Raspberry Pi announces Pi Zero, a $5 computer

For the past week or so, there have been rumors about a new Raspberry Pi circulating around the Internet. Amongst all the speculations, Raspberry Pi Foundation today has finally announced the immediate availability of Raspberry Pi Zero, made in Wales and priced at just $5. It’s the smallest Pi yet, while still keeping the core experience.

“It is about as big a change as the original Raspberry Pi was,” Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton told WIRED. “Really everything we’ve learned has been packed into this one device.”

The original Raspberry Pi Model B and its successors put a programmable computer within reach of anyone with $20-35 to spend.

Raspberry Pi Zero, which measures just 65mm x 30mm x 5mm, runs the Raspbian OS and all of the popular applications, such as Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi. It boasts the following specs:

* A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
* 1GHz ARM11 core (40 percent 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

On the down side, the Raspberry Pi foundation needed to cut a few ports from the Zero to build such a small board. Ethernet and the quartet of USB ports found in the Pi Model B+ are gone; there’s simply nowhere to put them. Instead, the Pi Zero includes a mini-HDMI socket, and two micro USB ports – one for power and data, another for USB OTG. Composite video remains on an unpopulated header, and storage is through a microSD card slot.

The Pi Zero goes on sale today, and the foundation is expecting a swell of orders, so it’s limiting each order to one or two units for now. “We’ve built several tens of thousands of units so far, and are building more, but we expect demand to outstrip supply for the next little while”, said Upton.

From today, it is available in the UK at element14, The Pi Hut and Pimoroni, and in the US from Adafruit and in-store at the local branch of Micro Center. Also, the foundation is giving away free copies that will be embedded in the cover of The MagPi magazine this month.

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