The Stack Archive

Raspberry Pi releases cheapest and smallest computer yet

Thu 26 Nov 2015

The latest version of British single-board computer Raspberry Pi, Pi Zero measures a tiny, credit card-sized 6.5cm by 3cm, and is available to buy for just £4 in the UK, and $5 in the States.

The Welsh produced computer also comes as a free giveaway with the purchase of December’s The MagPi, the Cambridge-based organisation’s £5.99 monthly magazine.

As with all Raspberry Pi computers, Pi Zero runs on its optimised Linux operating system, Raspbian. It is packed with a 1GHz processor, 512Mb of memory, a micro-SD card slot, and a mini-HDMI socket for 1080p video output (at 60 frames per second). It is able to power apps built for its devices, including coding tools like Scratch and Sonic Pi, and games such as Minecraft.

In a blog post this morning, Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton wrote: “Of all the things we do at Raspberry Pi, driving down the cost of computer hardware remains one of the most important. Even in the developed world, a programmable computer is a luxury item for a lot of people, and every extra dollar that we ask someone to spend decreases the chance that they’ll choose to get involved.

“The original Raspberry Pi Model B and its successors put a programmable computer within reach of anyone with $20-35 to spend […] At the start of this year, we began work on an even cheaper Raspberry Pi to help these people take the plunge.”

The Raspberry Pi Foundation, which develops the tiny computer, is a not-for-profit group founded in 2009 to help promote the teaching of basic computer science skills in schools and in the developing world. It is has become Britain’s most successful computer in history, with over 5 million Pis sold since its inception.

Despite its head start, the mini computer could face fresh competition from the BBC’s Microbit device, which will be delivered to all Year 7 students in the UK early next year.



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