The credit-card-sized computer has become even smaller! The Raspberry Pi Zero W is still the Pi you know and love, but at a largely reduced size of only 65mm long by 30mm wide and now with headers! With the addition of wireless LAN and Bluetooth, the Raspberry Pi Zero W is ideal for making embedded Internet of Things (IoT) projects. The Pi Zero W has been designed to be as flexible and compact as possible with mini connectors and a populated 40-pin GPIO.
At the heart of the Raspberry Pi Zero W is a 1GHz BCM2835 single-core processor, the same as the B+ and A+, with 512MB RAM. Quite frankly, this Pi is about four times faster that the original Raspberry Pi and is only a fraction of the cost of the current RPi3.
The setup for the Raspberry Pi Zero W is a little more complicated than on other Pis. Because of the small size, many of the connectors on the Pi Zero are not standard. For starters you will want a Mini HDMI to HDMI cable or adapter to connect to your monitor. You will also need a USB OTG cable to connect a USB device, as well as a unique CSI camera cable. No matter how you want to use your Raspberry Pi Zero W, you will need a microSD card with an operating system and a high-quality 5V power supply to power your board.
Note: As of the release of the Raspberry Pi Zero W the NOOBS image will need to be updated to work on Pi Zero boards. You can download the image here.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Sure it's not as zippy as the new 4B. But what is? This is a great size for embedded projects. IoT, Model Rocketry, RC Aircraft, Robotics. Great price too!