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Beginner's Guide: Get Started with Raspberry Pi

Updated at 12 Jun, 2020

— Many people are still unaware of what a Raspberry Pi is. In this beginner’s guide, you’ll gain all the necessary information about this wonderful computer.

Beginner's Guide: Get Started with Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is the name of a series of single-board computers created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based nonprofit whose mission is to educate people all over the globe in computing and to make computing education more accessible.

The Raspberry Pi is an ideal platform for a wide range of applications, including gaming consoles, home streaming, VPN servers, automated DIY projects, and much more.

The Raspberry Pi logo on top of a Raspberry Pi device

What is a Raspberry Pi and how does it work?

What distinguishes the Raspberry Pi from other computers?

A computer is typically composed of a primary system board (motherboard) and numerous peripheral components hooked into it. In contrast, the Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer (SBC) roughly the size of a deck of cards. A SBC is a full computer constructed on a single circuit board.

All of the components required for a fully working SBC, such as the CPU, memory, video chipset, storage, and so on, are as given below (based on Raspberry Pi 4 specifications):

  • Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz.

  • 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM (depending on model).

  • 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE Gigabit Ethernet.

  • 2 USB 3.0 port; 2 USB 2.0 ports.

  • Raspberry Pi standard 40 pin General-purpose input/output (GPIO) header (fully backwards compatible with previous boards).

  • 2 x micro-HDMI ports (up to 4kp60 supported).

  • 2-lane MIPI DSI display port.

  • 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port.

  • 4-pole stereo audio and composite video port.

  • H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode).

  • OpenGL ES 3.1, Vulkan 1.0.

  • Micro-SD card slot for loading operating system and data storage.

  • 5V DC via USB-C connector.

  • 5v DC via GPIO header.

  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) enalbed (requires seperate PoE HAT)

  • Operating temperature: 0-50 degrees C ambient.

  • Source from

This allows it to be considerably more compact and, as a result, frequently less costly. As an operating system, these microcomputers are designed to run any ARM-based Linux release.

All Raspberry Pi models run Linux, and Python is the most often used programming language.

Linux is a free and open-source operating system that serves as a bridge between a computer's hardware and software programs. Python is a high-level programming language that is used to create graphical user interface (GUI) programs, websites, and online applications.

One of the advantages of Raspberry Pi is that you don't need to be an expert in Linux or Python to start a project with it. In fact, as previously said, the product's objective is to educate the system and language through intuitive and entertaining tasks.

Did you know, that the AutoPi TMU device is built on top of the Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi's Pros and Cons

A list of Pros and Cons to the Raspberry Pi

  • Pro | Extensive Peripheral Support.

    The Raspberry Pi 4 model includes 40 GPIO pins, which are unquestionably beneficial for embedded applications and connecting electronics. Because of the large number of GPIO pins available, you may integrate several digital sensors.

  • Pro | Inexpensive.

    The Raspberry Pi may be purchased for as little as $35 (Raspberry Pi 3B+), with more current variants costing approximately $60. However, essential components, like as the SD card, would still need to be purchased. In all, the price may be approximately $100 or more, but it is still a reasonable amount to pay compared to purchasing PCs that may cost you at least $500.

  • Pro | Support for all type of Code languages.

    This board functions as a single-board computer. You simply need a Linux desktop environment to code in practically any language. The Raspberry Pi supports C/C++, Python 2/3, and Scratch by default.

  • Pro | Faster Processor.

  • The Raspberry Pi 4 is powered by a Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 64-bit SoC running at 1.5GHz. The quicker the CPU, the greater the performance.

  • Pro | Can be used as a Portable Computer.

    On the Raspberry Pi, you can accomplish a variety of things using a Linux distribution. There are several programs and packages available to assist you complete various projects on the Pi, such as picture editing, coding, and so on.

  • Pro | User-Friendly.

    In compared to other computers, the Raspberry Pi is quite simple to operate. The Pi is simple to use since it was built for users with little to no programming expertise and experience.

  • Con | Inadequate Internal Storage.

    The Raspberry Pi lacks internal storage and must rely on a micro-SD card to function as such.

  • Con | Functions are limited.

    When seen as a desktop computer, the Raspberry Pi falls short. The Raspberry Pi will be enough for simple tasks like as programming, office work, and web surfing, but not much else. E.g., if you are unable to watch online films on Netflix or Amazon, you will require additional codes.

