Hey Friends! Electronic experts always strive to develop new electronic devices that meet the needs and requirements of the customers. Technology has been evolved remarkably well where devices are becoming compact and composed. Using old conventional ways to develop electronic devices are becoming obsolete that occupied more weight and space, turned out to be expensive and capable of doing fewer number of operations. Today, I am going to discuss the details on the Introduction to Raspberry Pi 3. It is just like a small computer that comes with CPU, GPU, USB ports and i/o pins and can be connected with external peripherals and helps in running number of operations like regular computer. First generation Raspberry Pi was developed in 2012, with the intention of making computer learning easy for school students. Learning advanced computer functions in the beginning of computer learning process is not easy for everyone. This tine computer was introduced, so everyone can get a hint of some initial functions advanced computer is capable of doing. Let’s dive in and explore each and every feature of Raspberry Pi 3.
Introduction to Raspberry Pi 3
- Raspberry Pi 3 is tiny single board computer, introduced by Raspberry Pi Foundation, that comes with CPU, GPU, USB ports and i/o pins and capable of doing some simple functions like regular computer.
- This tiny computer was developed with the purpose of making computer learning process easy so an average student can get benefit and anticipate what an advanced computer can do.
- Raspberry Pi 1(first generation Model B) came into play in 2012, and soon got a renowned reputation in terms of ease of use and availability. Similarly, Raspberry Pi 2 was introduced in Feb,2015 will little improvement in design with added RAM than its previous version.
- Introduced in 2016, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B comes with a quad core processor that shows robust performance which is 10 times more than Raspberry Pi 1. And speed exhibits by Raspberry Pi 3 is 80% more than Raspberry Pi 2.
- The Raspberry hardware has gone through a number of variations in terms of peripheral device support and memory capacity. Every new addition comes with a little improvement in terms of design where advance features are added in the device so it can do as many function as possible like a regular computer.
- WiFi and Bluetooth that lack in older versions(Pi 1 and Pi 2), are added in the new addition of this device(Pi 3), allowing to maintain the connection with the peripherals without the involvement of any physical connection.
- Raspberry Pi Foundation recently launched Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ on 14 March 2018, which is the most recent version of Raspberry Pi 3 that exhibits all the specifications introduced in Pi 3 Model B, with the additional improvement including Network boot, USB boot, and Power over Ethernet which make the device useful in hard to reach places.
Raspberry Pi 3 Pinout
Following figure shows the pinout of Pi 3.
- These are the 40 GPIO pins that are used for connection with other devices.
- You can see from the figure above, the UART pins are the serial input output pins that are used for serial communication for data and for the conversion of debugging code.
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B comes with 64 bit quad core processor, on board WiFi and Bluetooth and USB features.
- It has a processing speed ranging from 700 MHz to 1.4 GHz where RAM memory ranges from 256 to 1GB.
- The CPU of this device is considered as the brain of the device which is responsible for executing numbers of instructions based on mathematical and logical operation.
- The GPU is another advanced chip incorporated in the board that carries out function of image calculation. The board is equipped with Broadcam video core cable that is mainly used for playing video games through the device.
- The Pi 3 comes with GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) pins that are essential to maintain connection with other electronic devices. These input output pins receive commands and work based on the programming of the device.
- The Ethernet port is incorporated on this device that sets a pathway for communicating with other devices. You can connect Ethernet port to the router to maintain a connection for internet.
- The Board has four USB ports that are used for communication and SD card is added for storing the operating system.
- Power source connector is a basic part of the board that is used to provide 5 V power to the board. You can use any source to set up a power for the board, however, it is preferred you connect power cable through laptop USB port for providing 5 V.
- The Pi 3 supports two connection options including HDMI and composite. The HDMI connector is used to connect LCD or TV, that can support 1.3 and 1.4 version cables. Composite video connection is used to connect the older version of TV with the device that uses the 3.5mm jack socket for the audio production.
- The new device comes with a video core multimedia 3D graphics which is capable of playing 1080 MP video. This feature puts this advice ahead of its predecessors where video quality was not that much upgraded.
- The USB hard drive incorporated on the board is used to boot the device, similar to PC hard drive where windows is used to boot the computer hard drive.
- Recent addition of Raspberry Pi comes with a Chromium browser which is quick and robust than the browser available in its predecessors, but still it gets stuck when it comes to opening number of heavy duty sites, however, YouTube video buffering is too quick that you don’t need to wait too long before video comes into play.
- Opening number of sites at once can take more time than you anticipate, which ultimately hangs the device, causing the device memory to freeze or stuck.
- Although, experts are in constant struggle to add more advanced features with every new addition, still Pi 3 doesn’t support number of advanced applications.
- The official Raspbian Linux operating system runs on Pi 3. Other third party OS that can operate on this device are RISC, Kodi Media Center, Windows 10 loT core, Ubuntu Mate and classroom management.
- There are other non-Linux based systems that can run on this device which you can pick based on your needs and requirements.
