it for production - like mass production?

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You can embed the Raspberry Pi in any end-product you want.

For mass production, the Compute Module may be a better choice. The Compute Module is a Raspberry Pi in a more flexible form factor, intended for industrial application.

You cannot use the words Raspberry Pi to promote your product without permission. Raspberry Pi is trademarked.

You will have to ensure you follow the terms of the software licences for any software you embed in your product.

  • 4
    Thanks for mentioning the compute module. very helpful. and +1 for the software licences. – Evan Lévesque Aug 1 '15 at 16:26
  • Maybe important to add that the compute module is has similar specs with the 'older' Model A, B and B+ Pi's. If your application needs the power of the Pi 2, this might not be the model you're looking for at this moment. – EDP Aug 2 '15 at 18:20
  • There no version of the compute module for raspberry pi 2 ? – jaumard Nov 28 '15 at 9:11
  • Not at the moment. It seems like an obvious addition to the Pi range though. – joan Nov 28 '15 at 9:15
  • what about the reliability issues of the SD Card? Surely this is not suitable for production product? – Zapnologica Nov 27 '17 at 8:50
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and I quote from Raspberry Pi's blog

If, like Brian, you’re making a product which requires a Raspberry Pi to run, we don’t ask you to buy special permission or licences from us to use it. All we ask is that you include the words “Powered by Raspberry Pi” somewhere on your packaging. If your business is successful, we’d be very grateful if you could consider donating a small portion of your profits to the Raspberry Pi Foundation – but that’s all, and if you choose not to do that, that’s fine too.

  • That blog post doesn't cover the software side of things, though. OP tagged his question with "Raspbian". And the blog post does not make it crystal clear that they consider it legal to redistribute Raspbian. – Frederick Nord Oct 6 '17 at 14:22
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It depends how you define "mass" in "mass production". If you're talking hundreds, the Pi is probably a good choice. If you're talking thousands, there might be "better" solutions available through OEM. "Better" as in price, availability, quantity, security and specific functionality.

  1. Price - $30 dollar a pop might not be much for a couple of devices, but on larger scale it adds up quickly. On top of that, casings and external circuitry can cost a lot of extra.
  2. Availability - Raspberry doesn't promise to deliver a certain version for any time. They can introduce a new model tomorrow and cease production for the model your application is based on.
  3. Quantity - Is Raspberry capable of delivering the needed amount of boards now and in the future?
  4. Security - With its removable disk and open community support it's (more) prone for hacking
  5. Specific functionality - The Pi is designed to be versatile. LAN/USB/camera/screen connectors, etc. You're paying for all these extras whether you're using them or not. On the other hand, chances are high that you'll need external circuitry to do exactly what you want to do. OEMs can build boards and casings to your exact wishes and specifications.

It's important to know that the OEM landscape has changed a lot since the last 10 years. The abundance of off-the-shelve SoC's and reference designs - and small firms manufacturing Android phones, television STB's and the likes - has dramatically lowered the thresholds for getting your own device manufactured.

While the OEM will give you all technical support they can, you're mainly on your own to implement it. You'll need to have a team of people knowing what they're doing.

So if you have the need and budget - and are not afraid to get your hands dirty - OEM might be a way to go.

On the other hand, the Pi does have the benefit of being a mature product and comes free with a large and very supportive community, including but not limited to this very forum.

  • Can you give some example of raspberry pi alternative for production please ? – jaumard Nov 28 '15 at 9:12
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    I'll try to do so if you can give me some details on where/which market you see it implemented. Without that information it's pretty difficult to do so. If you're looking for a Pi clone-like device there's another thread where I listed some. – EDP Nov 28 '15 at 14:00
  • Thanks :) No I don't want PI clone cause there are also dev board. In fact i'm trying to make an home automation box base on linux who need WiFi and some USB ports only. For now raspberry pi with wifi usb stick do the job for development but not really for production. I don't have any electrical engineer in my team so I try to find solutions on my own – jaumard Nov 29 '15 at 15:04
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    I guess at this point you're concerned about your production model cost management. At this (nearly) December 2015 you have a new option, the Pi Zero. (If you can source it for $5,) It will be the choice of many; stable and proved base product technology, fantastic community support. Sourcing a company that'll build you 500+ (cheap) PiZero-breakout boards with Wifi and USB hub driver won't be too hard either. But probably the best thing is that you can start hacking today with an easily-sourecable full sized Pi model, a retail Wifi dongle and retail USB hub. That's priceless. – EDP Nov 30 '15 at 9:37
  • Thanks a lot for all this informations ! I will continue with a pi for now then ^^ – jaumard Dec 1 '15 at 17:14
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Derek Molloy in his 2016 book 'Exploring Raspberry Pi' doesn't recommend RPi for commercial projects: "The RPi platform is not ideal for project developments that are likely to be commercialized. The Raspberry Pi platform largely utilizes open source software (there are some closed source blobs used with the GPU, but it is not open source hardware. ... In addition, the Broadcom bootloader license3 explicitly states that its redistribution in binary form is only permitted if it will 'only be used for the purposes of developing for, running or using a Raspberry Pi device.' It is unlikely that such a license would transfer to a product of your own design." What's the validity of this?

Here's the link to that page in the book.

https://books.google.com/books?id=ro0gCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=raspberry+pi+broadcom+bootloader+license&source=bl&ots=0Sc1gVQtw0&sig=qE5PY1YTnNaZ_u9Bevf4Z-pgXpY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPxoHQpovRAhVL9YMKHb0tBncQ6AEIQDAF#v=onepage&q=raspberry%20pi%20broadcom%20bootloader%20license&f=false

  • 1
    Welcome to Raspberry Pi! Please take the tour and visit the helpcenter to see how things work here. Please note that follow up questions should not be posted as answers. What's the validity of this? makes it sound like a new question... Is it? – Ghanima Dec 23 '16 at 22:43

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