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Offline Thomasjc1

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Funds sought for tiny 6 computer
« on: 11 May 2015, 19:50:14 »
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A Californian start-up is seeking funding to make a computer that will cost $9 (6) in its most basic form.

Next Thing wants $50,000 to finish development of the credit-card sized Chip computer.

The first versions will have a 1Ghz processor, 512MB of Ram and 4GB of onboard storage.

The gadget, due to go on general release in early 2016, could become yet another rival to the popular Raspberry Pi barebones computer.

The Chip shares some technical elements with the Pi in that it is built around an Arm chip but it includes some networking technologies, such as wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.0, that are not present on the standard Raspberry configuration.

The gadget can run a version of the Linux operating system and connects to monitors and displays via a basic composite connector.

Next Thing is also planning to make a version of the Chip into a handheld gadget called the Pocket Chip that will sell for about $49.

The first finished Chip boards are due to reach backers in December. Though some people who sign up to be a "kernel hacker" backer will get theirs in September.

Since launching on Kickstarter, the project has proved popular and has already exceeded its funding goal.

Currently almost 13,000 people have pledged more than $645,000 (416,000) to the project.
But experts warned that the Chip's low price tag only covered the basic board.

Writing on hardware news site Bit-Tech, Gareth Halfacree said the Chip had "sacrificed a few features" in its desire to be smaller and cheaper than the Pi.

He pointed out that beefing up the graphical abilities to match the Pi raised the price to $24 - far closer to the $35 that the Raspberry Pi 2 costs.

He added that shipping charges outside the US could also make the Chip more expensive than it first appeared.

The computer is also launching into a market getting increasingly crowded with small, powerful computers.

These range from barebones boards aimed at hardware hackers through to entire computers on USB sticks chips made by Intel and Google.

The Chip computer is the second project Next Thing has funded via Kickstarter.

Its first was a digital camera called Otto powered by the Raspberry Pi.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32690000

 

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