Taking a piece of Raspberry Pi

This is a raspberry pi. It looks like a standard computer board, right? It certainly works like one, but is way smaller in size, the size of soap.

Raspberry Pi (image taken from https://www.raspberrypi.org)

Meet our raspberry pi

The raspberry pi comes as barebones hardware. Raspberry pi itself doesn’t come with any internal memory. You need to get a microSD card for memory. So there is no software installed on it, you need to install Raspbian OS. You can choose from a GUI version or a minimal version based on the requirement.

If you connect a screen to this board via an HDMI cable, a USB mouse, and a USB keyboard, you can easily have a small desktop setup. This small computer has an ethernet port for internet/ethernet connections and an earphone port too.

The processor is a 64 bit Quad Core Broadcomm 1.2GHz CPU. It is a relatively slow processor but the speed is sufficient for the light-weight applications it is used for.

You can connect multiple Raspberry Pi’s over ethernet and make the Pi’s communicate with each other using MPI resulting in a cluster. Cluster gives increased compute power and better scalability.

What exactly is this small computer capable of doing?

Because of its small size, raspberry pi is very portable. It finds its applications in the fields of Internet of Things and robotics.

It also finds application in face recognition. We can connect a USB camera to raspberry pi and face the camera to a road. Then run a script on the pi to detect the faces of the passerby. Because pi is connected to the internet, we can add the detected face data to a cloud platform and run complex machine learning algorithms to identify the face against a large database.

A similar problem is traffic monitoring.

Raspberry pi clusters are pretty popular as they are light on the pocket. Raspi enthusiasts all over the world assemble beautiful raspberry pi clusters and apply them for distributed and parallel computing.

Powered by a cluster of 256 Raspberry Pis, Virginia Tech’s stunning kinetic sculpture gives a visual representation of how parallel processing works

Some common applications of raspberry pi clusters are bitcoin mining, cryptography

See how raspi enthusiasts use raspberry clusters here:

Product Engineer at GOJEK