Raspberry Pi, the programable microcomputer, has become even more micro. A newly unveiled board adds a few tempting hardware tweaks, as well as reducing the overall size of the Pi.
Raspberry Pi represents an effort to strip a computer down to its most basic elements, providing only a simple, undecorated circuit board that can be hooked up to a monitor and other peripherals — or baked into more ambitious and bizarre projects. It offers a way for youngsters to get to grips with programming, and a very cheap way for grown-up geeks to get experimental.
The new A+ board measures 65mm (2.6 inches) in length, compared with the older 86mm (3.4-inch) Model A board. The Raspberry Pi Foundation, based in Cambridge, UK, has also seen fit to swap the Pi’s SD card slot for a microSD option, and pop in a 40-pin GPIO header, giving more inputs and outputs.
The Foundation boasts that its new board features an audio circuit with a dedicated low-noise power supply, while the A+ keeps the 256MB of RAM that its forebear possessed.
The A+ is designed to serve as a more modest companion to the powerful B+ board, revealed in the summer. Brits can buy the A+ now for a little over £15 from retailer Farnell, while US shoppers can find it at MCM for $20.
“It’s pretty mind-bending to be able to knock another $5 off the cost while continuing to build it here in the UK,” writes Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton. For more info on Raspberry Pi, and how the Foundation cooked its groundbreaking microcomputer in the first place, check out CNET’s video feature below.