The Raspberry Pi has sold its 30 millionth unit some time back in December. Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton took to Twitter to make the announcement on December 14, 2019. The tweet read that the Raspberry Pi Foundation sold its thirty-millionth unit on Tuesday that week. Eben also commented that the Raspberry Pi numbers get old too fast, pointing to a growing user base.
The feat is surely an achievement for the Raspberry Pi Foundation that is trying to bring computers within reach of even the most budget-minded buyer. Specifically, the single-board computers have been a boon to people in developing countries where computer hardware costs run in thousands.
Raspberry Pi is giving a tough competition to the single-model computer Commodore 64. The Commodore 64 has its name in the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 17 million to 30 million units between 1982 and 1994.
Unfortunately, the Raspberry Pi will not make it to the world records as it has gone through several iterations. However, the record sales are quite significant as the Raspberry Pi is a niche item and didn't invest in any TV advertisements like Commodore 64.
Looking Back at Raspberry Pi
Many people around the world got introduced to computing through Raspberry Pi. The single-board computers first hit the market in 2012 and sold 700,000 units in that year only. The Raspberry Pi Model B was the first product from the Raspberry Foundation, a UK-based charity that aims to spread computing awareness and easy access to computing education.
The first model of Raspberry Pi came with a single-core 700MHz CPU with only 256MB of RAM. Over the years, the computer went through many changes and upgrades. Specifically, there have been three generations of the Raspberry Pi- the Pi 1, Pi 2, and Pi 3. Each generation generally had two models, Model A and Model B. Overall, there are around ten iterations of Raspberry Pi from 2012 to 2019.
The Model A series of each generation has lower prices with a few compromises in features and capabilities. Specifically, they have a lower amount of RAM, USB ports, and Ethernet ports. All the models run a Linux version of OS and can support standard monitors, mouse, and keyboards.
Many people use the Raspberry Pi to learn program languages like Python. People also use the Raspberry Pi for hardware projects to control various devices and tools. The single-board computer is also ideal to manage and control home automation by incorporating IoT. The computers also have some industrial application.
All models of Raspberry Pi are affordable and don't cross the mark of $35. Some models were even available for as little as $20.
The newest Raspberry Pi 4
The newest version of Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi 4, comes packed with features and high specifications. It sports a quad-core 1.5GHz processor with four Cortex-A72 CPU cores. Buyers can also choose between 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB versions. To put things in perspective, Pi 4 is three times faster compared to the previous model, the Pi 3.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has worked on a series of serious upgrades that touches almost all elements of the platform. The Pi 4 provides the performance of a standard PC while retaining the trademark simplicity and interfacing capabilities of the Raspberry Pi lineup.
Some of the features present in the Pi 4 include-
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Dual 4K monitor support
- Full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet
- USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports
- Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- microSD storage card
- 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video
- 40-pin GPIO connector
- VideoCore VI graphics supporting OpenGL ES 3.x
The new Pi 4 is compatible with all older Raspberry Pis and uses USB C for extra power. The computer even comes with HDMI Type-D micro connectors.
TomsHardware had a lot of praises for the single-board Pi 4. The site found a lot of improvements and performance gains over the Pi 3. They also agreed that the new model lives up to the claim of being the equal of a standard desktop PC.
The Raspberry Pi 4 was supposed to come out in 2020, but the Raspberry Foundation released it in 2019. That was certainly good news for those looking to get their hands on the latest iteration of Raspberry Pi.
Staying true to its mission, Raspberry Pi Foundation is selling the Pi 4 at $35 for the 1GB version. The 2GB version costs $45, while the 4GB version needs you to shell out $55.
A Glance at Some Interesting Raspberry Pi Projects
Let's explore what people had been up to using the Raspberry Pi single-board computer.
Telepresence hand: Engineering student Andrew Loeliger created a robotic arm based on the Pi. The arm comes with a glove controller to move the hand and control the fingers. The robotic arm will be useful for first responders to navigate hazardous situations.
Grilled cheese sandwich maker: The students of the Carnegie Mellon University created a fully-functional grilled cheese making machine called the Cheeseborg. Controlled by voice, the machine can assemble, cook, and deliver tasty sandwiches!
Underwater drone: Levgenii Tkachenko, an Android developer, made an underwater drone using the Raspberry Pi. The underwater Pi drone even features lights, cameras, and motion control for a complete experience.
People have used the Raspberry Pi for all kinds of innovative projects. From guitar assistants to 3D scanners, you can make anything you want using the power of the Pi. The sale of 30 million units shows that people are still very much interested in the single-board computer that can drive futuristic innovations at a cheap cost.
The Raspberry Foundation has played a big part in spreading computing education and bringing the technology to a wide-scale of people around the world. Even schools and institutions can use cost-effective technology to educate their students even in the