Raspberry Pi Zero, the $5 computer, has just been unveiled on Thursday, November 26, and its technical specs are actually impressive given its incredibly low cost.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has been creating miniature, single-board computers the size of a credit card for a while now, with the purpose of promoting the democratization of technology, by ensuring that schoolchildren from developing countries can also be taught basic computer science.
The original Raspberry Pi, which became available in February 2012, with a price tag starting at $25, became the fastest selling personal computer from Great Britain, around 5 to 6 million units having been purchased by June 2015.
The Raspberry Pi 2 was also launched in February 2015, at the price of $35, but now it appears an even cheaper version has emerged.
The Raspberry Pi Zero, manufactured in Wales, costs a measly $5, but it can offer access to the intricate, yet engrossing world of coding even to those who might be living on a shoestring budget.
Despite the fact that the tiny board measures just 65 mm x 30 mm x 5 mm, its performance is actually much more outstanding than one might imagine.
More precisely, the miniature computer, which has the same pin configuration as earlier versions, features a Broadcom BCM2835 application processor, with a 1 Ghz ARM11 core, thus making it approximately 40% faster in comparison with the original Raspberry Pi.
The programmable hardware also has 512 MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, and it runs the Raspbian operating system, based on Linux distribution Debian.
Raspberry PI Zero also boasts a mini-HDMI socket, enabling 1080p video output (at 60 frames per second), a micro-SD card slot, as well as micro-USB sockets for data and power connection.
There are however no ethernet and standard USB ports, so a powered USB hub will be necessary, in order to connect other peripheral devices.
Hobbyists or students can run a variety of applications on this computer, such as Sonic Pi (an open-source tool for creating music by coding), Scratch (a programming language for creating interactive games, animations and stories) and Minecraft (the hugely popular video game).
There is also the possibility for users to develop their DYI software applications and test them through the miniature single-board device.
Those wishing to buy the newly unveiled Raspberry Pi Zero will be able to do that online, at Adafruit (http://www.adafruit.com/pizero).
Alternatively, the device will also be available in Micro Center stores, across the United States. In the United Kingdom it’s being given away as a free cover gift on the developer’s £5.99 MagPi magazine, which will also be sold at Barnes & Noble American bookstores.
Apparently, several tens of thousands of units have been produced as of yet, and company founder Eben Upton anticipates that in a short while demand is going to surpass supply.
Indeed, on Adafruit the computing device has already sold out, although more comprehensive starter packs and budget packs are still available, for $59.95 and $29.95, respectively.
In addition, the large amount of orders is causing delays in shipping, so it seems like Raspberry Pi enthusiasts might have to wait a little longer before they can finally test out this product themselves.
Image Source: Raspberry Pi