Raspberry pi

What is raspberry pi?

Raspberry pi is a simple single board computer that was initially developed for promoting teaching of basic computers in universities.  Later it gained popularity for the features that it offers on a small size printed circuit board. Also it was able to operate on multiple operating systems. Pi mainly used the Broadcom chipset as its main CPU. With advancement in technology and innovation new evaluation hardwares was developed with different versions of broadcom chipsets. Raspberry pi soon was used by many either to evaluate the proof of concept or as a computer learning device. Several raspberry pi have  CPU speed running  from 700MHz to 1.4GHz. 

People all over the world use Raspberry pi for learning programming skills, build hardware projects or perform remote automation. Since it just costs 35$. It was a cheap computer and offered to run on different platforms like windows, debian, android, It also provides a bunch of GPIO and other peripherals that the programmer can play with. Since the device operates on open source software it was easy for developers to customise the software and bits and pieces of hardware as per their requirements.

Although there were many evaluation hardwares that were released later on or before raspberry pi. Due to the price and open source hardware pi was able to gain slightly more popularity. Since pi put the power of development or modification feature development such as hardware and software in the hands of the developers. As a result companies, developers and others started to use this as a development board for their projects.

Since pi gained popularity many other vendors started to develop advanced peripherals in terms of hardware and software that would be easy and useful for developers. Adafruit developed many external peripherals particularly for raspberry pi like bread board, wires, lcd, power supplies, cables, usb, senors, battery, wireless components, headers, buttons, motors, wires, other i2c, spi boards and so on. On the other hand there were a few software vendors who develop software tools for raspberry pi like arduino. This tool can interface with raspberry pi to program any application software also the arduino software can support many other hardwares available in the market. Many other software vendors developed multiple tools that can ease and speed up the development process for developers to be able to kick start their project.

Peripherals on raspberry pi.

Different versions of pi support different peripherals A few peripherals are specified below.

  • ARM CPU/GPU — Most of the pi devices use a Broadcom System on a Chip (SoC) that’s made up of an ARM central processing unit (CPU) and a Videocore 4 graphics processing unit (GPU). The CPU handles all the computations that make a computer work (taking input, doing calculations and producing output), and the GPU handles graphics output. Each model has a different ARM core.
  • GPIO — These are exposed general-purpose input/output connection pins that will allow the real hardware, software developers the opportunity to play with.
  • Audio out — A standard 3.55-millimeter jack for connection of audio output devices such as headphones or speakers. Some pi devices do not have audio in.
  • RCA — User can connect RCA jack to analog TVs and other similar monitor devices.
  • USB — This is a commonly used port for peripheral devices of all types (including your mouse and keyboard). Model A has one, and Model B has two. You can use a USB hub to expand the number of ports or plug your mouse into your keyboard if it has its own USB interface.
  • LEDs — Light-emitting diodes, for all indicating light needs as a part of the task.
  • HDMI — This is a common connector that allows you to hook up a high-definition television or other compatible device using an HDMI cable.
  • Power — This is a 5v Micro USB power connector into which you can plug your compatible power supply.
  • Ethernet — This connector allows for wired network access and is only available on certain Model B older versions of pi support only 10/100 Mbit/s but new versions support 10/100/1000 Mbit/s.
  • Bluetooth — 4.2 Blue tooth device is interfaced as an external peripheral. For the impatient hobbyist to play with.
  • Wifi — Any external b/g/n/ac dual band 2.4/5 GHz can be interfaced with the pi over USB port.
  • SD card slot — This is a micro SD card slot in latest versions. An SD card with an operating system (OS) installed is required for booting the device. Most of the Operating system image is present on the raspberry pi website you can download the image flash on SD card and boot the hardware as well.
  • RAM — Different version of pi have different type and size of RAM below are the few lists Pi 3 A+: 512 MiB LPDDR2 SDRAM, Pi 4 B: 2, 4, or 8 GiB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM, Zero W: 512 MiB LPDDR2 SDRAM, CM 3+: 1 GiB LPDDR2 SDRAM.

Additional peripherals are sold by separate vendors. such as led, lcd can be added using the USB port(s) or a USB hub as needed. Also you can connect multiple sensors, motors, or other pins of the board like UART, I²C bus, SPI bus, I²S audio, PCM, PWM, MIPI CSI, MIPI DSI, USB, HDMI, Audio input, Audio output.

List of operating systems support.

Raspberry Pi supports a variety of operating systems a few of them are below.

  • Android
  • FreeBSD
  • Linux
  • NetBSD
  • OpenBSD
  • Plan 9
  • Windows 10 ARM64
  • Windows 10 IoT Core

List of all versions of raspberry pi.

FamilyModelForm FactorEthernetWirelessGPIOReleasedDiscontinued
Pi 2BStandardYesNo40-pin2015
Pi ZeroZeroZeroNoNo40-pin2015
Pi 3BStandardYesYes40-pin2016
Pi ZeroW/WHZeroNoYes40-pin2017
Pi 3A+CompactNoYes40-pin2018
Pi 3B+StandardYesYes40-pin2018
Pi 4B (1 GiB)StandardYes (Gigabit Ethernet)Yes40-pin2019Yes
Pi 4B (2 GiB)StandardYes (Gigabit Ethernet)Yes40-pin2019
Pi 4B (4 GiB)StandardYes (Gigabit Ethernet)Yes40-pin2019
Pi 4B (8 GiB)StandardYes (Gigabit Ethernet)Yes40-pin2020