Raspberry’s $5 Pi Computer Used in Powering Ventilators

If there’s a piece of equipment in high demand right now is a ventilator. The usefulness of ventilators has proved beneficial in hospitals, especially in caring for Coronavirus patients in critical conditions.

As more companies refocus their manufacturing chains to make ventilators, Raspberry’s Pi Zero computer has proved beneficial for this purpose.

“I believe the interest in Zero is mostly down to it offering enough compute for the relatively modest requirements of a ventilator (potentially control air-handling components at fairly low frequency, handle a simple user interface),” said Eben Upton, the CEO and Founder of Raspberry Pi, in an interview with Tom’s hardware.

More so, Raspberry Pi Zero computer is being used despite its minute power compared to chips from manufacturers like Intel and AMD.

With its 1GHz CPU and 512MB RAM, Raspberry Pi Zero is the least potent combo around, but that is what ventilator makers are going for. That’s why The company is even ramping up its production to meet the current upsurge in demand.

“One of the main challenges with rapidly scaling manufacture of products like this is that you may be able to surge production of the air-handling elements, but you still need to provide the control element: often the components you need are on 20-week lead times and (hopefully) we’ll be out of the other side of this pandemic by then,” said Eben Upton.

In Q1 2020, the company produced 192,000 Pi Zero units, but they want to make 250,000 units moving forward.

“Raspberry Pi ‘builds to stock’ rather than ‘building to order,’ so we generally have products either on-hand or in the pipeline with short lead times,” he added.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin Wanjala has been writing about technology for over 2 years. He writes about different topics in the consumer tech space. He loves streaming music, programming, and gaming during downtimes.

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