Kickstarter has launched some amazing technology projects by connecting creative engineers with millions of independent financial backers. The latest exciting electronic device is a $9 computer called Chip. The single-board computer has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB ram, and 4GB storage. Chip is designed to be portable, with battery-ready circuitry. The developer board works with any screen and is designed to be the starting point for computer-based DIY projects. It comes pre-loaded with Scratch, a programming language that was developed by MIT to teach coding to kids. The entire system is open source so the hardware design files, schematic, PCB layout, and bill of materials can be downloaded for free.
The company behind the $9 computer is Next Thing Co., a team of nine artists and engineers based out of Oakland, California. The small company partnered with Allwinner, a China-based semiconductor company, to reduce costs by using common, high-volume components to leverage the scales at which tablet manufacturers operate. Chip has already surpassed fundraising goals, raising almost $800,000 just a few days into their Kickstarter campaign.
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