At first glance, the Pi Zero isn’t much. It just looks like a slimmed down version of the Raspberry Pi we know and love. But when we started to think of the possibilities - and what a well-chosen set of accessories could add - we realized the appeal. And then we saw the price…could it be true? Yes!
This is the slimmest, most pared down Raspberry Pi to date. It’s kind of like the little cousin to the Pi 2 - with just a micro SD card slot, a mini HDMI port, two micro USB ports (one for power, one for USB), and 512MB of RAM. It has a single-core 1 GHz processor chip, similar to the Pi A+ and B+.
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We use a special library called adafruit_blinka (named after Blinka, the CircuitPython mascot) to provide the layer that translates the CircuitPython hardware API to whatever library the Linux board provides.
For example, on Raspberry Pi we use the python RPi.GPIO library. For any I2C interfacing we'll use ioctl messages to the /dev/i2c device. For SPI we'll use the spidev python library, etc. These details don't matter so much because they all happen underneath the adafruit_blinka layer.