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What just happened? The Raspberry Pi Foundation may have increased prices for the first time ever due to the ongoing chip shortage, but supply chain woes could do little to slow innovation within the wall of the foundation. Eben Upton and company have announced a new version of the popular Raspberry Pi Zero W that packs the same Broadcom BCM2710A1 SoC die as the launch version of the Raspberry Pi 3 (albeit with slightly underclocked cores running at 1GHz) alongside 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM.
Upton said performance will vary depending on the workload, but in the multi-threaded sysbench test, the new Pi Zero 2 W is nearly five times faster than its predecessor.
Full hardware specifications are as follows:
- Broadcom BCM2710A1, quad-core 64-bit SoC (Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1GHz)
- 512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM
- 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2, BLE
- 1 × USB 2.0 interface with OTG
- HAT-compatible 40 pin I/O header footprint
- MicroSD card slot
- Mini HDMI port
- Composite video and reset pin solder points
- CSI-2 camera connector
- H.264, MPEG-4 decode (1080p30); H.264 encode (1080p30)
- OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 graphics
To circumvent thermal restrictions, the foundation used thick internal copper layers to pull heat away from the processor. Upton said you can really feel the difference in weight when holding a Zero W and Zero 2 W in your hands, but that it pays off as an uncased Zero 2 W can run the Linpack linear-algebra stress test indefinitely without throttling in a 20C ambient environment.
The new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is available to purchase from writing priced at $15. That’s $5 more expensive than the Zero W, but is still incredibly affordable no matter how you slice it. Best yet, existing MagPi subscribers will receive a free Zero 2 W in the coming days, an offer that also extends to all new subscribers as a welcome gift for a limited time.