9th year of Raspberry pi
This year is the Raspberry Pi 's 9th Birthday so I thought it would be the perfect time to look back onto the history of the Raspberry Pi its self. Join us for our Pi Day timeline!
2006 and the Early PCBs:
The earliest versions of the Raspberry Pi Prototypes in 2005-2006 were used an Atmel ATmega644 microcontroller clocked at 22.1MHz. Here you see early Veroboard and a first PCB model.
To quote Eben:
These boards use an Atmel ATmega644 microcontroller clocked at 22.1MHz, and a 512K SRAM for data and framebuffer storage. 19 of the Atmel’s 32 GPIO lines are used to drive the SRAM address bus. To generate a 320×240 component video signal, the Atmel rapidly increments the address, and the data lines are fed via 74HC-series buffers to a trio of simple summing-point DACs; during horizontal and vertical blanking, it is free to perform other operations.
- Eben Upton
Video of 3D Rendering on this early proto board:
2009 - The Raspberry Pi Foundation was formed
The Raspberry Pi foundation Raspberry Pi Foundation is a "UK-based charity that works to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world"
This group created the hardware, software, and educational outreach for what was going to be the Raspberry Pi!
2011 and a tiny USB Stick Prototype
In 2011 the BBC showed a tiny prototype with a onboard camera, and inline USB format.
This USB Dongle style device never made it to market but its spirit can certainly be felt in the Raspberry Pi zero.
2011 Alpha Boards
Raspberry Pi moved over to a Broadcom System on a chip (BCM2835) this broadcom chipset would ultimately move to be used in the Raspberry Pi Model A, B, B+, the Compute Module, and the Raspberry Pi Zero.
The alpha boards began to feature a lot of the core Raspberry Pi features you will have grown to love.
- HDMI Out
- Analog Video
- USB Ports
- SD Card
Between the end of 2011 and early 2012 Eben and Pete finalized the late beta versions of the initial raspberry Pi boards
2012 Classic Model A
Launching February 2012, the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B. Racking up 100,000 sales on its very first day.
In initial conversations, Eben is quoted as only wanting 1000. Eben and Lomas were able to get the initial price to the now legendary $35. Including 2 USB 2.0 Ports. 100MBPS Ethernet and the now famouse 26 Pin GPIO Header. The launch processor was a 700MHz single-core processor and VideoCore IV GPU capable of hardware-accelerated 1080p video playback.
And that was it, the start of History that lead to more that 30 Million Raspberry Pi's being sold
Future and Silicon
In January 2021 we were very excited to introduce the all new Raspberry Pi Pico, a tiny, $4, MicroPython and C/C++ board with custom RP2040 silicon.
This was the first product from the Raspberry Pi Foundation built with their in house designed RP2040. At $4 and available individually or even available on reels, this Raspberry Pi is the next step in home and industrial products
Looking at the edge of the PCB you can see the Raspberry Pi Pico has been designed to be used with header pins or soldered directly onto your products PCB. This was a game changer for anyone looking to work with the Raspberry Pi in a Project or Product based PCB.
“This is the start of an exciting new era for Raspberry Pi. With Raspberry Pi Pico, and RP2040, we have been able to draw on insights drawn from a decade of using other vendors’ microcontrollers, and to create an innovative silicon platform for our customers. People have used Raspberry Pi to create a broader spread of projects and products than we could have imagined a decade ago; we’re sure the same will be true of Raspberry Pi Pico.” - James Adams, Chief Operating Officer, Raspberry Pi Trading
RP2040 - Raspberry Pi Silicon
Raspberry Pi Pico is built around the brand-new Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller, delivering a flexible, highly affordable development platform that can also be directly deployed into end products, reducing time-to-market. RP2040 offers high performance for integer workloads, a large on-chip memory, and a wide range of I/O options, making it a flexible solution for a wide range of microcontroller applications.
Professional design engineers who are already comfortable working with Raspberry Pi will easily adopt the Raspberry Pi Pico and appreciate its ease of use and affordability.
Raspberry Pi and the spirit of Collaboration
Finally in an amazing move, Raspberry Pi have reached out to other popular board manufacturers and asked if they want to be first in line to uses the RP2040 in a new Raspberry Pi Silicon powered product. These include Arduino and Adafruit Boards.
|Adafruit Feather RP 2040||Adafruit ItsyBitsy RP 2040|
|Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect||Pimoroni Pico System|
Which collaborations do you think will be next for Raspberry Pi and the RP2040?