In 2006, early concepts of the Raspberry Pi were based on the Atmel ATmega644 microcontroller. Its schematics and PCB layout are available for public download. Foundation trustee Eben Upton assembled a group of teachers, academics and computer enthusiasts to devise a computer to inspire children. The computer is inspired by Acorn's BBC Micro of 1981. The first ARM prototype version of the computer was mounted in a package the same size as a USB memory stick. It had a USB port on one end and an HDMI port on the other.
In August 2011, fifty Alpha boards were manufactured. These boards were functionally identical to the planned model B, but were physically larger to accommodate debug headers. Demonstrations of the board showed it running the LXDE desktop on Debian, Quake 3 at 1080p, and Full HD MPEG-4 video over HDMI. In October 2011, a version of RISC OS 5 was demonstrated in public, and following a year of development the port was released for general consumption in November 2012. Certificate of authenticity for an auctioned board In December 2011, twenty-five model B Beta boards were assembled and tested from one hundred unpopulated PCBs. The component layout of the Beta boards was the same as on production boards. A single error was discovered in the board design where some pins on the CPU were not held high; it was fixed for the first production run. The Beta boards were demonstrated booting Linux, playing a 1080p movie trailer and the Rightware Samurai OpenGL ES benchmark. During the first week of 2012, the first 10 boards were put up for auction on eBay. One was bought anonymously and donated to the museum at The Centre for Computing History in Suffolk, England. The ten boards (with a total retail price of £220) together raised over £16,000, with the last to be auctioned, serial number No. 01, raising £3,500. In advance of the anticipated launch at the end of February 2012, the Foundation's servers struggled to cope with the load placed by watchers repeatedly refreshing their browsers.
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