back to article Raspberry Pi gives us all new 'Pi Zero W' for its fifth birthday

The Raspberry Pi turned five on Tuesday and the Foundation behind the computer has given us all a present: a new “Pi Zero W” model. The Pi Zero emerged in November 2015 at the low, low price of US$5. That small sum bought you a 65mm x 30mm x 5mm package containing a Broadcom BCM2835 processor, 512MB RAM, an HDMI connector, SD …

  1. Sampler

    I wonder

    Has the form factor changed at all or can I use the case from my current zero and simply swap the board out? That would make life easy (and something you couldn't do with the model B revisions for the most part).

    1. Nik 2

      Re: I wonder

      No, they're designed to be fully swappable with the original Zero.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everybody loves Pi

    That is all!

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Everybody loves Pi

      I certainly do.

      If the question is something, something low power? or something something cheap, then answer is almost always Raspberry Pi.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Everybody loves Pi

        But what if the something, something was lunch?!

        Oh, I suppose that works too.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Everybody loves Pi

        If you need one of them - not being able to order even 10off of most of them is a bit limiting for planning even small projectd

    2. kmac499

      Re: Everybody loves Pi

      Dear HMG;

      Today you announced your digital strategy, a high proportion of which seems to be, to set up talking shops, and the have banks to sponsor some code clubs, worthy maybe; effective nah.

      The BBC tried to reboot it's computer education program by producing a widget, ( a glorified badge) that because of health and safety concerns of the little kiddies swallowing the battery, was crippled before birth.

      Meanwhile the Raspberry Pi mob has been creating ever better and cheaper computers whilst taking their message of education out into the wild. They have just trained their 1000th educator using a free scheme.

      I'm concerned about our future IT capability both for new products and our capability to protect our ever growing digital infrastruture.

      My advice would be don't interfere with what the Raspberry guys are doing, don't even try to learn from it. Just give them a purchase order and cheque for a say a million quid, to buy a truckload of their kit to be used in schools, and then walk away and leave them to it.

      Just a thought...

      1. Dave 15

        Re: Everybody loves Pi

        What? Are you real?

        The BBC supporting something British... not a chance in hell, no, it would only be any good if it was from Apple. Even if that means made in a far east sweatshop by a bunch of slaves

        The British government buying something British, or supporting British industry, oh please, have you noticed they won't even buy a tank or police car from this country. I closed down a business because the BRITISH government would rather spend BRITISH tax payers money on getting Microsoft (a large American corporation) to create a 'software apprenticeship scheme' rather than helping a BRITISH company created by BRITISH people in BRITAIN who already had a functional 'software apprenticeship scheme'.

        The idea of either the BBC or the British government (independant of Conservative or Labour) supporting the British is just laughable.

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Everybody loves Pi

      For sure - If the question is what is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to it's diameter I really have no other answer.

      1. peterkin

        Re: Everybody loves Pi

        3, of course.

  3. YARR

    Having all that on-board is a lot more practical for developing / interacting with, but I hope they keep the original zero (1.3) going for embedded tasks. Maybe next birthday it will come with ARMv7+ and more memory if they can cram the ICs onto that tiny board?

    The naming conventions could get confusing, I'd call it the zero-two or zero-three etc.

  4. ridley

    I just hope that at the new price it will be worth their while to actually make some.

    The original PiZero has been available for ages but you are only able to buy 1 at a time which is pretty useless if you want to buy 30+ for a class to use in a school.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And I can't touch a PiZero for less than $20 here in the USA. :( I won't hold my breath waiting to get a Pi Zero W. My local electronics shop does carry rPi 3s, but those sell out quick. They seem to get about 50 in every two weeks, and they are gone in about two days. I lost one rPi 2 in the mail last year. Ordered it from Amazon in a pair, they shipped from Blighty, and only one arrived. Oh well, I hope someone put it to good use.

      All my projects are belong to Raspberry Pi! Except my microPython and Arduinos, of course. So much space on the workbench, thanks to these tiny systems!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Magani

        We have Zero stock

        And I can't touch a PiZero for less than $20 here in the USA.

        Ditto here in Oz, only the minimum cost seems to be around AU$35, as they insist on including 2 adaptors that are certainly not worth the extra $25.

        I'd love to try out the Zero W, but I'm not holding my breath. All major RasPi suppliers (RS, Element14, etc) here have Zero stock of the Zero (maybe that's where they got their name?) and it's been that way since Christmas when I started looking.

