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Raspberry Pi gets a competitor

A small, low cost development board designed to help beginners learn the basics of computing has been unveiled by RS Components.

FIGnition inFUZE is supplied as a small, bare pcb and a set of components including an 8bit 20MHz ATmega328 microcontroller, 512Kbyte flash memory chip and 8Kbyte ram device.

Designed for construction by beginners, the device comes pre-loaded with the Forth programming language, allowing users a simple way to learn and run computer code.

Power is supplied via a usb port, and the board connects to a PAL or NTSC format tv displaying a 25 x 24 text or 160 x 160 bitmapped graphic image.

No external keyboard and mouse are required to get started: all commands and programming can be executed easily using the on-board eight-key keypad.

Jonathan Boxall, global head of semiconductors for RS Components, commented: "Building the FIGnition inFUZE from scratch is a great, interactive way for young people to gain their first hands on learning experience of how computer hardware works.

"Its low selling price makes it widely accessible and a valuable tool for educational purposes. It is one of a growing number of easy to use open source development boards that provide a fun and useful introduction to computing to the engineers of the future."

Laura Hopperton

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