Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W: We Have a New Pi Priced at $15

The new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is up to five times as fast as the original Raspberry Pi Zero.

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is a tiny low-cost computer with a massive user base that is perfect for embedded projects. But let’s start with the name. The number 2 indicating second generation and the W meaning that it’s got wireless connectivity.

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Compared with the original Raspberry Pi Zero we can see that the form factor is identical and the connectors are also identical. So a new board should be a drop-in replacement for the existing board except with more power. In addition it should also work with the existing accessories.

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W compared to Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Specs

CPUQuad Core ARM Cortex-A53 running at 1 GHz
RAM512 MB Low Power DDR2
GPIOStandard 40 Pin (unpopulated)
ConnectorsMini HDMI, Micro USB power, Micro USB 2.0 data, Camera connector (Requires adapter)
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 4.2
Dimensions65mm x 30mm

This new board is dominated by one component and this is a brand new chip designed by Raspberry Pi and knows as the RP3A0 or just the RP3. This is a SIP (system-in-package) that contains both the SoC and the RAM.

So whereas on the first generation Pi Zero models the RAM was stacked on top of the SoC, here both the RAM and the SoC are in the same package.

In that package the CPU is quad-core with four 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 cores running at up to 1GHz and this is coupled with 512 MB of SDRAM. The memory is Low Power DDR2 running at 450 MHz and the SoC is similar to what was used on early Pi 3 models.

Therefore we have a lot more processing power on the new Zero as the original Zero models are single core. However the RAM on the new Pi Zero 2 W is the same as previously, which is a little disappointing, but let’s keep in mind that the specification is limited by the $15 price tag.

The GPU is a VideoCore 4 design with the same image sensor pipeline and video codecs.

In terms of connectivity what we have here is very similar to what we had on the original Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W models with a Micro SD card slot, Mini HDMI connector and two Micro USB 2 connectors. One of which is used to power the board and the other for plugging in peripherals.

Critically for projects we also have a CSI (camera serial interface) connector as well as an 40 pin unpopulated GPIO header, which means that Zero 2 W comes without a pin header.

Finally the last thing we’ll not mentioned is on the top of the board which is the wireless module. It offers 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth 4.2.

Desktop Performance

The Zero 2 W is also surprisingly usable as a general-purpose desktop – just about, at least. As with all Pis, your hard disk is a microSD card. You can install on it a Raspberry Pi OS, a free, open-source Debian-based Linux operating system engineered for use on Pi boards.

But don’t get too ambitious here – the performance gets a little sluggish if you run multiple demanding processes at once. Zero 2 W is capable as a desktop computer, but that’s clearly not the primary purpose of this little PC. So, if you’re looking to buy this Raspberry Pi for desktop PC use, the Pi Zero 2 W probably isn’t the best choice.

On the other hand, if you like making your own embedded device projects, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is for you.

Availability and Price

The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is available in the US, UK, EU, Canada, and Hong Kong. It’s officially prices at $15.

For more information about the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, you can refer to the the product’s website.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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