Nov 30

Raspberry Pi’s little brother

RPIIMore than three years have passed since the introduction of the very first Raspberry Pi electronics circuit board, and since then a DIY electronics revolution has taken place with hackers producing almost everything electronic from DIY mobile phones to DIY touchscreen tablets. And now the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the addition of Raspberry Pi’s smaller sibling, the Pi Zero, which comes at a extremely low price of only five US dollars. So exactly what can you expect for your $5? The CPU of the device is a Broadcom BCM2835 / 1 GHz ARM11 processor that lives on a board that measures only 6.5cm by 3cm in surface area and with a thickness of only 5mm. It is supported by 512 MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, and microSD memory card port acts as the hard drive-equivalent storage system for the little electronics motherboard . Given its small stature, some compromises have had to be made, and it is in its I/O connectivity where the cuts have come. The Ethernet and full-sized USB slots that are present on the model B+ have been removed, but there is a mini-HDMI port for 60 frames per second video streaming, two micro-USB interfaces for USB power and data transfer, and, importantly, a 40-pin general purpose I/O header for the board’s primary purpose to connect to and be part of DIY electronics designs. The Zero runs the same Linux-based operating system as its older siblings so no new programming skills are required if you are already a seasoned Raspbarian.