CHIP

World’s first $9 open source computer aims to put computers in the hands of everyone

US-based Next Thing Company, is aiming to create a $9 computer (approximately Rs 580 at current exchange rates) that enables you to do everything a PC does

US-based Next Thing Company, is aiming to create a $9 computer (approximately Rs 580 at current exchange rates) that enables you to do everything a PC does – which is surf the web, check e-mail over Wi-Fi, play games or edit documents. The company is raising funds through Kickstarter to fund its project of building a low cost computer.

By using common, available, and volume-produced processor, memory, and Wifi chips, the firm hopes to leverage the scales at which tablet manufacturers operate to get everyone the best price.

The computer called C.H.I.P. is designed to work with any screen, which means that you can use older monitors or even old television sets. The open source computer runs on Debian Linux, and comes with a 1 GHz processor equipped with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB of flash storage. C.H.I.P. also has built in WiFi and Bluetooth. You can hence connect to the Internet and attach a keyboard and mouse wirelessly. C.H.I.P. also includes a fully integrated battery power circuit so that you can just attach a 3.7v LiPo battery to C.H.I.P. and you’re ready to go mobile.

 

If you want a monitor or keyboard built-in, you can go in for Pocket C.H.I.P. that comes with a LCD screen, a QWERTY keyboard and an internal battery. This however costs $49.

The makers say that C.H.I.P. is built to be flexible. “Whether you’re building yourself a wall clock that counts down time to the next bus at your stop, or setting up a network of hundreds of solar-powered air quality sensors for use in disaster relief, you need the same basic tools to start from: a processor, a way to exchange data, and a way to power everything. With C.H.I.P., all the groundwork is laid, and the only question is what you’ll do next,” say the makers on the Kickstarter page.  C.H.I.P. is totally open source, which means that all hardware designs, PCB layout and bill of materials are free for the community to download, modify and use.

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