What are Raspberry Pi and What’s inside them?

raspberry pi

We may come accross some boards named Raspberry Pi sometimes. Let’s find out what’s inside a Raspberry Pi and the components of Raspberry Pi, and its Models?

What actutally a Raspberry Pi is?

Raspberry Pi or Rpi is actually a complete portable computer. It have a processor, a RAM, I/O Ports, USB Lanes, Ethernet and much more a computer can have. We even have to install an Opeating System, Just like in Computers.

RPi 1, the first 5$ Computer was developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation, in United Kingdom, in 2012. Giveing knowledge about the basics of computers in educational institutions was the primary motto of developing these single board based computers.

Later on due to its portability, low power consumption, speedy processors and ease of usage, other industries like robotics, medical industrties started using these. Now, even reserchers use these.

Arduino vs Raspberry Pi

arduino vs rpi

There is a lot of differnce between Arduino Development Boards and RPi’s. Arduino is based on a microcontroller with very less powerful processor, less RAM and I/O Ports as compared to Raspberry Pi. These makes Arduino a development board which can focus on very small number of tasks. We need a functional PC, to upload a program in the form of code to the arduino board. These makes use of C and C++.

On the other hand, RaspberryPi have a powerful processor, a very fine GPU, Some GBs of RAM, USB Lanes, Ethernet etc, whatever there is in a normal PC. It can even run Operating systems, which needs a lot of instruction executions. It is a complete computer itself. We do not need any other device to modify or upload a specific program. We can even connect displays, touch screens, other peripheral devices to it. It usually makes use of python programming language.

Processor in Raspberry Pi

These boards usually equips a custom designed processor, manufactured by Broadcom with help of Rpi Foundation. The first ever RaspberryPi One Model, equipped with a broadcom BCM2835 processor, had a clock speed of 700MHz. It had the L1 Cache size of 16Kib. The L2 cache, primarily used by the GPU, was 128Kib.

raspberry processor cpu

The processors in these board Generations are fast enough for a better performance on light operating systems.

RAM in Raspberry Pi

The earlier models of Rpi features approx 256Mb of RAM which was splitted for CPU and GPU. The CPU have around 55% of RAM, which was approx 156Mb, which was quite enough for it and the GPU, which was Videocore VI, uses the remaining ~100Mb of RAM. It was quite enough for the GPU to help the user to have a 1080p Video Call.

Now a days, Users can go for upto 4GB or RAM in Raspberry Pi! Raspberry Pi 4 features 1GB/2GB/4GB RAM Options.

Connectivity

raspberry pi lan

There is a lot of connectivity options that comes with Raspberry Pi. One of the highlight is Ethernet! Yes, B and B+ Models of raspberry pi comes equipped with SMSC LAN9514 chip for faster LAN Connectivity.

The Wireless 802.11 WiFi Connectivity took place in some of the models with 5GHz Band as well! Bluetooth 4.1 comes embedded with Raspberry Pi Zero W Model and some other models.

MicroSD and MicroSDXC cards can be plugged into boards to extend the on board storage. USB always takes place for plug and play connectivity.

Besides these all, GPIO Pins are always there in these amazing compuers with which you can explore unlimited connectivity options. i2c, SPI, PWM, UART, HAT ID Bus – all these are made availble using these 40 General Purpose I/O Pins.

Audio and Video

raspberry pi hdmi

Have you ever thought a 5$ computer can give you HDMI output? It made possible with the single board based RPi Computers. HDMI 2.0 featured in RPi 4 Model B can have a video output of 1080p! High Quality audio can obtained via HDMI in some devices and some of these also have our favorite 3.5mm audio jack.

A Downside: RTC or Real Time Clock

Unfortunately, there is no inbuilt RTC in Rpi’s which simply means it cannot remember the time when it powered on the next time. We have to set time, everytime, we powers it on.

We can overcome this issue by attaching a RTC Module using the i2c protocol via GPIO Pins on the same.

Raspberry Pi Models and Their Features

Courtesy: Wikipedia

For detailed Specifications, Refers to Secure Wikipedia Website, here.


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Related: Microcontrollers – What actually these are?

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Author: Prateek

Technology Enthusiast, Computer Science Student

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