Chapter 1

Meet the Raspberry Pi

YOUR RASPBERRY PI board is a miniature marvel, packing considerable computing power into a footprint no larger than a credit card. It’s capable of some amazing feats, but you need to know a few things before you plunge head-first into the bramble patch.

A Trip Around the Board

The Raspberry Pi is currently available as two different models, known as the Model A and the Model B. While there are differences, with the Model A sacrificing some functionality in order to reduce its cost and power requirements, both share plenty of similarities that you find out about in this chapter. Figure 1-1 shows a Raspberry Pi Model B Revision 2, the most common board type. Its layout is shared between the original Model B Revision 1 and the cheaper Model A; the latest Model B+ uses an altered layout discussed later in this chapter.

In the rough centre of all Raspberry Pi boards is a square semiconductor, more commonly known as an integrated circuit or chip. This is the Broadcom BCM2835 system-on-chip (SoC) module, which provides the Pi with its general-purpose processing, graphics rendering and input/output capabilities. Stacked on top of that chip is another semiconductor, which provides the Pi with memory for temporary storage of data while it’s running ...

Get Raspberry Pi User Guide, 3rd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.