Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi logo.

Raspberry Pi (RP) is the educational charity and namesake line of microcomputers offering customers a low-cost, single-board computer for lightweight computing purposes.

While Raspberry Pi was initially developed to teach children computer science, the mini-computers became widely popular among DIY enthusiasts and electronics tinkerers. The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers its range of RP computers and microcontrollers for students and customers, along with books, peripherals (keyboard and mouse), cameras, cables, and cases.

What is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a series of microcomputer models that can connect to standard monitors and peripherals for various applications. RP models are slightly bigger than a credit card and contain hardware components to support traditional desktop uses like file creation, storage, and internet streaming.

A visual diagram showing the components and architecture of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.
A visual diagram showing the components and architecture of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.
Read more: Best RP for 2022: Which board should you buy? | Tech Republic

Raspberry Pi Common Uses

How Does Raspberry Pi Work?

Raspberry Pi models exemplify a system-on-chip (SoC) where the microdevice contains a single integrated circuit. RP models include a central processing unit (CPU), power supply, USB ports, and RAM to support common computer use cases.

Customers can use their RP model through an existing monitor, keyboard, or mouse with an SD card for storage and appropriate connecting cables.

Pros and Cons of Buying RP


  • Small, compact, and portable computer
  • Low cost with several affordable models
  • Extensive educational, DIY, and community projects and documentation


  • May not be suitable as a desktop computer alternative without extensive modification.
  • No internal storage, which typically means longer boot and read/write processes
  • Board requires modifications to prevent malfunction for intensive processing
A Raspberry Pi operating system is shown on a monitor and connected to a keyboard.
A Raspberry Pi operating system is shown on a monitor and connected to a keyboard.
Also read: Why RP makes Datamation’s list of 85 Top IoT Devices for 2022.

Alternatives to RP

  • ASUS
  • Banana Pi 
  • LattePanda
  • NanoPi
  • Odroid
  • Onion
  • Pocket Beagle
  • RockPi
  • Udoo

What is the Raspberry Pi Foundation?

The Raspberry Pi Foundation (RPF) is a Cambridge, England-based charitable organization committed to expanding access to and knowledge of computing and digital technologies.

In 2006, the RPF first started developing an educational computer with inspiration from the Atmel ATmega644 microcontroller and Acorn’s BBC Micro computer. After a handful of years in development, the RPF released its first two models and schematics in 2012. In May 2021, RP surpassed 40 million units solid.

Recent Coverage on TechRepublic

Sam Ingalls
Sam Ingalls
Sam Ingalls is an award-winning writer and researcher covering enterprise technology, cybersecurity, data centers, and IT trends, for Webopedia, eSecurity Planet, ServerWatch, and Channel Insider.

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