When it comes to minuscule computing boards for hobbyists, Raspberry Pi is typically the first company to come to mind (although ASUS is looking to change that with its Tinker Board). The boards are very affordable, incredibly versatile and can be integrated into seemingly endless applications.
Today, Raspberry Pi is introducing the newest member to its family with the addition of the Raspberry Pi Zero W. This new variant of the Zero adds Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, hence the “W” designation.
The Zero originally debuted in 2015, and gained a camera connector in mid-2016 while retaining the same $5 price tag. The addition of wireless connectivity does double the price to $10, but that it’s still a relative bargain given what’s possible with the platform. Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton says that there has been strong demand for the functionality from the community.
Wireless support is added through the use of a Cypress CYW43438 chip (also found on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B), which supports 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 functionality. These new additions join a 1GHz single-core processor with 512MB RAM, microUSB power, micro-USB OTG port, mini-HDMI port, 40-pin header and the aforementioned CSI camera connector.
“It makes a better general-purpose computer because you’re less likely to need a hub: if you’re using Bluetooth peripherals you might well end up with nothing at all plugged into the USB port,” said Upton. “And of course, it’s a great platform for experimenting with IoT applications.”
To go along with the new Zero W, Raspberry Pi has also announced the availability of a new official case for the board. The case includes a camera adapter flex cable, rubber feet on the bottom and will be priced at $5. The Zero W is available now to purchase (if you can find a place that hasn’t already run out of stock).