    2. Karl H

      my thoughts exactly.

      I guess the Raspberry Pi Foundation worked out that they under priced the original pi zero, therefore it wasn't worth making that many of them.

      So I am too hoping that with the pi-zero-w at about £10 it will be worth the foundations while to actually make enough of them.

      Ordering 1 pi zero at a time and having to pay £2.50 shipping on a £4 item always seemed crazy to me, and then I'd need to add a USB wifi dongle . So the total cost is still in the region of £10 pi-zero-w. (possibly more).

      The pi-zero-w will make IoT projects possible to secure more easily than say with the (admittedly very cheap) ESP8266 . Yes pi-zero-w's are a bit bigger than ESP8266 ESP-12 modules, but they can run a decent linux distro, proper encryption on web services, things that are painful and not as good on ESP8266s.

      Maybe I'm not a very good C++ programmer (I wished I was) I find programming ESP8266s in the Arduino IDE very painful to say perl or python. So now a pi-zero doesn't need a wifi-dongle I can see them used where an ESP8266 might have been used.

      I guess for me I'd like to see a pi-zero-w without any video. All I need for IoT project is a serial terminal, network adapter, and lots of GPIOs. The freed up silicon space for the graphics could be used for more memory or a bit more processing power.

  5. John Smith 8

    Pi Zero was fictional....

    I've got one, but I got it off the magazine cover. Never managed to see anywhere selling one in the UK. I didn't look too hard, I'm sure ebay might have sold me one for a higher price than the Pi3, but normal sources such as amazon never sold them.

    My pi zero was booted once. What I wanted was ten of them, and network access, so this one might be the answer to my question.... For a bit of parallelisation work...

    I heard the original pi zero was built on the back of a dumping of old chips, which pretty much made it a limited run...

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Pi Zero was fictional....

      Er, what? On the order of 0.5M Zero's have been made/sold, and they are available right now from the suppliers. Still only one each though. They are still being made.

      1. Karl H

        Re: Pi Zero was fictional....

        yes, 1 pi zero ( or now the W variant) per order . Which is a bit painful with shipping at £2.50 from the suppliers who still only sometimes have them.

        Hopefully the pi-zero-w's higher price will encourage the foundation to make more of them.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not just sell the on Amazon

    Solves the availabilty and distribution issue, assuming you can make them fast enough.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Why not just sell the on Amazon

      The root cause of limited availability is the Zero was not manufactured in sufficient quantity, and the reason for that is the RRP is too low to allow them to be economically manufactured in quantity and have too little margin for larger retailers to stock them.

      Hopefully the increased price changes that.

      If they can manufacture enough, with enough margin for larger retailers, we might see them in superstores alongside DVDs, SD cards and TV streamers and elsewhere.

      It hasn't helped that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has repeatedly underestimated the popularity of their products. They expected to only sell 10,000 at the start, did not do much better with the Zero. Let's hope they do better with the Zero W. It has so far proven the case that the best engineers don't necessarily make good business leaders.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Why not just sell the on Amazon

        On the other hand, for a limited resource company, you always need to be cautious. The RPF are not Apple or Samsung.

        Being engineers hasn't stop the Pi from becoming the UK best ever selling computer, and it's catching up with the Commodore 64 for numbers sold, at over 12M. What it has meant is that you keep getting product that actually works, with actual support.

        The ZeroW should be available in larger quantities than the original zero, for reasons you outline.

  7. Known Hero

    $ Why !!

    1. John Bailey
    2. James Hughes 1

      Because the parts are all purchased in $, this ensures consistency of pricing.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4GB memory please!

    I want to use this at schools in my village and want to teach students animation and 3d modelling using Blender, Inkscape and Synfig Studio.

    Thank you!

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: 4GB memory please!

      Not possible with the current SoCs. Google will explain why.

  9. DropBear Silver badge

    "a wallet-flattening (not) $10." it's $01 then, or was that hex...?

    1. William Towle
      Thumb Up

      > "a wallet-flattening (not) $10."

      It's wallet-flattening if you pay with coins because it's such a small amount...

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        That's PURSE-flattening because wallets tend to hold the bills/notes.

  10. John Robson Silver badge

    I might have to get one - with the camera connector as well now...

    That makes me happy...

  11. Bob Vistakin
    Big Brother

    Android Things?

    My only question with any new Pi, since it's now one of their reference boards. CPU 512M says no to me, but it surely can't be too long before one of these ultra cheapo boards does, and Google refines its IoT OS to the point I can ask my IoT toaster if my IoT cats bowl needs filling as I tell my IoT kettle to stick a brew on.

