ELLO LC1 is a credit card sized 8-bit computer that fits in your wallet (keyboard, screen and all)


Raspberry Pi Model B computers and other similarly sized devices are often described as the size of a credit card. But thanks to the USB and Ethernet ports, it’s much thicker than a credit card. It might even be thicker than your wallet.

But the ELLO LC1? This tiny computer designed by hacker KN/vD is much closer to being really the size of a credit card. It is only 2mm thick.

Despite its compact size, the computer has an 8-bit screen, keyboard and microcontroller. It’s not exactly a powerful computer by modern standards, but it can perform simple tasks thanks to a built-in text editor, file system, and “bitling BASIC” interpreter supporting “an extended set of BASIC keywords”.

Specifications for this custom credit card sized computer include:

  • Processor: Microchip PIC18 8-bit microcontroller with 13 KB of RAM and 128 KB of flash memory
  • Display: Positive display FSTN 20 x 4 alphanumeric characters (Display Visions EA DOGM204-N)
  • Keyboard: 48 touch screens on the PCB
  • Battery: Battery 3.6V LIR2016 or 2025

According to Kn/vD, the ELLO LC1 can last for up to 38 hours of active use or last over 3 years on standby. You can charge the battery using an I/O port on the side of the device. Two pins on the I/O connector can also be used to send and receive data to and from the device using the XMODEM protocol.

While this isn’t the first truly wallet-sized computer we’ve seen (a handful of people have made business-card-sized digital computers over the years), it’s certainly one of the most PC-like thanks to the built-in keyboard. and display.

You can find more photos and a diagram at Ello LC1 project page on HackADay.

Going through @knivd, CNX software and Hackster.io

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