A new miniature computer that features all the same functionality as a regular PC has been developed by a US startup, costing just $9.

Chip was created by engineers at Next Thing Co. and is cheaper, smaller and more powerful than the Raspberry Pi computer.

Users can connect Chip to a keyboard, mouse and display through a variety of ports, as well as connect wirelessly to the internet with its inbuilt WiFi.

"The goal for Chip is to give anyone who wants a $9 computer access to one [and] to make building things with computers as easy and accessible as possible," said Dave Rauchwerk from Next Thing Co.

CHIP linux PC $9 computer
The $9 Chip computer boasts a range of ports and is able to run any Linux-based operating system Next Thing Co.

"It's really powerful, it's really tiny, but the other thing that we're really excited about is that it's completely open source.

"That means you can download the schematics, change Chip, figure out how it works to make it do whatever you want, and it also means that somebody else can make their own Chip."

Chip features 512MB of RAM, a 1GHz A13 processor, 4GB of internal storage, and is capable of running on any Linux-based operating system. Around a dozen apps come pre-installed on Chip, including games and a web browser.

Various additions can also be added to Chip, including a single cell LiPO battery, an HDMI adapter, and a PocketChip device that features a touchscreen and keyboard.

A crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter launched on 7 May with a $50,000 funding target, which was reached within a few hours of going live. At the time of publication, Next Thing Co. had almost tripled this target through the support of more than 3,000 backers.

Chip will be ready for shipping in December 2015, while a second batch is expected to be ready by May 2016.