Known as the go-to dev board for those looking to prototype with electronics, the Raspberry Pi’s stripped-down Linux PC circuit board is the perfect starting point for those looking to create wearables and other small computer projects.

Aiming to bring that power to even smaller devices, Raspberry Pi today announced the Model A+, an even smaller chip that brings more power and features at a surprisingly lower price point: $20.

While the original aim of the Raspberry Pi was to inspire kids to write code and build computers, the open source nature of the platform has appealed to everybody from professional computer engineers to industrial designers and garage tinkerers. The introduction of the new Model A+ today will surely have an even greater impact on these more mature users as wearables and devices with smaller footprints become the new normal.

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“When we announced Raspberry Pi back in 2011, the idea of producing an “ARM GNU/Linux box for $25″ seemed ambitious, so it’s pretty mind-bending to be able to knock another $5 off the cost while continuing to build it here in the UK, at the same Sony factory in South Wales we use to manufacture the Model B+,” said Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi.

The new announcement comes relatively soon after Raspberry Pi announced their Model B+ in July of 2014. The Model B+ offered more flexibility for learning the Raspberry Pi platform while the Model A focused on being less of a power hog and embed-friendly for wearables and smaller housings.

The Model A+ aims to bring the best of both the previous Model A as well as the Model B+ into a smaller and cheaper package. Starting with the same BCM2835 application processor and 256MB RAM seen in the original Model A, the Model A+ is 20mm shorter (65mm compared to 85mm), consumes less power and features add-ons that were previously only seen in the updated Model B+ including:

  • More GPIO – The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins. The Model A+ is compatible with the HAT standard for add-on boards
  • Micro SD – The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version
  • Better audio – The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply

If you’ve been wanting to get started with a Raspberry Pi but don’t know where to start, consider the Beetbox project by multidisciplinary artist Scott Garner:

You can purchase a Raspberry Pi Model A+ starting today over at the Raspberry Pi.

Author

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.