Raspberry Pi Foundation boosts performance for second gen Zero W computer
Back in 2015, the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched a five dollar project board called the Pi Zero for entry-level tinkerers. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities were added in early 2017 for an extra five bucks, and now the Zero W has entered its second generation.
The Zero was designed as a smaller, cheaper and obviously less capable version of the immensely popular credit card-sized Raspberry Pi series of boards first released in 2012, in recognition that tinkerers in many parts of the world might have to work on extremely tight budgets. Integrated wireless functionality followed around 15 months later.
Looking very similar to its predecessor, the Pi Zero 2 W uses the same Broadcom BCM2710A1 die as the BCM2837 system-on-chip found in the launch version of the Pi 3, though for this outing the Arm cores of the Cortex-A53 processor have been clocked down to 1 GHz. This has been combined with a 4-Gb Micron LPDD2 die for 512 MB of onboard system RAM, for a potential performance boost over the first generation W of up to five times.
The tiny board comes with the same 802.11n Wi-Fi capabilities as before but Bluetooth gets an update to 4.2 BLE, you also get a 40-pin I/O header like before, a CSI-2 camera connector, a USB 2.0 OTG host interface, mini HDMI port and microSD card slot.
The new board employs thick internal copper layers to get heat away from the processor, which makes the Zero 2 W a little heavier than its predecessor. But the Foundation says that pretty much all cases and accessories designed with the original Zero W in mind, should be compatible with the new model, so you can swap in the enhanced flavor without too much trouble.
The Zero 2 W is available now for US$15, five dollars more than the still available Zero W. The new model also debuts a new USB power supply similar to the one used in the Pi 4, but rocking a micro-B connector instead of a USB-C connector and a peak current rating of 2.5 A. This new PSU will cost you an extra $8, and is available with country-specific plugs. The short video below has more.
Product page: Pi Zero 2 W
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