Move over Raspberry Pi, CHIP may be the cheapest computer ever

Single-chip computers have proven hugely successful, mostly as a result of their affordability, and now a Kickstarter campaign is promising consumers a fully-functioning computer for just $9.

The Raspberry Pi has become a household name after selling in excess of five million units, but the budget computer now faces stiff competition from cheaper rivals.

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Next Thing Co, a California-based startup, are looking to raise $50,000 in order to launch CHIP, a small Linux computer which will be made available for less than $10. Although consumers might expect the hardware to be severely limited for that price tag, CHIP’s 1GHz R8 ARM processor and 512MB of RAM compares well against other single-chip devices. It also comes with 4GB of flash storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a USB port.

Consumers can also purchase a pocket CHIP package providing everything they need to get the device up and running while on the move for just $49. This includes the chip itself, a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a keyboard and a rechargeable battery providing up to five hours of use.

The manufacturers of CHIP stress that it has a multitude of uses and appeals to more than just coding-enthusiasts.

“C.H.I.P. is a computer for students, teachers, grandparents, children, artists, makers, hackers, and inventors. Everyone really,” Next Thing Co. explains online. “C.H.I.P. is a great way to add a computer to your life and the perfect way to power your computer based projects.”

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The Kickstarter campaign is doing exceptionally well so far, with CHIP having exceeded its goal by more than $500,000 with 26 days of the campaign still to run. Shipping is planned to begin in December this year and if CHIP can deliver on its promises it could become the budget computer of choice for millions worldwide.