Raspberry Pi's Model A+ is smaller and cheaper than the original

There's a new member of the Raspberry Pi family. It's called the Model A+, and remarkably, it's even smaller and cheaper than the original. The A+ measures just 2.2" x 2.6", which is about an inch shorter than the Model A. The $20 asking price is also $5 cheaper. Here's a close-up that's much larger than actual size:

Source: Raspberry Pi

Although the A+ is based on similar hardware to its forebear, there are a few important differences outside of the smaller footprint and lower price tag. The old model's full-sized SD slot has been replaced with a micro one, the integrated audio now features a "low-noise power supply" that should improve output quality, and power consumption is claimed to be lower overall. Also, the general-purpose I/O header has added more pins and compatibility with the HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) standard for add-on boards.

Otherwise, the Model A+ has the same low-power Broadcomm BCM2835 SoC as the rest of the Raspberry Pi family. That chip combines a single ARM11-based core clocked at 700MHz with a dual-core "multimedia co-processor" capable of encoding and decoding 1080p video. 256MB of RAM rides shotgun along with a full-sized HDMI out, USB port, and 3.5-mm audio jack. Power is provided by a Micro USB connector.

The Model A+ only has enough horsepower for extremely basic computing, but it's a pretty slick little package for tinkerers, and there's a slightly beefier version with expanded I/O. The Model B+ comes with 512MB of RAM, four USB ports, and integrated 10/100 Fast Ethernet. That variant is slightly longer, at 3.3", and somewhat pricier, at $35.

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