    1. Magani

      Re: Android Things?

      ...I can ask my IoT toaster if my IoT cats bowl needs filling as I tell my IoT kettle to stick a brew on.

      If my (albeit limited) exposure to the IoT is anything to go by, at this point it will toast the cat, fill the cat's bowl with boiling tea, order you a gross of Teas-made from Amazon for drone delivery and ask you to ensure the Amazon Landing Pad is in place.

      1. Allonymous Coward

        Re: Android Things?

        After doing all of that, it will DDoS Twitter.

      2. Karl H

        Re: Android Things?

        "If my (albeit limited) exposure to the IoT is anything to go by, at this point it will toast the cat, fill the cat's bowl with boiling tea, order you a gross of Teas-made from Amazon for drone delivery and ask you to ensure the Amazon Landing Pad is in place."

        ROFLMAO !

        upvote from me :)

        I am a bit of an IoT *fan-boy*, but even I can't see why I'd ever need an IoT toaster (how does the bread get in it ? ) or IoT kettle (how is it going to be filled up ?)

        IoT-ed cat bowl filler maybe useful.

        With some sort of house robot, putting the bread in the toaster, filling the kettle , actually pouring the hot water in a cup to make some tea, what is the point of IoTing kettles and toasters ?

        I only need to IoT for things I want to monitor, automate or control remotely, and tea and toast don't figure anywhere as useful things do any of those to.

        IoTing a fridge freezer, apart from temperature monitoring, also seems extremely pointless. I can recall "blue sky" thinkers saying an IoT fridge automatically ordering food. A stupid idea. Although what I could possibly do if say my fridge in the UK says "I'm too hot" whilst I'm sunbathing in Spain could also make this a bit pointless too. I guess I could say "yeah join the club ..."

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Android Things?

          You can have kettles with water storage...

          So all you need to do is leave a cup and teabag on the tray - and trigger the 'boil 250ml water' command.

          1. Dave 15

            Re: Android Things?

            Ah, you mean a teasmaid... I recollect my grandparents had one 40 years ago, the only thing was it didn't catch viruses from an ip connection

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I were the Pi foundation...

    Id offer a subs service.

    Id pay £50 a year to get the latest and greatest Pi straight off the production line. Or if theres no new release another of the same Pi.

    Do it!

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: If I were the Pi foundation...

      Interesting idea, but I suspect too much of a PITA to implement!

  13. Mikel

    It's a nice little piece

    Will be getting a few - one at a time.

    Been having fun with OpenCV on the Pi3. Can't wait to try out a mini drone with this in. Power requirements are tiny.

  14. Triggerfish

    I'm not actually sure what to do with one,

    but still find the urge to want to buy it.

    1. Kernel Silver badge

      Re: I'm not actually sure what to do with one,

      I thought that when I first got mine - but with Pi 3B in one hand and DuckDuckGo in the other, said Pi is now running a VPN server at home and hosting 128GB of NAS in the form of one 64GB USB stick , with another 64GB consisting of two USB sticks in Raid 1 configuration - just because I could.

      It's still not very busy, so the next addition might be to play with some hardware attached to the IO header (and update the NAS to hardrives).

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: I'm not actually sure what to do with one,

        I've had a good think and thought of a reason to jusify buying one. It seems rude not to at this price.

  15. Wiltshire

    There does seem to be a supply problem. e.g. at Farnell

    Pi3? No problem, 14,529 in stock for next day delivery (UK stock)

    The Pi Zero W is not even listed as an item, never mind zero stock.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting hack:

    64*8 Zero 1.1's (now there are a few of them around) to process medical imaging data.

    I did some tests on my two units "Alice" and "Bob" before Alice went AWOL, and it does seem that you can combine processing power very simply indeed with an external backplane and run the GPUs in tunnel mode by slight overclocking to exploit rowhammer effects in vulnerable areas of the memory

    with temperature feedback via the existing sensor in the SoC.

    The problem as it turned out was actually getting a decent number of them, had to resort to buying broken units on fleabay and repairing them with a very simple varicap clock modification so that the units can run synchronously by adjusting the brightness of one external LED attached to a photodiode sensor.

    Way cheaper than the £39 (!) scalper price, also the Pi-0 can now control its own clock.

    I tested this on quite a few recent laptops but the problem was that it ate the BIOS in short order for reasons that are still being investigated.

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