The Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. The original model became far more popular than anticipated, selling outside of its target market for uses such as robotics.
According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, over 5 million Raspberry Pis have been sold before February 2015, making it the best-selling British computer. By November 2016 they had sold 11 million units.
A Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer originally designed for education, inspired by the 1981 BBC Micro. Creator Eben Upton’s goal was to create a low-cost device that would improve programming skills and hardware understanding at the pre-university level. But thanks to its small size and accessible price, it was quickly adopted by tinkerers, makers, and electronics enthusiasts for projects that require more than a basic microcontroller (such as Arduino devices).
The Raspberry Pi is slower than a modern laptop or desktop but is still a complete Linux computer and can provide all the expected abilities that implies, at a low-power consumption level.
Several generations of Raspberry Pis have been released. The first generation (Raspberry Pi 1 Model B) was released in February 2012. It was followed by the simpler and cheaper Model A. In 2014, the Foundation released a board with an improved design in Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+. These boards are approximately credit-card sized and represent the standard mainline form-factor.
The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the earliest model of the third-generation Raspberry Pi. It replaced the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B in February 2016.
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Specifications:
- Quad Core 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837 64bit CPU
- 1GB RAM
- BCM43438 wireless LAN and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board
- 100 Base Ethernet
- 40-pin extended GPIO
- 4 USB 2 ports
- 4 Pole stereo output and composite video port
- Full size HDMI
- CSI camera port for connecting a Raspberry Pi camera
- DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi touchscreen display
- Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data
- Upgraded switched Micro USB power source up to 2.5A
WHAT IS THE RASPBERRY PI 3 CAPABLE OF?
As you can see below you can use the Pi 3 as a budget desktop, media center, retro games console, or router for starters. However that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of projects out there, where people have used the Pi to build tablets, laptops, phones, robots, smart mirrors, to take pictures on the edge of space, to run experiments on the International Space Station
HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH THE RASPBERRY PI 3?
One thing to bear in mind is that the Pi by itself is just a bare board. You’ll also need a power supply, a monitor or TV, leads to connect to the monitor–typically HDMI, and a mouse and keyboard.
Once you’ve plugged in all the cables, the easiest way for new users to get up and running on the Pi is to download the NOOBS (New Out-Of-Box Software) installer. The installer makes it simple to set up various operating systems, although a good choice for first time users is the official OS Raspbian
So small, its markings can only be properly seen through a microscope or magnifying glass, the Broadcom BCM43438 chip provides 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless LAN, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Bluetooth 4.1 Classic radio support. Cleverly built directly onto the board to keep costs down, rather than the more common fully qualified module approach, its only unused feature is a disconnected FM radio receiver.
There’s no need to connect an external antenna to the Raspberry Pi 3. Its radios are connected to this chip antenna soldered directly to the board, in order to keep the size of the device to a minimum. Despite its diminutive stature, this antenna should be more than capable of picking up wireless LAN and Bluetooth signals – even through walls.
Built specifically for the new Pi 3, the Broadcom BCM2837 system-on-chip (SoC) includes four high-performance ARM Cortex-A53 processing cores running at 1.2GHz with 32kB Level 1 and 512kB Level 2 cache memory, a VideoCore IV graphics processor, and is linked to a 1GB LPDDR2 memory module on the rear of the board.
The Raspberry Pi 3 features the same 40-pin general-purpose input-output (GPIO) header as all the Pis going back to the Model B+ and Model A+. Any existing GPIO hardware will work without modification; the only change is a switch to which UART is exposed on the GPIO’s pins, but that’s handled internally by the operating system.
The Raspberry Pi 3 shares the same SMSC LAN9514 chip as its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 2, adding 10/100 Ethernet connectivity and four USB channels to the board. As before, the SMSC chip connects to the SoC via a single USB channel, acting as a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor and USB hub.