Arduino vs Raspberry Pi : Which is the Best Board ?
Arduino vs Raspberry Pi : In this tutorial, we will compare these two platforms according to the needs we want to do with them.
Arduino and Raspberry Pi have both been designed to be educational tools (In a price available for all). This is one of the main reasons why they have become so popular. They also have the advantage of being easy to use in many fields of applications.
Arduino was born in Italy in 2004 (named after the Bar di Re Arduino where the designers of the board used to meet). One of these designers Banzi (professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea) wanted to set up a simple hardware prototyping tool for his design students.
Raspberry Pi is from the UK. The first model was designed in 2012. The inventor Eben Upton and his colleagues at the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge were frustrated by the declining number of students, and the lack of skills of those entering the program. Raspberry Pi was designed as a low-cost, hackable microcomputer to develop his DIY skills. The Upton team began working on prototypes in 2006 and the first batch of Pi was completed in April 2012.
Both Arduino and Raspberry Pi are suitable for beginners as teaching tools . By studying the components and software of each of these microprocessors, it is obvious that they are each intended for different uses.
The main purpose of this article is to see which materials are best for your use. Indeed, the two can complement each other very well.
Models 2020 : Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi has offered a multitude of models in recent years (significantly improving these components). In 2012, The single-core processor had 256MB of memory while the 2020 version (Raspberry Pi 4) offered a quad-core model with 8GB of memory. Currently, the Raspberry Pi 4 model is sold around 35$ for the 2go version. There is however a version that costs 10$ (Raspberry Pi Zero W) if you need less resources.
The arduino has also had many models since 2004. The current versions are UNO, Leonardo and Nano.
Here is a comparison of the different current models:
|Arduino Uno R3||Arduino Leonardo||Raspberry Pi 4||Raspberry Pi Zero W|
|Price||$22||20$||$35 or more||$10|
|CPU||AVR ATmega328p||ATMega32u4||1.5GHz quad-core ARMv8-A||1GHz ARM1176JZF-S|
|RAM||2KB SRAM||2,5 kB SRAM||1GB to 8GB||512MB|
|Storage||32KB Flash memory||32 kB||Micro SD, USB||Micro SD, USB|
|Power||6 – 20V via DC input||7 – 12 V||5V 3A||5V|
|Network||Requires Shield Add On||Requires Shield Add On||Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi b/g/n & 5GHz AC||802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.1, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)|
Comparaison System : Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
It is difficult to compare a Raspberry Pi and the Arduino because their architecture is very different. The arduino is a micro-controller with an integrated chip that consists of RAM, ROM, I / S, timers and CPU inside the chip. There are therefore no external components for its standard use.
The Raspberry Pi on the other hand is a single board computer (SBC) and behaves like a real PC or laptop. The Raspberry Pi has a microprocessor which is a single processor consisting only of registers for storing analog data, an analog arithmetic unit (ALU) and a control unit (CU). The RAM and secondary storage are external and are not part of the processor.
Operating System : Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
Arduino being a microcontroller, does not have an operating system. The various programs executed on it are directly compiled in machine language. This can be disturbing if you want to modify the program during its execution, you will have to recompile your program.
On the other hand for the Raspberry PI, the Raspberry PI Foundation officially supports the Raspbian operating system. It is also possible to install other operating systems as needed. For example, for IoT projects we can use the Windows 10 ioT operating system. You can also install Ubuntu for those who are familiar with this operating system.
Data Transfer : Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
Since the Arduino can only use machine language, it is not possible to store data on the microcontroller. Files in variable form must be flashed via the Arduino IDE. If you are new to the Arduino IDE, here is a tutorial on how to use the Arduino IDE. It is not possible to store data on the microcontroller since the arduino can only use machine language. Files must be flashed via the Arduino IDA.
On the raspberry, the data can be stored on an SD card (if you are looking for a good SD card click here).
This offers the possibility to transfer these data more easily by connecting your SD card to your PC directly. You can also use a USB stick or a hard disk (thanks to the USB port in the raspberry) to copy your data to the Raspberry.
Connections : Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
The arduino has 20 GPIOs. This makes it possible to connect a lot of sensors on it. The Arduino also has an analog-to-digital converter and a USB socket for power supply.
The Raspberry Pi has similar connections to a PC or laptop. It has an HDMI output, several USB ports and an Ethernet port. It is also possible to connect a multitude of sensors thanks to these 40 GPIOs. The only disadvantage is that it does not have an analog pin as the Raspberry Pi does not have an analog-to-digital converter.
Operating Power : Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
The operating power for an Arduino is extremely low compared to the Raspberry Pi (which is similar to a conventional PC). The clock speed is almost 90 times faster and the RAM is 500,000 times higher. The Raspberry Pi also runs on 64bits which is much higher than the 8bits of the arduino.
Power Consumption : Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
The arduino needs very little energy to operate. With its sleep mode the power consumption is even reduced to 50 μA!
The raspberry PI is very energy intensive compared to the Arduino. It is possible to use NodeMCU to reduce its consumption.
Pros and Cons : Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi provides an out-of-the-box hardware configuration that relieves the user of the complex task of compiling the technical basis for DIY projects. Compared to Arduino boards, the Raspberry Pi has all the components on board to allow the microcomputer to operate independently. In addition, most models are network compatible by default (Ethernet, WLAN or both). Thanks to these features, The Raspberry Pi allows to access the programming platform but also to run applications such as web servers or VPN servers.
Pros and Cons : Arduino
The Arduino boards are characterized by two features in particular: on the one hand, they offer integrated and ready-to-use processor performance, including peripherals (inputs/outputs and interfaces) and are therefore interesting for users with little knowledge of electronics. On the other hand, the mini-platforms win many points in the Arduino vs. Raspberry Pi match: the development environment, adapted to the hardware, provides a programming interface with various ready-to-use libraries and makes programming much easier.
Arduino and Raspberry Projects Examples
Best Raspberry Pi Projects
- A retrogaming console with Recalbox
- Create a home automation box with Jeedom
- A Raspberry Pi as a camera with RPi HQ Camera
- Make a Pi Twitter Bot
- Minecraft Game Server
The only barrier to using your Rasberry PI is your imagination!
Best Arduino Projects
- Range Measurer and Digital Spirit Level
- Arduino Robot Arm
- Arduino CNC Foam Cutting Machine
- Arduino Color Sorter
- DIY Arduino Gimbal / Self-Stabilizing Platform
As you can see, it is possible to realize a lot of projects on an Arduino.
Raspberry PI Accessories
Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2-8 Megapixel :
Raspberry PI SENSE HAT :
Raspberry PI Touch Screen Display :
Arduino Sensor Modules kit :
Arduino HiLetgo Camera Module :
Arduino Accelerometer Gyroscope Module :
Sphero RVR Programmable Robot :
In this tutorial we have seen the main differences between an Arduino and a Raspberry PI. Many people think that the arduino is easier to use for beginners but I don’t necessarily agree with that. It depends on the project you want to set up.
To summarize this long tutorial, here is a short brief that explains which to choose between the two depending on your project :
Leave on a Raspberry PI if:
- Your project involves networking
- Your project is rather complex
- It is similar to a software application, such as a web server or VPN server.
- You have a good knowledge of Python and linux programming
- Your electronics skills are limited.
Leave on a Arduino if:
- You have a good knowledge of electronics
- Your project does not apply the use of software applications such as voice control
- You are not a fan of linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian etc…
- Your project is simple and doesn’t involve any networking
Thank you for following this tutorial, I hope it helped you choose from one of them. Feel free to tell me a comment if you have any hesitation about a model, I would be happy to answer it.
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See you soon!