HawaiianPi wrote:Don't think higher voltage would be beneficial, since 5V power is so commonplace nowadays. And unlike the Pi3, the Zero can run off of almost any 5V supply. Mine draws less than 200mA when connected to my wireless network. I think the weakest 5V charger I've seen was 380mA, which came with a Bluetooth headset, and I'll bet even that could power a Zero.
My supply of wall warts that would work if the pi could take higher than 5v is probably 100 to 1 more than now. And the zero is a special case because you can't run most of the pi on chargers that put out 380mA.
The makers of the ATX power supply standard came to the same conclusion about 5v and lower and went to mostly 12 volts. They decided that power supplies make 12 volts and hardware then decides what it wants to do with it. This is a new thing but cheap dc to dc conversion is now readily available.
If it didn't much matter what the voltage was to the pi as long as it was more than 5v and less than say 20v, whatever the max is from an unloaded 12 volt unregulated wart, then people could build, keeping in mind current limits, their own power over ethernet and their own, I don't know, call it power over two wire bus, supplies.
So, for example, if I wanted to have 10 pi zeros with cameras set up for a security system, I could use a cheap 12 volt power supply designed for low voltage outdoor lighting, and run the two wires out and tap into it at each pi. Compare to what I'd need to do today for the same outcome, yea, mains out to each pi and a 5v wart for every one to convert. Not only does this involve high voltages, it means the obvious reliability issues of dodgy wall warts in potentially high current continuous duty applications. No, I think this capability would be huge, right up with the booting from the ethernet/wifi fantasy.