Thanks to the appearance of many single board platforms dedicated to amateurs and hobbyists, minicomputers have become popular among enthusiasts of robotics and electronics. Check out other models available in Botland.
Raspberry Pi is a well known family of minicomputers. These modules are credit card-sized PCBs containing all essential hardware that can be found in regular PC. Despite this, minicomputers have very large possibilities and that is why they are so eagerly chosen by electronic designers and makers. Raspberry Pi were created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The first model is available on the market since 2012 and it is the A model. Today, the foundation's offer includes models: A, B, B+, 2B, 3B, 3B+, 3A+, 4B, as well as models Zero and Zero W. The latest and most advanced Raspberry Pi model is 4B. It is available for sale from June 2019. Minicomputers belonging to the Raspberry Pi product line are excellent for building robots and other smart wehicles. You can also use them for projects in the field of consumer electronics and research. Raspberry Piminicomputers offer high performance and flexibility in almost any branch of today’s technology. Each subsequent generation of these PCB modules turns out to be a great event in the electronics industry around the world. There are also many additional accessories available for these popular minicomputers.
The most important element of any Raspberry Piminicomputer is the Broadcom System-on-chip (SoC). The processor version depends on the specific minicomputer model. Broadcom BCM2835 was installed in Raspberry Pi A, and the newer Raspberry Pi 4B model uses much newer Broadcom BCM2711. The oldest modules were clocked at 700MHz, while the latest modules can run even at 1.5 GHz. The 4B model uses a 64-bit processor with an ARM-8 Cortex-A72 core. Various Raspberry Pi modules have from 256 MB to even 4 and 8 GB of SDRAM memory. Even the smallest module in this series, i.e. Raspberry Pi Zero, has a Broadcom BCM2835 processor clocked at a frequency of 1 GHz and contains up to 512 MB of SDRAM memory.
Ports available in Raspberry Pi
Raspbrry Pi modules become more useful thanks to availability of various input and output ports. The oldest Raspberry Pi model had only one USB port, but newer models offer up to 4 USB ports. In the latest 4B model we will find two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports. Electronics around the world value Raspberry Piminicomputers for a support of large number of digital interfaces. Most of newer models are equipped 40-pin GPIO connector including some power supply pins. In contrast, the latest models from the third and fourth generation also have CSI and DSI connectors. Most Raspberry Piminicomputers can connect with external devices via Ethernet, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The PCBs are also equipped with microSD card slots as well as analog video and audio output. Raspberry Pi is powered via the micro USB or GPIO connector.
Raspberry Pi - kits and compatible accessories
The great advantage of Raspberry Pi platform is a wide range of accessories dedicated to use with these minicomputers.. Thanks to tiny, but powerful Raspberry Pi Hat boards the minicomputers can reach new functionality providing ease of integration with external hardware. The most popular Raspberry Pi Hats can be divided into several groups. The first one includes motor and servo controllers. They are used to build mobile robots and other mechatronic applications. The second group has keyboards and HMI interfaces. Thanks to them, designers can control their devices with the help of keys, joysticks or even gesture sensors. Other Raspberry Pi Hat group is a lot of various displays, including high quality LCD and OLED screens with built-in touch panel. There are also RPi Hats with different communication modules. They make it easier for minicomputers to connect to peripheral devices wirelessly or via industrial-grade wired interfaces. They also create new control options. Thanks to Raspberry Pi Hat, you can connect various sensors, as well as cameras and additional power sources. In addition to extension modules, you can also find dedicated enclosures, mounting elements and other accessories for device construction and prototyping. If you're just learning how to design Raspberry Pi, you can also find great books for learning basics of Raspberry Pi programming. Thanks to the guides, you will quickly start designing your own embedded devices.