The new Raspberry Pi Zero is a tiny Linux computer that costs only $5

2:35:00 AM Dickwyn Y 0 Comments

The Raspberry Pi foundation is at it again and today they are announcing Raspberry #PiZero which is by far the most affordable microcontroller around. At just US$5 a pop, the Pi Zero is not only remarkably cheaper compared to the other models previously available but it come in a footprint half the size of the previously smallest Raspberry Pi model A+.

Raspberry Pi Zero specifications:

  • Broadcom BCM2835 @ 1GHz
  • VideoCore IV graphics
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • 5V power with up to160mA power draw
  • 65mm x 30mm x 5mm
  • MicroSD card slot
  • mini-HDMI port
  • microUSB OTG port

With this new smaller than credit card sized form factor, the Pi Zero doesn't skimp on the amazing features that the Raspberry Pi is known for. Powering this tiny microcontroller is the same Broadcom BCM2835 SoC powering the Raspberry Pi 1 models but is tuned down due to the physical form factor of the Pi Zero. That's not all, the strip of 40 GPIO pins is still there but it unpopulated to keep costs down and for the ease of makers to easily implement the Pi Zero into their projects.

Beyond that, the Pi Zero is still capable of outputting 1080P video but through the mini HDMI port and there's two microUSB ports on the board, one of them is used to provide 5V power to the board and the other acts as a USB OTG port. As is, the Pi Zero is designed to be stripped down and used as a tiny microcontroller that rivals the similarly size Arduino Nano. Additionally, the Pi Zero will support existing HATs but will dwarf the Pi Zero due to it's size but there are newer HATs called pHATs which are basically just smaller HATs. (note: HAT stands for Hardware Attached on Top).

However, if you desire to use the board like other full size Raspberry Pi boards, you will need to pick up some adapters to hook up the mini HDMI port, micro USB OTG port and also some GPIO header pins. But as is without any adapters, the Pi Zero is able to run the full version of Raspbian through the microSD card slot. You can learn more about the latest Debian Jessie release in our previous article

You can now buy the Raspberry Pi Zero to the usual spots element14, The Pi Hut and Pimoroni for only $5 is you are in the US and Europe. If you want to pick up the Raspberry Pi Zero in Malaysia, head on over to element14 to order one today for a marked up price of RM 59.47. BTW, if you are a subscriber of the MagPi which is the official monthly magazine for Raspberry Pi, you will get a complimentary Pi Zero with the December copy.