Embedded systems have become an inseparable part of the automotive industry, smart home technology, and household appliances. You can design the architecture of such applications yourself using the Raspberry Pi computer!
What to choose to start with?
Several different Raspberry Pi models are available for purchase today. If you plan to build projects that demand high computing power, it is best to choose Pi 4B with a processor clocked at 1,5GHz of frequency and three variants of RAM – 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB. For typically educational purposes and basic embedded projects, 2GB RAM is enough. If you want to use the Raspberry Pi 4B as a computer meant for an office job and Internet surfing, go for the 4GB RAM version.
If you plan to use the Raspberry Pi 4B for the advanced R&D projects, get the 8GB RAM version. It can often turn out that one of the key factors is also the amount of physical free space. The answer to this problem is the Pi Zero W, the smallest of the Raspberry Pi series sources. Its dimensions are only appearances because a 1 GHz CPU is installed on its PCB and it provides a large reserve of computing power for such applications as e.g. robotics.
Raspberry Pi 2B+ or 4B is a comprehensive solution for prototyping and functional tests for our projects. In most cases, we can run the same software and external hardware by using Raspberry Pi Zero W which is in a smaller package, but still powerful.
How to connect a Raspberry Pi with peripherals?
To use the Raspberry Pi, the connection is as simple as plugging in the power supply. The recommended power supply for each Raspberry Pi model must have an output voltage of 5.1V. Depending on the model, the required current capacity ranges from 2A to 3A.
The plug of the power supply is micro USB type B, except for the Pi 4B model, where it is USB C-type. The best way is to buy a Raspberry Pi Foundation power supply that meets the requirements of each of the Raspberry Pi models. Unlike classic PCs, the Raspberry Pi does not have a hard drive of its own.
Instead, the Raspberry Pi uses micro SD cards. Before inserting the micro SD card into the slot on the Raspberry Pi PCB, you will need to install the Raspberry Pi OS operating system on it, which is based on the Linux kernel. The Raspberry Pi is also equipped with USB and HDMI connections, so we can also use the mouse, keyboard and monitor how to use the Raspberry Pi in the same way as a regular PC computer.
Additional hardware extensions
The hallmark of the Raspberry Pi is the 40-pin GPIO 0.1″ connector, which allows you to connect the Raspberry Pi with external devices such as prototypes in a breadboard, discrete electronic components such as diodes, transistors, and very cool HATs – additional hardware extensions from outputs compatible with GPIO.
The built-in EEPROM memory of the Raspberry Pi has a pre-loaded software that automatically sets the drivers for the HAT interface. HAT add-ons can be used for projects such as controllers, displays, game consoles, control panels, as well as wireless communication via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GSM, and LoRaWAN. These and many other practical HAT extensions can be purchased from the Botland Store, which is the official distributor of Raspberry Pi boards and HAT add-ons.
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