C.H.I.P. is a $9 portable computer that can do a range of things a computer does. Designed as a chip, it contains a process, RAM and storage space to allow for a range of uses, like a computer would. It is able to use Libre Office, play games, connect to the Internet and use other application preinstalled in C.H.I.P.
The processor is 1GHz, with 512mb RAM and 4GB storage with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth included. Using the Bluetooth capabilities, users are able to connect their mouse and keyboard to C.H.I.P. and do their work, studies or procrastinate online. It is small, and has peripherals that can add-on, such as a VGA or HDMI add-on to connect to any screen. A Pocket C.H.I.P. turns the chip into a handheld computer with QWERTY keyboard and 4.3” touchscreen.
The hardware and apps are open source, with an easy to use Linux distribution installed. C.H.I.P. is preloaded with some apps, but there are 1000s more available for free download. Most of these apps will be recognizable to users, with many of us already using open source software and apps.
The uses of C.H.I.P. include using the Internet with the Chromium browser, to play games using Bluetooth controllers (Retro and some newer games are available.), learn to code using Scratch, connect to a MIDI keyboard and attach speakers to record and create music, or download one of the other apps available.
For developers, a Kernel Hacker C.H.I.P. is available. Developers will be able to take the C.H.I.P. in a variety of directions and design add-ons that enhance and use the potential of C.H.I.P. It’s not the most powerful device, and many smartphones have more internal capabilities. This device will depend a lot on what developers are able to design for the device.
Many companies are attempting to make computer cheaper and more affordable. Usually their products are advertised towards developing and remote areas, but C.H.I.P. is advertising their product for everyone. Whether or not it’s for everyone is hard to say, as it has the potential to do a lot of things that a computer would be able to. Due to it having no casing, it could be easy to break if not careful. It’s the world’ first $9 computer, but then there’s add-on devices needed, like an extra $10 for a battery or VGA adapter, $40 for the PocketC.H.I.P. While still affordable, you’re more likely to spend more than $9. Currently C.H.I.P. is in development and backers are wanted on Kickstarter.