What’s a Raspberry Pi and How Does it Work?



If you’ve never heard of the Raspberry Pi range, you’re missing out on of the most interesting and successful technological innovations of recent times.

The prototype model was initially launched on February 19th, 2012, and in the four years through 2016 an impressive eight million units of the Raspberry Pi were sold globally. Of these, three million were accounted for by the Raspberry Pi 2, which was released during the first quarter of 2015.

But what exactly is a Raspberry Pi, and how does it work? We’ll discover this and more in the article below:

What is a Raspberry Pi?

In simple terms, a Raspberry Pi is a low-cost, credit-card sized computer that can be plugged directly into a PC monitor or a television.

It can be operated using a standard mouse and a keyboard, and this compact but highly efficient device has enabled people of all ages to explore the diverse world of modern computing.

It can certainly help users to learn relatively simply programming languages such as Scratch and Python, whilst it also boasts most of the capabilities that you’d associated with a standard desktop (including Internet browsing, playing high-definition videos and creating Word documents.

Not only this, but the Raspberry Pi also has the capacity to interact with the outside world, meaning that it can be used in a variety of digital maker projects from music machines to weather stations.

In terms of available models, the first- and second-generation units were released in 2012 and 2015. The popular Raspberry Pi 3 followed in 2016, with this considered to be the most advanced and popular iteration on the market.

Each of these products is available in models A+, A and B, which indicate the power of each device and their core specification.

How Does a Raspberry Pi Work?

As we’ve already said, a Raspberry Pi device can be connected directly to a PC monitor or television.

Before you make this connection, however, you’ll need to insert an SD card into the slot on the board. This essentially serves as a hard drive for your device, which is subsequently powered by USB whilst any video output is hooked up to a conventional RCA TV set.

When working on specific and more advanced projects, you may also want to invest in a Logic Gate from a supplier such as RS Components.

These handy accessories leverage digital circuits to produce a desired logical function, which is then given a symbol for ease of use.