Do you know why so many Raspberry Pi Zero clones suddenly popuing up in the market?
Raspberry Pi Zero is smallest single board computer launched by Raspberry Pi foundation several years back and it is still one the most affordable SBC among all Raspberry Pi Boards.
It became popular because of its launch price tag of 5$ although now a days the board is not all available at that price.
You can get one Raspberry Pi Zero any where from ~12-15$ per unit depending on the supplier and quantity.
Since it is very popular SBC among makers, a few other companies have adapted the form-factor and designed board with different processors and interfaces but similar interfaces.
As of today there are two boards which can be called clones of Raspberry Pi Zero.
1. Radza Zero: Raspberry Pi Zero clone
- Amlogic S905Y2 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor (upto 2.0 Ghz)
- Arm Mali-G31 MP2 GPU
- RAM Options: 512MB / 1GB /2GB
- Flash: eMMC 8GB / 16GB
- On board wireless module: AP6212 / AP6256 depending on variant
- SD card Interface
- 2x USB-C Ports with one supporting USB 3.0 Host and one USB 2.0 OTG
- Micro HDMI capable of 4K resolution at 60Hz
- No CSI Camera port 🙁
- 40 Pin header for GPIOs and other interfaces
- 40-pin expansion header
- 2 x UART, 2 x SPI, 3 x I2C bus, 1 x PCM/I2S, 1 x SPDIF, 2 x PWM, 1 x ADC, 6 x GPIO, 2 x 5V DC, 2 x 3.3V DC power in.
- Same size as Raspberry Pi Zero
Radxa Zero Schematic is available.
Different versions would be available:
Company has already manufactured over 100 boards for beta testers and production may start in 2-3 months.
Radxa’s board will run Android and some other OS but not Raspberry Pi OS, which may not be a good news for a lot of makers and developers.
Getting started guide is provided for early users.
Cost & where to buy from?
Currently it is not available for purchase but it will be available by October end or November. Their price of board will be somewhere around ~35 USD basic version and high end version with 4GB Ram and 16GB Flash may go even more than 50 USD.
You can read more on Radxa Forum
1. BananaPi M2 Zero: Raspberry Pi Zero clone
- Alwinner H2+ Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 Processor
- GPU: Mali 400 MP2
- No onboard Flash but Micro SD Card
- RAM: 512M DDR3
- AP6212 for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- 2x Micro USB Connector, one OTG USB 2.0 and other for power
- Camera interface
- Ethernet: They have provided 4 pins between two USB ports which could be used to take out Ethernet signals.
- 40 Pin header
- Mini HDMI
- Size: 65mm × 30mm
- OS Support: Linux, Android
Read more about Banana PI M2 Zero
Cost & where to buy from?
Banana Pi M2 Zero costs around 30 USD and you can buy from various distributors.
3. Orange Pi Zero 2W: Raspberry Pi Zero clone
Orange Pi has released a new Raspberry Pi Zero compatible hardware, Orange Pi Zero 2W. It is exactly same form factor, mounting holes, 40 Pin standard connector.
Compared to Raspberry Pi Zero, the Orange Pi Zero 2W comes with a much better spec from processor and RAM options. It is a small board yet quite powerful. Additionally, It also gives you possibility to add Ethernet, USB ports, IR, Power Buttons, Audio interface via expansion connector.
Orange Pi Zero 2W is built with the Allwinner H618 high-performance quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, which can run up to 1.5GHz. It also features the Mali G31 MP2 graphics processor, with support for OpenGL ES 1.0/2.0/3.2, OpenCL 2.0, and Vulkan 1.1.
Orange Pi Pi Zero 2W costs ranges from 12.9$ to 23.9$ based on RAM capacity
- $12.9 with 1GB RAM
- $15.9 with 1.5GB
- $18.9 with 2GB
- $23.9 with 4GB
On the other hand, the expansion board is around $4.9 extra.
You can buy from Aliexpress.
I am currently working as an embedded systems design consultant and helping companies build custom embedded products, develop test automation solution for their PCB or complete product.
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