- Windows 10, the latest version of windows, can run remarkably well on the desktop computer, but running windows 10 on the Pi 3 is a whole new experience, not as good as desktop computer, but still you can get a little glimpse of running windows 10 on a tiny device like Pi 3.
- The windows 10 that run on this device is not a full version of windows 10, but a reduced version that is called windows 10 loT core, capable of running only one single full screen windows app at a time, however, still it supports number of software running on the background.
- Running windows 10 on Pi 3 is not a good option though, it can make use of more processing power than required for other operating system.
- Raspberry Pi 3 is a 64 bit device, which is capable of running official Raspbian operating system. The Raspbian Pi Foundation is also looking to modifying the Raspbian operating system to make it compatible for 32 bit devices that were introduced a while ago.
Points of Consideration
- If you want to remain in constant touch with this device, it is better to enclose in a case, it will help prolong the lifetime of the device, also covers it from heat and other external factors.
- You can run number of operating systems including Linux or Non-Linux based systems, but if you are highly concerned about performance and stability of device, then running official Raspbian operating system would be an effective choice, which supports the decent amount of programming and office software.
- In case you are feeling skeptical about the functions and setting it up, you can get valuable information from the Raspberry Pi site. They will go extra mile to help you out in order to resolve your questions and queries.
- The power consumption of Pi 3 is more than Pi 2, however it turns out to be almost identical in case of less demanding work loads. Turning Pi 3 into low level laptop is bit of interesting task, which can be achieved in few bucks only.
- Pi 3 can support up to SanDisk 64GB SD card. Before making purchase of this high speed memory card, make sure you are in dire need of this card for your project as it costs more than the actual Pi 3 device. If you intend to run official Raspbian operating system, 8GG SD card would be suffice to meet your needs.
- Making a purchase in only $35 would be a worth investment for a tiny computer like this. However, there are multiple Pi kits are available which you can select from, that are modified for performing different functions based on your needs and requirements, costing you little bit extra than simple Pi 3.
- Most of the Raspberry Pi devices come with an overclocking option, means they can be configured to operate faster than defined the by the manufacturer. This can be achieved by the software command without effecting the warranty.
- Overclocking may subject to rising temperature, which ultimately can damage the device. This is the reason some devices automatically stops the overclocking at the certain temperature in order to avoid the rising temperature that can effect both quality and performance of the device. However, in severe cases heat sink is added in the device to avoid overheating.
Features of Raspberry Pi 3
- 1.4 GHz 64 bit, Broadcom BCM2387 ARM Cortex-A53 Quad Core Processor, which is 10 times faster than Raspberry Pi 1.
- 1GB RAM (LPDDR2 SDRAM) which allows you to run more advanced applications
- On-board wireless LAN, used to connect device through wireless
- On-board Bluetooth
- 4 USB ports for communication
- 300Mbit/s ethernet
- 40 GPIO pins
- Full size HDMI 1.3a port
- 10/100 BaseT Ethernet socketbr
- Fully HAT compatible
- Combined 3.5mm analog audio and composite video jack
- Camera interface (CSI), for connecting camera
- Display interface (DSI) used for connecting Raspberry Pi touch screen display
- microSD slot for storing data
- Micro USB power source
- Full size HDMI
- VideoCore IV multimedia/3D graphics core @ 400MHz/300MHz
Comparison between Raspberry Pi 3 and Computer
- Raspberry Pi 3 is identical to regular computer in terms performing many valuable functions. But it has a leg over desktop PC when it comes to cost, and approaching to hard to reach places. Spending huge amount of money on advanced computer, when you are in a beginning phase of learning computer skills, would not be good choice. It is better to invest in a tiny device like Pi 3, so you can get a glimpse of what actual PC can do.
- This device can be modified into any module like a robot or laptop, based on your needs and requirements.
- If you are obsessed with games, then this device can turn out to be a very useful gaming console, as it can run low demanding vantage games, allowing you to get rid of spending huge amount of money on laptop.
- No doubt, Raspberry Pi 3 has so many functions identical to regular PC, but it is not as fast as desktop computer when it comes to uploading or handling heavy sites.
- Gamers can find this device addictive, because it can be capable of supporting number of vintage games, however, playing more advanced games will be little bit difficult than playing on the regular PC.
Applications of Raspberry Pi 3
The Pi 3 comes with a wide range of applications with the purpose of performing most of the functions like a desktop computer. Following are the main applications of the Pi 3
- Arcade Machine
- Media Streamer
- Tablet Computer
- Home Automation
- Controlling Robots
- Internet Radio
- Coffee Projects
- Cosmic Computer
That’s all for today. I hope you have enjoyed the article. However, if you have any question, you can ask me in the comment section below. I’d love to help you according to best of my expertise. Feel free to keep us updated with your feedback and suggestions, they help us to give you quality work that resonates with your needs and requirements. Thanks for reading the article. Stay Tuned!