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Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W: 5x faster than the original for $ 5 more

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Enlarge / The Raspberry Pi Zero 2W.

The tiny Raspberry Pi Zero is getting its first upgrade in almost five years. Today, Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton announced the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, a new $ 15 product that packs the Raspberry Pi 3’s processor into a board exactly the same size as the original Zero.

The new board swaps the 1 GHz single-core ARM11 processor of the old Zero for a quad-core Cortex-A53-based Broadcom BCM2710A1 processor, which is also clocked at 1 GHz – the same processor as in the original Raspberry Pi 3 was used, which was released in 2016, albeit clocked a little lower. This is a significant increase in performance and performance for the Pi Zero, from one core to four and from 32 bits to 64.

Upton said the performance improvement over the original Zero “varies depending on the workload,” but is “almost exactly five times faster” for multithreaded tasks such as those simulated by sysbench. Heat dissipation is ensured by “thick internal copper layers” in the board, which are intended to prevent thermal throttling without the use of additional fans or heat sinks.

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The Pi Zero 2 W should fit in most cases and other accessories designed for the original model.Enlarge / The Pi Zero 2 W should fit in most cases and other accessories designed for the original model.

But the Pi Zero 2W is still a miniature, low-power version of the Pi, which means there just isn’t much room for other upgrades. The Zero 2 W still uses 512MB of RAM, 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 4.2, and a single HDMI port along with two micro-USB ports (one for power, one for data) and a microSD card slot . Since it still uses the same Zero form factor, it should match any existing cases and accessories made for the original Pi Zero.

Upton said the company hopes to ship around 200,000 Pi Zero 2 W boards in the remainder of 2021 and an additional 250,000 in the first half of 2022. Those numbers are somewhat limited by the ongoing chip shortage, resulting in a rare price hike for the flagship model of the Raspberry Pi 4 earlier this month.

The original Pi Zero W and Wi-Fi-less Pi Zero continue to be manufactured and sold at their original prices of $ 10 and $ 5, respectively.

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