In recent months, there have been rumours about a new single board computer from Raspberry, the company famous for producing inexpensive and tiny Linux boards, such as the Raspberry PI model B which when released in 2012 put a programmable computer into the hands of anyone with $20-30 to spend.
Since then, other vendors have released single board linux computers, which have become even cheaper as technology has progressed and become ever more capable. However, Raspberry PI has once again disrupted the market by issuing its new release - the Raspberry Pi Zero.
It is even cheaper than its predecessor, coming in at a mere $5 (£4), and looking at the spec sheet is even more capable than any of the competition.
The Raspberry Pi Zero specifications are:
- A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
- 1GHz ARM11 core (40 per cent faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
- 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
- A micro-SD card slot
- A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
- Micro-USB sockets for data and power
- An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
- Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
- An unpopulated composite video header
- A tiny form factor, at 65mm x 30mm x 5mm
However, when constructing such a small circuit board something has to go. This means that the Ethernet and the quartet of USB ports found in the Pi Model B+ are gone. Instead, the Pi Zero replaces them with a mini-HDMI socket, and two micro USB ports – one for power and data, another for USB OTG and storage is through a microSD card slot.
With a price of only $5 the Raspberry Pi Zero is going to be a very, very popular board. Furthermore, if you have a subscription to the Magpi, the official Raspberry Pi magazine, you will get a Pi zero free in the December edition.