The service allows the customer to specify the board layout, adding new interfaces and headers or leaving off those not required. The basic kernel consisting of the DRAM routing and the Broadcom chip with its GPU, related software and power supply would need to remain unaltered but the rest of the peripherals can be doctored as required. Eben Upton suggested that the service would most probably be of benefit to media player applications that make use of the Pi’s relatively powerful video handling capabilities.
Element14 acknowledged that customers would start to see economic benefits for orders in excess of 3000 units. They will act as consultants for the system redesign and have recently acquired Embest Technology and AVID Technologies who will be involved in handling the mechanical engineering and manufacture of customized Pi boards. They also indicated that if popular configurations were identified, these may become reference designs to be shared with the community and mass produced as required.