Raspberry Pi celebrates its tenth anniversary with overwhelming success

On February 29, 2012, the British Foundation behind the Raspberry Pi began accepting orders for this revolutionary microcomputer inspired by Apple’s Mac Mini. A few hours later, as the team celebrated the launch in a pub with some nice beers, he heard from his hardware partners, Farnell and RS Components: the initial offer had been swept away with 100,000 orders and they had no inventory to cover them.

An overwhelming success for the development that in these ten years has become the sales leader in the single board mini-computer or SBC category. Although the initial objective of the British non-profit foundation of the same name was to stimulate the teaching of computer science in schools, its low cost and enormous flexibility of use have made it tremendously popular in a number of other segments. .

The original Raspberry Pi already showed its potential. It used a 700 MHz ARM11 CPU SoC along with 512 MB of RAM, which was said to have actual performance equivalent to a 300 MHz Pentium II with graphics capabilities close to the original Xbox. Although it was not open hardware and the Foundation signed distribution contracts with specific companies, the reality is that anyone can become a reseller or redistributor of these boards. The Foundation maintains control of the technology used, but its use is free at the user level.

The software that supports it is open source. The official system of the platform is the Raspberry Pi OS based on Debian (with a new recent 64-bit version), although other Linux such as Arch Linux ARM or Pidora, the fashionable embedded system RISC OS 5 and even Windows 10 are supported. IoTCore. For developers and learners, the Python language is especially promoted and others such as Tiny BASIC, C, Perl and Ruby are supported.

The result of the project has been spectacular.. The first year a million units were sold and since then it has not stopped growing. In 2015 it had sold five million and in 2017 fifteen million. In its first ten years, 45 million units have been delivered. It is the best-selling British computer in history and few models can boast of having reached those figures.

Raspberry Pi Versions

Since the original “Raspberry Pi 1 model A” there have been dozens of new versions that have been improving the performance of the main SoC, memory capacity or connectivity. The most advanced is the Pi 4 model with 8 Gbytes of LPDDR4 RAM, Broadcom BCM2711 SoC with four Cortex A72 cores, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, microSD and a good collection of ports including USB Type C and A, and video output to power up to two 4K monitors.

raspberry pi

In addition to improving the general series, the Foundation has produced other specialized versions such as the Pi Zero or the Pico Mini with lower consumption and a price even cheaper than the 35 dollars that has been maintained as a reference.

Another official version of interest was the Pi 400, a complete PC built in a compact keyboard form factor that was very popular as it simplified the configuration to start enjoying this development without assembly complications. In these 10 years there has been no lack of official third-party accessories such as chassis, screens, cooling systems and others.

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What can be done with a Raspberry Pi?

This expansion of the ecosystem has served to increase its potential for use and in fact today it can be used for a lot of projects. For programming, as a multimedia center, as a base to create basic PCs, as an anonymous router for TOR, for gaming machines, as a tablet, for robotics, to create surveillance cameras, as a universal translator, as recreational in a minimum size, and a very long etc, in which a multitude of enthusiasts of this development work.

You can start with just the plate and add what you need or buy different kits that include everything you need. The same board, chassis, case, power supply, microSD already loaded with Raspberry OS and more to make it easy for inexperienced users to start from scratch. The current situation in the chip industry has raised prices slightly, but they remain contained for the potential they offer.

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As for the software, the images needed to launch the official Raspberry Pi OS known to fans as Raspbian are available for free download and use. The Raspberry Pi Imager application is also offered, which facilitates the creation of the system on Windows, macOS and Linux machines, on the microSD that you use with the Raspberry.

Although other alternatives may be used in single board computers, this development remains highly recommended for anyone who wants to have fun and learn. To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the launch, lhe Foundation has partnered with the National Museum of Computing to offer a temporary exhibit that tells the story of the Raspberry Pi. The exhibition will open next weekend and the ceremony will be will broadcast live online on March 5.

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