The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python.
Raspberry Pi 3
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the newest mainline Raspberry Pi released in January 2017 and is bundled with on-board WiFi, Bluetooth and USB boot capabilities.
All models feature a Broadcom system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM compatible central processing unit (CPU) and an on-chip graphics processing unit (GPU, a VideoCore IV). CPU speed ranges from 700 MHz to 1.2 GHz for the Pi 3 and on board memory range from 256MB to 1 GB RAM. Secure Digital (SD) cards are used to store the operating system and program memory in either the SDHC or MicroSDHC sizes. Most boards have between one and four USB slots, HDMI and composite video output, and a 3.5 mm phono jack for audio. Lower level output is provided by a number of GPIO pins which support common protocols like I²C.
The Raspberry Pi 3 uses a Broadcom BCM2837 SoC with a 1.2 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, with 512 KB shared L2 cache.
The Raspberry Pi 3, with a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, is described as 10 times the performance of a Raspberry Pi 1. This was suggested to be highly dependent upon task threading and instruction set use. Benchmarks showed the Raspberry Pi 3 to be approximately 80% faster than the Raspberry Pi 2 in parallelized tasks.
The CPU chips of the first and second generation Raspberry Pi board did not require cooling, such as a heat sink, unless the chip was overclocked, but the Raspberry Pi 3 SoC may heat more than usual under overclocking.
Overclock preset in Pi : 31100 MHz ARM, 550 MHz core, 500 MHz SDRAM, 6 overvolting.
The Model A, A+ and Pi Zero have no Ethernet circuitry and are commonly connected to a network using an external user-supplied USB Ethernet or Wi-Fi adapter. On the Model B and B+ the Ethernet port is provided by a built-in USB Ethernet adapter using the SMSC LAN9514 chip. The Raspberry Pi 3 and Pi Zero W (wireless) are equipped with 2.4 GHz WiFi 802.11n (150 Mbit/s) and Bluetooth 4.1 (24 Mbit/s) based on Broadcom BCM43438 FullMAC chip with no official support for Monitor mode but implemented through unofficial firmware patching and the Pi 3 also has a 10/100 Ethernet port.
The Raspberry Pi may be operated with any generic USB computer keyboard and mouse. It can also be used with USB storage, USB to MIDI converters, CSI camera port for connecting the Raspberry Pi camera and DSI display port for connecting the Raspberry Pi touch screen display and virtually any other device/component with USB capabilities. Other peripherals can be attached through the various pins and connectors on the surface of the Raspberry Pi.
Graphics Processing Unit
Dual Core VideoCore IV® Multimedia Co-Processor. Provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode. Capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure.
Video input- 15-pin MIPI camera interface (CSI) connector, used with the Raspberry Pi camera or Raspberry Pi NoIR camera .
Video output- HDMI (rev 1.3 & 1.4), composite video (3.5 mm TRRS jack), MIPI display interface (DSI) for raw LCD panels, Composite RCA (PAL and NTSC).
General purpose input-output (GPIO) connector
Raspberry Pi 1 Models A+ and B+, Pi 2 Model B, Pi 3 Model B and Pi Zero (and Zero W) GPIO J8 have a 40-pin pinout. Raspberry Pi 1 Models A and B have only the first 26 pins.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends the use of Raspbian, a Debian-based Linux operating system. Other third party operating systems available via the official website include Ubuntu MATE, Snappy Ubuntu Core, Windows 10 IoT Core, RISC OS and specialised distributions for the Kodi media center and classroom management.
Raspbian is the Foundation’s official supported Operating System. Download it here, or use NOOBS, our easy installer for Raspbian and more.
Raspberry Pi Desktop (for PC and Mac)
Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop is the Foundation’s operating system for PC and Mac. You can create a live disc, run it in a virtual machine, or even install it on your computer.
Third Party Operating System Images
Third party operating system images for Raspberry Pi are also available:
PIONEER600, Raspberry Pi Expansion Board
DVK512 Raspberry Pi Expansion Board
5inch HDMI LCD (B)
7inch HDMI LCD (C)
RPi Camera (B)