The BBC micro:bit is a tiny single-board computer designed to be distributed to students. First introduced five years ago, about five million micro:bit devices have been distributed to teachers and students around the world.
Now the makers of the little computer have introduced a 2nd-gen model.
Like the original micro:bit, the new model isn’t a tiny desktop computer like the Raspberry Pi line of devices. It doesn’t have a display or a video out port, so you cannot use it to run typical PC software.
Instead, the 2″ x 1.6″ gadget has built-in LED lights, Bluetooth, and a variety of sensors. The idea is to provide kids with a tool they can use to learn to code applications that will run on the little gadget.
The 2nd-gen version also has a speaker and microphone, two things that the original did not. And the 16 MHz Nordic nRF51822 ARM Cortex-M0 processor has been replaced with a 64 MHz nRF52833 Arm Cortex-M4 chip.
Other features include:
- Bluetooth 5.1 support
- 25 LED lights arranged in a 5 x 5 array
- 2 x tactile user programmable buttons and 1 tactile system button
- Temperature sensor
- GPIO pins
- micro USB 2.0 port
You can find more details about the technical specifications at the tech.microbit.org page.
Students can program the micro:bit using languages including Python, C/C++ and MakeCode, and the new hardware makes it possible to program voice activated actions for the new micro:bit.