XBMC is my software of choice for home-theater PCs. Raspberry is my favorite flavor of pie. What do these two things have in common? Not much, to be honest, but Raspberry Pi is a different matter. This single-board computer is about the size of a credit card, and it was recently demoed running XBMC.
What makes this demo particularly impressive is the fact that the Raspberry Pi board is set to cost $25. For less than what most folks spend on thumb drives, it serves up an ARM11-based Broadcom BCM2835 processor with a built-in multimedia engine. The chip can decode high-profile H.264 content at 1080p resolution, and XBMC appears to be taking good advantage of that capability.
With a 3.5-mm audio jack, an onboard SD slot, and built-in HDMI and USB ports, the base Raspberry Pi model has all the necessary ingredients for a basic home-theater PC. A second model is available with an extra USB port, 10/100 Ethernet, and double the onboard memory for an additional $10. These boards were actually designed with the education market in mind, but it looks like they'll be quite popular with the hobbyist community. I know I'll be ordering one. Thanks to The Verge for the tip.