Hordes spaff cash on Chip titchyputer to rival Pi (maybe)

1) Make Video. 2) Collect Money. 3) Hmmm ...


The success of the Raspberry Pi has spawned a cottage industry of imitators, but the budget hobbyist computer's $35 price tag is looking downright expensive compared to the latest arrival – the $9 Chip bare-bones computer.

Chip promo vid

The Chip comes with an Allwinner A13 ARM-based 1GHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB of storage, all on a circuit board that's smaller than a packet of cigarettes. Connectivity comes from 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth, and you can buy a VGA or HDMI port adapter for an additional $10 and $15 respectively.

The device is the brainchild of an Oakland, California startup seemingly populated entirely by hipsters, which is pitching it as either a standalone computer or an inexpensive controller for larger projects. The Chip runs Debian Linux and, according to its developers, both the software and hardware are "totally open source."

For a more consumer-friendly package, the team is also offering an outer shell for the devices, dubbed Pocket Chip, which turns the Chip into the world's ugliest Blackberry knockoff. The $49 add-on has a 4.3-inch, 470-by-272 pixel color touchscreen, a QWERTY keyboard with what looks like finger-crippling buttons, and a battery that claims to be able to power the Chip for five hours.

Pocket Chip

Note the high-tech pencil stand

The project went up on Kickstarter two days ago with the goal of raising $50,000 to buy parts cheaply in volume. It exceeded that in mere hours and the project now has over $275,000 in pledged funds – which could make the team think again about quite how big their plans should be.

The Chip devs plan to begin manufacturing the devices in November and the first units should ship in May of next year, but if you give the group $150 they'll apparently send you an alpha unit this September, plus five Chip units and a Pocket Chip gizmo once they become generally available. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • It's primed and full of fuel, the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to be packed up prior to launch

    Fingers crossed the telescope will finally take to space on 22 December

    Engineers have finished pumping the James Webb Space Telescope with fuel, and are now preparing to carefully place the folded instrument inside the top of a rocket, expected to blast off later this month.

    “Propellant tanks were filled separately with 79.5 [liters] of dinitrogen tetroxide oxidiser and 159 [liters of] hydrazine,” the European Space Agency confirmed on Monday. “Oxidiser improves the burn efficiency of the hydrazine fuel.” The fuelling process took ten days and finished on 3 December.

    All eyes are on the JWST as it enters the last leg of its journey to space; astronomers have been waiting for this moment since development for the world’s largest space telescope began in 1996.

    Continue reading
  • China to upgrade mainstream RISC-V chips every six months

    Home-baked silicon is the way forward

    China is gut punching Moore's Law and the roughly one-year cadence for major chip releases adopted by the Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others.

    The government-backed Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is developing open-source RISC-V performance processor, says it will release major design upgrades every six months. CAS is hoping that the accelerated release of chip designs will build up momentum and support for its open-source project.

    RISC-V is based on an open-source instruction architecture, and is royalty free, meaning companies can adopt designs without paying licensing fees.

    Continue reading
  • The SEC is investigating whistleblower claims that Tesla was reckless as its solar panels go up in smoke

    Tens of thousands of homeowners and hundreds of businesses were at risk, lawsuit claims

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into whether Tesla failed to tell investors and customers about the fire risks of its faulty solar panels.

    Whistleblower and ex-employee, Steven Henkes, accused the company of flouting safety issues in a complaint with the SEC in 2019. He filed a freedom of information request to regulators and asked to see records relating to the case in September, earlier this year. An SEC official declined to hand over documents, and confirmed its probe into the company is still in progress.

    “We have confirmed with Division of Enforcement staff that the investigation from which you seek records is still active and ongoing," a letter from the SEC said in a reply to Henkes’ request, according to Reuters. Active SEC complaints and investigations are typically confidential. “The SEC does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation,” a spokesperson from the regulatory agency told The Register.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021