Raspberry Pi Foundation
The Raspberry Pi Foundation provides low-cost, low-power computers specialized for the purpose of learn/teaching.
The Raspberry Pi brand has achieved a world-wide community of followers and enthusiasts. The brand includes a portfolio of Printed Circuit Boards featuring Broadcom microchips.
These microchips are called System on a Chip or SoCs because incorporated into the CPU are additional components like video encoding, additional memory, and graphics hardware.
Raspberry Pi Zero W
At the minimal end of the spectrum, the Raspberry Pi Zero W sports an unpopulated GPIO, two micro-USB ports, one for about 2.5mA at 5V of power, another for data, a mini-HDMI port, connector for a camera, and an SD Card slot.
The board measures 65mm x 30mm and features four W2.5 mounting holes. It can fit just about anywhere, and with on-board wireless capability, report to anywhere in the world.
The camera port allows the pi to become a cheap and cheerful still or video imaging device with very little modification. In fact, the same could be said of any Raspberry Pi model as they each support camera input in some way.
The Raspberry Pi is a wonderful camera controller, and the cameras available produce a fair quality image. These modular components can be combined to create Pi Projects that serve a particular purpose.
There are two types of cameras available for the Pi, one of which has no infra red filter. This results in some very interesting images. Try capturing some images with the Pi camera, and teach yourself a lot about the Pi at the same time.
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ was released in early 2018 and boasts cooling improvements that allow the existing chip to reach 1.4GHz, and new power management has tidied up the board some as well as improved overall reliability of power distribution among the board’s components.
Optional with this version is the addition of a Power Over Ethernet HAT (Hardware Attached on Top), and the latest firmware improvements allow for network booting. The network hardware has also been upgraded from a max of 100Mbps to 300Mpbs.
Raspberry Pi Alternatives
Many other hardware vendors have offerings similar to the Raspberry Pi line of products. The ODROID XU4 model, for example, features a Samsung Exynos chip with 2×4 Cores, USB 3.0, and Gigabit Ethernet.