The W versions also add a wireless radio that allows us to make the device that we mount with it have a wireless connection with the rest of the devices, which is ideal for home automation.
It is, therefore, a very simplified type of panel, but it has a series of utilities that are extremely interesting, especially due to the fact that its lower consumption makes it ideal for its implementation for various industrial and home automation applications. Of course, we are not facing a microcontroller to use, but a SoC with external memory outside the chip, so it is much easier to develop software to take care of specific solutions, where yes, we must program it before.
Raspberry Pi Zero 2W
With the second generation of their low-power SBC, the folks at Raspberry have made a quantum leap in performance, which is normal when you consider that more than five years have passed since the original model was launched, which It has allowed them to create a model 5 times more powerful than the original while maintaining the same shape and size factor.
What is its performance? Well, this SBC has as its main SoC a Broadcom BCM2710A1, a Cortex A53 quad-core SoC running at 1 GHz. It must be taken into account that these cores are not high-performance and that even current phones for less than 100 euros have an SoC better.
Although it is not a bad option for that, since its performance places it at the same level as a third-generation Raspberry Pi. Regarding its visual capabilities, it has a very simple GPU with OpenGL ES 2.0 support, which is sufficient for simple tasks and can play video encoded in H.264 and MPEG-4.
RAM, storage and I / O
As for RAM, this is its weakest point, since it makes use of LPDDR2 memory. Part of the secret of its low price is the use of this (already very old) RAM, but its choice limits its memory to only 512 MB, being the biggest weak point of this system and limiting its capabilities. For storage, it uses a microSD card slot.
If we go to its I / O interfaces, and starting with the physical ones, we find a micro-USB 2.0 port with OTG, a Mini-HDMI port, and a CSI-2 connector in case we want to connect a camera. In addition, we can optionally request to integrate 40 GPIO pins on the board. If we are already talking about wireless connectivity, its integrated radio gives it the ability to connect to WiFi networks of the 802.11b / g / na 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth 4.2 and BLE type.
How to overclock a Pi Zero 2W
After the small introduction of the device we have to talk about how to make it work faster, since you may find an application that does not perform enough. Let’s not forget that the Pi Zero 2 W is designed for low-consumption projects and its clock speed is adapted to be able to be powered from the micro-USB port that comes standard, so the margin to increase its clock speed is small. .
We must also bear in mind that it is a device designed to work by passive cooling, so it is advisable to install a fan. What’s more, many of the starter kits that have everything you need to start using this SBC include, among other things, a small fan, if you don’t have one then before proceeding to overclock we recommend you buy and install it. More than anything to avoid the effects of Thermal Throttling caused by overclocking the Pi Zero 2 W.
Update the operating system
We are going to do the process from Raspberry Pi O, the Ubuntu-style GNU / Linux distribution that is included in the SBC and was previously known as Raspbian. This usually comes already installed on the microSD card that comes with the card. So we will not have to touch anything at the hardware level, yes, make sure you have updated the operating system of your Pi Zero 2 W. To do this from the operating system terminal write:
sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade
Which will update the system OS to the latest version, keep in mind that the Raspberry people usually make periodic updates to their operating system to solve errors. By the way, make sure you have a second microSD with the latest version of Raspberry Pi Os, as these memory cards are usually very delicate.
Modify the configuration file
The speed at which the different components of your Pi Zero 2 W work and other parameters are defined in a configuration file that is usually found in the root folder of the operating system. When the operating system starts up it immediately reads that file and tells the components to be set at those speeds.
For this we are going to use the classic text editor for Linux and Unix nano terminals, it is as easy as entering the following on the command line:
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
The editor will open in the terminal itself, move the cursor down and add the following lines to the end of the file:
arm_freq = 1400
core_freq = 525
over_voltage = 6
gpu_freq = 700
force_turbo = 1
This will force the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W SoC to run at full speed all the time. However, the change will not be immediate. Simply, save the file by pressing the CTRL + X keys at the same time and then Enter.
Restart the Pi Zero 2W
The last step of our tutorial is to restart the Pi Zero 2 W to verify that the changes are effective, to do this restart the system and open a terminal window to write:
watch -n 1 vcgencmd measure_clock arm
Which will give you the clock speed at which the CPU works in real time, if you constantly see 1400 MHz, then it will mean that you have done well all the steps that we have been describing. These values and speeds are safe to maintain stability and do not trigger the performance / consumption ratio, so they are ideal if what we are looking for is a little more free performance.