Raspberry Pi is the brand name for a line of single-board computers developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom dedicated to educating people about computing and facilitating access to computing education.
Since the initial introduction of the Raspberry Pi in 2012, various versions and modifications have been introduced. The first Raspberry Pi had a single-core 700MHz CPU and 256MB RAM, whereas the current Raspberry Pi models features a quad-core CPU and 4GB RAM. The Raspberry Pi was always priced around $100 (often about USD 35), most notably the $5 Pi Zero.
Individuals use the Raspberry Pi worldwide to develop programming skills, make hardware projects, automate their homes, implement Kubernetes clusters and Edge computing, and even industrial applications.
The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer that runs Linux, but it also includes GPIO (general purpose input/output) ports that enable you to manipulate electronic components for physical computing and experiment with the Internet of Things (IoT).
Raspberry Pi Previous Models
The Raspberry Pi line has evolved over the years, from the Pi 1 to the Pi 4, and even a Pi 400. Most generations have had a Model A and a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. Model A has historically been a less costly variation with less RAM and fewer ports (such as USB and Ethernet). The Pi Zero is a descendant of the first (Pi 1) generation but smaller and affordable. The following is the current lineup:
- Model B Pi 1 (2012)
- Model A Pi 1 (2013)
- Model B+ of the Raspberry Pi (2014)
- Model A+ Pi 1 (2014)
- Model B Pi 2 (2015)
- Zero Pi (2015)
- Model B Pi 3 (2016)
- Pi 0 W (2017)
- Model B+ Pi 3 (2018)
- Model A+ Pi 3 (2019)
- Model A Pi 4 (2019)
- Model B Pi 4 (2020)
- 400 Pi (2021)
If you’re unsure which Raspberry Pi is best for your project, check Which Raspberry Pi You Should Use?
Raspberry Pi: A Non-Profit Foundation
The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission is to empower individuals worldwide to compute and create digitally. It accomplishes this by giving low-cost, high-performance computers for anyone to utilize for learning, problem-solving, and entertainment. It does outreach and education to increase access to computing and digital fabrication—it creates free tools to teach people about computing and manufacturing things with computers and educates educators who can lead other people in their learning.
Although Code Club and CoderDojo are affiliated with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, both programs are platform-agnostic (not dependent on Raspberry Pi hardware). The Raspberry Pi Foundation supports these clubs and assists in the network’s global expansion to ensure that every child has access to computing education. Similarly, Raspberry Jams are Raspberry Pi-focused events that bring together individuals of all ages to learn about and exchange ideas and projects around the Raspberry Pi.
Is the Raspberry Pi a free and open-source project?
The Raspberry Pi is an open-source platform: it runs Linux (several distributions), and its primary supported operating system, Pi OS, is open source and includes a suite of open-source applications. The Raspberry Pi Foundation donates to the Linux kernel and numerous other open-source projects, in addition to making a significant portion of its software available as open source.
Although the Raspberry Pi’s schematics are frequently made available as documentation, the board is not open hardware.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is funded entirely by proceeds from the sale of Raspberry Pi units.
What may a Raspberry Pi be used for?
Some individuals purchase a Raspberry Pi to learn to code, while others use it to code electronics for physical projects. The Raspberry Pi enables you to develop your building automation projects, which is popular among open-source community members because it gives you control over the system rather than relying on a proprietary closed system.
The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer that runs Linux. The first Raspberry Pi had a single-core 700MHz CPU and 256MB RAM, whereas the current model features a quad-core CPU and 4GB RAM. Most generations have had a Model A, and a Model B. Code Club and CoderDojo are affiliated with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Both programs are platform-agnostic (not dependent on Raspberry Pi hardware). Some individuals purchase a Raspberry Pi to learn to code, while others use it for electronics. The Raspberry Pi enables you to develop your building automation projects.