World’s Cheapest $9 Computer Is Faster, Smaller & Cheaper Than Raspberry Pi
Move over Raspberry Pi because the C.H.I.P is here.
A crowd funded startup named Next Thing Co. is creating world’s cheapest computer which will be priced just $9. Named as “C.H.I.P”, this is technically faster, smaller & cheaper than Raspberry Pi, which is currently hailed as the leader of single-board computing world, introduced at $25.
The project was listed on Kickstarter, and the tech community has gone berserk over the proposal. Within 6 hours of posting, Next Thing Co. was able to surpass their initial goal of raising $50,000. At the time of writing, 2621 backers have successfully raised $113,365 for this $9 computer.
Powered by 1 Ghz R8 ARM processor and 512 MB DD3 RAM, it can support upto 4GB storage, and provides Internet connectivity via WiFi. Bluetooth is also available on C.H.I.P. It has 3 USB ports, which can be used to connect to any screen, keyboard and mouse to convert into a full fledged computer system, with Internet enabled via WiFi. As of now, the creators have installed Debian Linux as the OS, which can be altered/updated in the coming days.
Analysts have termed this single board device as more powerful than the latest version of Pi: Raspberry Pi B+ as well as BeagleBone Black when measured in terms of clock speed, RAM and storage capacity. Additionally, the ease with which this device is made portable have surprised everyone.
See CHIP’s intro video.
Secret of Low Cost
As per reports, C.H.I.P has contracted with AllWinner, a China based semiconductor company which was World’s largest tablet manufacturer in 2013. The System-On-C.H.I.P which is used here is actually based on the A13 processor manufactured by AllWinner, which powers most of the sub-$50 tablets sold worldwide.
Shenzhen-based startup accelerator HAXLR8R helped Next Thing Co. connect with AllWinner, and the rest is now history.
Thomas Deckert, Dave Rauchwerk, and Gustavo Huber from Next Thing Co. had earlier successfully crowd funded OTTO, which is a camera which can shoot and record animated GIFs; again a first for this world. They had successfully raised $71,559 from 414 backers for OTTO.
What Can C.H.I.P Do?
C.H.I.P can do everything which a full fledged computer can:
- Using open source LibreOffice, users can edit spreadsheets, create word documents and presentations
- Chromium browser can be used to surf the Internet
- C.H.I.P comes pre-loaded with Scratch, which is an easy to learn language that teaches the basics of programming via stories and charts.
- Via Bluetooth Controller, C.H.I.P can be used to play games as well
- Users can also play music by connecting it with a MIDI keyboard
- With DDR3 RAM, C.H.I.P can actually used to run any type of software or tool
- and it has lot of apps, that extends it functionality further
As per their timeline which they have demonstrated on the Kickstarter page, they will complete the manufacturing of C.H.I.P by February next year, and by May, it will be ready to roll out in the market.
$9 computer, with so much power and mobility certainly sounds like an awesome plan. All backers of this project and tech enthusiasts are now eagerly waiting for their product to hit the market, and give Raspberry Pi some serious competition.