Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Rocks More Tiny Single Board PC Horsepower For Just $15
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has baked up another special treat for fans of single-board computer (SBC) projects: Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. It is a long overdue follow-up to the original Raspberry Pi Zero W, and looking at the specifications and and list of features, it appears to be worth the wait (we haven't gotten our hands on one yet).
What's on tap is a pretty sizable upgrade in horsepower, in the same physical size package as the original. The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W packs a custom system-on-chip (SoC) based on Broadcom's BCM2710A1, the same as found in the original Raspberry Pi 3, just clocked a little slower (1GHz across all cores).
It features four Arm Cortex-A53 cores, and is a huge upgrade over the single-core ARM11 processor in the original (Broadcom BCM2835). The first Raspberry Pi Zero W also ran at 1GHz, but the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W benefits from an upgraded architecture, a quad-core design, and a shift from 32-bit to 64-bit computing. As such, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is purportedly up to five times faster than its predecessor (in multi-threaded tasks).
Also on tap is 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (both 4.2 and LE) wireless connectivity and onboard antenna, a microSD card slot, a mini HDMI port, a micro USB On-The-Go (OTG) port, CSI-2 camera sensor, HAT-compatible 40-pin I/O header, and composite video and reset pins via solder test points.
One thing that shouldn't be understated is that Raspberry Pi Foundation kept the dimensions the same, at 65mm x 30mm. That means existing projects that could benefit from faster hardware could essentially swap out the board, without having tinker with whatever gadget it's going into. That's pretty neat.
"Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is perfect for a range of smart home applications and other IoT projects. From security cameras to Bluetooth speakers, Zero 2 W has the tiny form factor and impressive power that make it an ideal computer for your projects," Raspberry Pi Foundation states.
Indeed, we're big fans of the Raspberry Pi and SBC kits in general. Here are some nifty projects we've highlighted over the years...
- Retro Game Console (Raspberry Pi 4 with Lakka)
- Raspberry Pi Zero-Powered Super Nintendo in an SNES Controller
- Cyberpunk 2077 Running on a Game Boy Inspired Raspberry Pi
- Raspberry Pi 4 Internet-Connected RC Car Mod
- How to Build a Commodore 64 with a Raspberry Pi Zero
- Raspberry Pi 4 Mod Lets You Stream Nintendo Switch Games
That's really just the tip of the SBC iceberg, and certainly there are use cases that extend beyond retro gaming. There's just a lot of cool things these relatively inexpensive kits enable.
Speaking of which, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is $5 more than its predecessor, debuting at $15. Not too bad when you consider the upgraded hardware and temporary price hikes Raspberry Pi Foundation recently announced. If you're interested it, hit up the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W page for a list of retailers.