Note: There are several versions of Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W + kit on this page, do choose the preferred option correctly:
- Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W without header
- Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Basic Kit with UK PSU
- Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W with 32GB microSD preloaded with Raspberry Pi OS
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Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
The Upgrades Everyone Has Been Waiting For
Announced on the 28th of October 2021, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is released and it will soon be available on the Cytron marketplace!
What are the UPGRADES?
Since the launch of Raspberry Pi Zero W (1st version) back in February of 2017, it has been so popular that everyone can only get 1 unit :) The stock level has also been labeled as the name = ZERO! It is always out of stock, especially recently, due to the worldwide IC shortage. Raspberry Pi Zero W is the world's lowest-cost Single Board Computer with Wireless capability, at USD 10.00 only (excluding local tax and shipping).
Raspberry Pi Zero W has been used in many projects. And after more than 4 years, the wait is over. Raspberry Pi Zero W is now version 2 - Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. The most significant upgrade is the CPU. The new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W comes with Quad-core, 64-bit, Cortex-A53 CPU, clocked at 1 GHz. At its heart is a Raspberry Pi RP3A0 system-in-package (SiP), integrating a Broadcom BCM2710A1 die with 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM.
Note: The original version of Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W comes without 40-pin Header. However, the WCH version (choose from option) comes with a pre-soldered color-coded 40-pin header!
The new CPU+RAM package on Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is from the Raspberry Pi engineering team, to understand more about the integration and why they choose wire-bonding instead of Package on Package (PoP) on the original Raspberry Pi Zero/W/WH, check out the post by Eben Upton (CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading).
RP3A0 System-in-Package (SiP), by Raspberry Pi Blog Post
There is a slight improvement in the wireless specification, the Bluetooth on Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is upgraded to 4.2 from 4.1 on its pre-successor. Of course, it still preserves the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and BLE. Besides the upgrade of Bluetooth specifications, the wireless circuitry is also shielded with a metal case for better RF compliance.
Let's compare the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W with its pre-successor, Raspberry Pi Zero W:
Those highlighted in Blue Color texts are the major changes. From a single-core, 32-bit CPU in the original Raspberry Pi Zero W, we now get a Quad-core, 64-bit CPU! With this upgrade alone, there is a tremendous improvement. Booting into Raspberry Pi OS desktop GUI is 3X faster than the original Zero W board. From our testing, using the 32GB MakerDisk preloaded with Raspberry Pi OS, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W boot into GUI just within ~20 seconds while the earlier Raspberry Pi Zero W takes ~70 seconds. For single-threaded performance, it is 40% faster than earlier versions too. For multi-threaded, the quad-core performance is 5.2x faster than the single-core CPU.
As Powerful as Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
If you are a Raspberry Pi user, you might have noticed the Quad-core, 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU is also on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B:
And even it comes with a quad-core processor, the maximum power is still way below 5W, or below 1A of current. During idle (power up without doing anything), it consumes just 0.62W, that is just 124mA at 5V. Even under stress test with active WiFi, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W consumes only 2.12W. That is only 424mA at 5V, still below 2.5W! I am seeing a lot of solar-powered projects coming soon. Do check out the post by Jeff Gerling on his review on the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
that also produces this power consumption chart:
Same CPU Cores and Architecture
The Quad-core, 64-bit, ARM Cortex-A53 CPU is the same CPU architecture and spec on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, B+, and A+. The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W has enough power to run the complex programs at a faster speed. We are pretty sure the Raspberry Pi community will come out with more interesting projects utilizing this latest Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. Some of the interesting projects that come out of our mind are:
- RetroPie with Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, looking forward to the enhancements
- OctoPi/OctoPrint on Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
- USB Webcam with Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
- IoT Home Assistant with Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
Besides the processor architecture and specifications, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W has half the RAM of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. Other the other hand, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W has a slightly better Bluetooth specification of 4.2, which again is the same as the Bluetooth specification on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and A+.
With a careful look, we notice the PCB antenna on Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W has been improved to be similar to the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B's PCB antenna! This again will improve the wireless connectivity and data rate.
Thanks to Jeff Gerling, we get to know the WiFi speed improvement. This is the WiFi speed comparison by Jeff in his review of Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W:
WiFi and Wired Speed Comparison of Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W vs Zero W, by Jeff Gerling
As the board is in a super compact size, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W can only fit the minimum ports as a computer. The Raspberry Pi Zero itself does not include peripherals (such as keyboards and mice) or cases. However, there are many accessories to have been included in several official and unofficial bundles, making it highly customizable. Generally, the Raspberry Pi board comes with CPU, GPU, RAM, HDMI multimedia port, USB ports, wireless or wired connectivity, Camera interface, microSD card slot, and General Purpose Input/Output Pins. However, for Raspberry Pi Zero W or Zero 2 it can only accommodate:
- CPU, GPU, and RAM
- microSD card slot
- 1 x USB micro B for power ONLY
- 1 x USB micro B for OTG and Power
- 1 x mini HDMI for multimedia output, up to 1080p30
- 1 x CSI-2 (compact) Camera Port
- 1 x 40-pin GPIO header (unpopulated)
- 1 x PCB antenna
And if you notice, everything is populated on the top side of PCB only. There is no component on the bottom of the PCB. This is one way to save the manufacturing cost, as the PCB assembly process will go through the production line once only :) The machines do not need to flip the PCB to mount components on the other side.
The good news for all existing Raspberry Pi Zero W owners, the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is compatible with most accessories of the earlier Raspberry Pi Zero series of boards. The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W preserves the same mechanical PCB size, mounting holes, same peripheral ports: mini HDMI, two USB micro B for power and OTG, microSD card slot, Compact CSI-2 Camera slot, and the 40-pin GPIO unpopulated header. How good is that?
What Will You Need to Get Started?
If you are new to Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W or WCH, here are our recommendations for the existing user, maker, engineer:
- The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W or WCH itself.
- Power Supply or Power Adapter - A good power supply will make sure your project run reliably, we recommend getting the official PSU from Raspberry Pi for this board:
- 12.5W micro B PSU, UK Plug White Color, suitable for Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, UAE
- 12.5W micro B PSU, EU Plug White Color, suitable for Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines
- As always with new Raspberry Pi models, you'll need the latest version of Raspbian to run on your Raspberry Pi 4. You can get
- With mini HDMI ports and limited space, please grab either:
- An enclosure is always good to protect the most important part of your computer. You can check these enclosures/cases:
- In case you need to access the microSD card load a different OS or reload the Raspberry Pi OS, you can get this USB microSD adapter.