• Dhanush kumar S

Which Raspberry Pi Kit is right for you?

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

The Raspberry pi is a small credit card-sized series of single-board computers developed by an educational charity foundation located in the United Kingdom. They mainly developed this board to develop the educational system for children and adults in the field of computer science. It is also employed in various research projects, digital projects, and also in #robotics.


The Raspberry pi is also used in browsing the internet, making spreadsheets, playing video games, and many more #applications. The #RaspberryPi kit has been upgraded several times based on customer requirements. In this article, we are going to discuss in detail about various generations of Raspberry pi boards, which one is the best and most employed.


Raspberry Pi boards


The first generation raspberry pi (model 1 B) was introduced in February 2012. Starting from 2012 till now almost 10 models have been upgraded and released in the market. All models depict a Broadcom system on a chip (SOC) with an integrated ARM compatible Central Processing Unit (CPU), and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).


Following model B, model A is introduced with little changes. Then improved models such as A+ and B+ are introduced. Further models introduced up-to-date are as follows:

  • Raspberry Pi 2

  • Raspberry Pi Zero

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

  • Raspberry Pi 4 Model B


1. Raspberry Pi Model 1 B


This board consists of about 2 USB ports, an HDMI port for fetching the video output, and a standard 3.5 mm tip-ring-sleeve jack to obtain the audio output. The model has about 10 to 100 ethernet ports so as to surf the web directly from the pi board. The processor employed here is ARM1176JZF-S which can operate at a speed of about 700 MHz. VideoCore IV is the Graphics Processing Unit in this.


The same model with a few changes in the design is introduced as Raspberry Pi model A. The cost of production is also less when compared to model B. Raspberry Pi model B+ replaced model B in 2013 with improved design.


Model 1 B+ and A+:


The GPIO model of B+ has about 40 pins whereas the previous model B has only 26 pins. It also has 4 USB 2.0 ports with hotplug and overcurrent behavior. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced by a push-push micro SD version for better functionality. The quality of the audio output has been improved because of the low noise #power supply. The power consumption is reduced between 0.5 W to 1.0 W when compared to the previous model. The CPU used in the model B+ is BCM2835 with an operating speed of about 700 MHz. The size of the RAM is about 512 Mb.


Model A+ was also introduced soon after the model B+ with very fewer changes. A+ model has only one USB port. As mentioned in model 1, the A+ model is also smaller in size and possesses a low cost of manufacturing when compared to the B+ model.


2. Raspberry Pi model 2


This model is assembled by using the ARM Cortex-A7 quad-core processor that has an operating speed of about 900 MHz. It has 1GB RAM memory and completely compatible with raspberry pi 1. It employs Broadcom BCM2836 as its CPU and version 1.2 of the same model employs BCM2837 as CPU and the quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 as the processor with 1.2GHz operating speed. It has 4 USB ports.


This raspberry pi 2 models can be used to perform advanced operations such as GPS tracking, time-lapse videos. It also helps us to manage our documents, spreadsheets. This model also provides a faster and enjoyable gaming experience.


3. Raspberry Pi Model Zero


The primary model Zero was launched in February 2015 which was smaller in size when compared to the previous models and also with reduced General-purpose input/output capabilities. The upgraded Raspberry Pi model Zero WH was launched in 2018 with pre-soldered GPIO headers that include 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN (wifi module), and Bluetooth 4.1 module. It has 512MB of RAM, Mini HDMI, and 4 USB ports. This zero model also includes a CSI camera connector.


This model is used in building the Retro Gaming System, an airplay speaker. It is also employed in many advanced projects like the development of self-driving cars, smart #security cameras, cryptocurrency hardware wallets.


4. Raspberry Pi model 3 B


This model has been constructed with the help of a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core processor. It additionally possesses additional features such as an onboard 802.11n Wi-fi module, Bluetooth 4.1 module, and USB boot capabilities. Micro SD port for loading the operating system and storing the data and also has the CSI camera port for connecting a camera, DSI display port for combining a touchscreen display.


The upgraded version model 3 B+ was introduced with a 1.4GHz 64-bit processor.with 2.4/ 5 GHz dual-band 802.11 Wi-fi module. It has three times faster ethernet when compared to the previous model. Additional features include USB boot, Power over Ethernet, and due to the presence of network boot, there is no need for a separate SD card.


This model of raspberry pi is extensively employed in controlling robots, and also can be used as a Media streamer, tablet computer, arcade machine.


5. Raspberry Pi model 4 B


Model 4 B was released in June 2019 with several advanced features to support the upcoming devices. 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor along with 802.11ac Wi-fi module, and Bluetooth 5.0 module. It also includes two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two micro HDMI type-D ports for video output up to 4K resolution. Unlike the previous model, this one possesses full gigabit Ethernet (Unlimited throughput).


This model is employed in the manufacturing of tablets, mobile phones, laptops. Smart mirrors that are used to take images on the edge of space are also constructed using this model. Nowadays even in performing experiments in International Space Station, raspberry pi is used.


Now you guys may get a question in mind that which one of these raspberry pi is the best and convenient to use? As this article is more concerned over the beginners, Raspberry Pi model 3 B+ can be used for performing fundamental experiments. Advanced projects may use Raspberry Pi model 4 B version 1.2 as their mainboard.

See also:

  1. Article on an interfacing LCD display with raspberry pi

  2. Smart lighting system- using LEDs, LDR and raspberry pi

  3. Interfacing a Buzzer with Arduino Board


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