Chip Pro sequel to crowdsourced $9 computer sets its sights on gadget makers

Brad Jones
Digital Trends
Chip Pro sequel to crowdsourced $9 computer sets its sights on gadget makers
The Next Co. wants to make things easier for companies and individuals developing their own gadgets with the Chip Pro, the sequel to the $9 computer that took Kickstarter by storm in 2015.

Last year, the $9 Chip computer made waves on Kickstarter, raising more than $2 million beyond its pledge goal of $50,000. Now, the company behind the device has unveiled its successor, a single-board computer aimed at engineers, start-ups, and manufacturers looking to develop a smart gadget.

The Chip Pro is built around the GR8, a 32-bit 1GHz system-on-a-chip that’s manufactured by Allwinner. It’s fitted with an ARM Mali-400 GPU with RAM included in the processor package, according to a report from The Register.

The device is intended to simplify the process of selecting and implementing a system-on-a-chip solution. At present, there are a wide array of different choices, some of which, however, don’t have accurate technical documentation, or an easy method of sourcing large orders.

Related: Computer and change for a $10 bill: First units of $9 computer are shipping now

The Next Thing Co. wants to offer an alternative in the form of the Chip Pro. The device’s hardware designs are open-source, and there’s plenty of information available pertaining to all aspects of its usage. There’s also a simplified pricing structure to keep things straightforward.

The 14mm x 14mm GR8 chip itself costs $6, while the Chip Pro with storage and support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections costs $16.

This release will appeal to companies and individuals developing their own gadgets thanks to the flash programming services being offered up by The Next Thing Co. The laborious process of flashing and testing individual units can be avoided, as the company has established contracts with factories in China and Taiwan that will take care of these tasks before orders are delivered to the buyer.

The Next Thing Co. expects to ship the Chip Pro in early 2017. The company is now accepting orders for development kits, which will ship in December 2016. A package containing two units costs $49, and is available from the Get Chip website.