Over the years, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has enabled universities and hobbyists to create their own DIY computing projects with its affordable boards. But that doesn’t mean it’s stopping there. Today, the company unveiled its latest programmable computing board, the Raspberry Pi Zero, and it costs just $5 (£4). With its Broadcom BCM2835 application processor (1GHz ARM11 core), 512MB of RAM, a microSD card slot, a mini-HDMI socket supporting 1080p (at 60 frames per second), micro-USB sockets and an identical pin layout to its larger Pi siblings, the Zero can do plenty of heavy lifting, despite its tiny size. For context: at 65mm x 30mm, it’s smaller than a credit card and has 40-percent faster chip than the first ever Pi.
While the Zero isn’t going to match its counterparts in the computing stakes, its makers say that it can still run Raspbian, a version of Linux that has been optimized for Raspberry Pi, and apps like Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi. There are no standard USB or ethernet ports, so you will need to buy a powered USB hub to connect peripherals and networking. If you already own a Raspberry Pi board, the Foundation recommends that you set up your microSD card on that first and then port it over to the Zero.
The Raspberry Pi Zero is already on sale in the UK and the US at all the usual places. Many outlets are bundling microSD cards and adapters for the miniHDMI and microUSB ports to allow the use of standard cables and devices, taking the cost up slightly. But if you’ve been looking for an excuse to take on a new DIY computing project, Raspberry Pi just made sure that cost is no longer a barrier.