  • Con | Overheating.

    The board does not come with any pre-applied heat-sinks or cooling fans, and with a fast CPU and several features, it will begin to heat up after a while owing to the board size. It may reach and exceed 80 degrees if used continuously for 6+ hours.

  • Con | Slow.

    When compared to the normal and more costly computers on the market, the Pi has a lesser processing performance.

  • Con | Not suitable for multitasking.

    The Raspberry Pi is commonly linked with the Linux operating system and has difficulty dealing with the graphical intensity of other flashier operation systems. It is insufficiently powerful to manage many jobs on a single machine.

    Recent versions have improved processors, with quad-core CPUs in general, therefore it is less of a concern than in previous models. Nonetheless, it cannot compete with any standard desktop computers.

What may a Raspberry Pi be used for?

Some individuals purchase a Raspberry Pi to learn to code, while others use the Pi to learn to code circuits for physical projects.

The Raspberry Pi allows you to develop your own home automation projects, which is popular in the open-source community since it puts you in charge rather than utilizing a proprietary closed system. The Raspberry Pi is widely used in organizations for real-time image/video processing, IoT-based applications, and robotics applications.

It is slower than a laptop or desktop computer, nevertheless, it provides all of the anticipated capabilities or skills while consuming little power. In fact, more than 27 million of these small computers have been sold since their debut in 2012, with more than half of them being utilized for commercial and industrial reasons.

The Raspberry Pi’s History

In the 1970s, the information age began and brought with it the capacity to access information at the push of a button or the click of a mouse, from the greatest supercomputers to the tiniest home PCs.

Computers have evolved from colossus held in enormous warehouses to gadgets you can carry in your pocket or wear on your wrist, thanks to technological advances. Today, it’s difficult to find a firm or field that does not employ computer technology in some way or another.

The Raspberry Pi narrative began in 2006 with the development of the first prototypes based on the British Broadcasting Corporation Microcomputer System (BBC Micro).

The first Raspberry Pi was born six years later. The general purpose was to assist individuals from all around the world in discovering low-cost computing.

A timeline history of all Raspberry Pi models

What can we anticipate from the Raspberry Pi 5 in the future?

The Raspberry Pi team has always been tight-lipped regarding impending product launches, and the Raspberry Pi 5 and beyond will be no exception.

The Raspberry Pi remains one of the industry’s top options for reasonably affordable general-purpose single-board computers.

Since 2012, the Raspberry Pi foundation has developed four major generations of the Pi, the most recent being the Pi Zero 2 W, which was introduced this year in October 2021.

The Raspberry Pi are popular not just among hobbyists and manufacturers, but also in the IoT market as a solid option for Linux edge computing.

They have grown in popularity and have seen several performance advancements throughout the years, which poses the question: “What will the Raspberry 5 look like?”

To begin with, we may hope that the Raspberry Pi 5 would have been enhanced with certain crucial features like improved performance, cooling, storage, ports, networking, and display outputs, which are most sought-after.

AutoPi's approach to incorporating the Raspberry Pi into a company

The AutoPi Core, which runs on the AutoPi Telematics Unit (TMU), provides connection with the vehicle, peripheral device connectivity, and communication with the AutoPi Cloud. It collects and securely stores the vehicle data, allowing you to access it from the AutoPi Cloud or your own server through the API.

AutoPi is based on a Raspberry Pi and serves as a bridge between the vehicles and the cloud. The AutoPi TMU has an embedded Raspberry Pi, ranging from the Raspberry Pi 3 model A+ to the Raspberry Pi 4 B, which provides processing capability that allows the AutoPi TMU to accomplish almost anything. It supports a full Linux operating system as well as demanding applications.

The AutoPi TMU, the first expandable Internet-of-Thing (IoT) platform, allows you to set up and create your own intelligent vehicle.

The AutoPi system is ideal for projects or for usage in your business, such as:

As technology advances, we must always strive to enhance our business in order to meet our clients’ expectations. Who knows what the Raspberry Pi 5 will bring to our industry and businesses?

Learn more about the AutoPi here. - Mihnea Radulescu

Article by

Mihnea Radulescu

Hardware Development / Shipping

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