Arduino vs Raspberry Pi – Which one should you choose? (In-depth Comparison)

Arduino Vs Raspberry Pi

What is an Arduino?

Arduino is an open-source hardware development board. It has a programmable circuit board and a software (IDE- Integrated Development Environment) that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Arduino was developed at the Ivrea Interaction Design Institute by Massimo Benzi in Italy. It was developed for fast prototyping, and aimed at people who do not have much knowledge of electronics and programming.

Arduino software is used to write and upload computer code with the Arduino board. Arduino is the best choice for people just starting to make hardware. It uses a simplified version of C++ that makes programming easy for beginners.

There are many types of Arduino boards available in the market, such as the Arduino Uno, Nano, Mega, Due, Leonardo. There are also Arduino starter kits which are very helpful for beginners. It is up to the designer (buyer) to choose the right board which is suitable for their specific application(s). In all these boards the basic components are as listed below.

  • Arduino has a number of pins that are used to connected components with the board. Each type of Arduino board has a different number of pins. These pins are divided into two types; Digital pins and Analog pins. Digital pins are also known as I/O pin (input/output pin). Most of the models of Arduino has 14 pins.
  • All Arduino has one common thing that is a microcontroller. It is a primary chip and brain of the board. It is also known as a minicomputer. It is used to execute commands given by the program. And make decisions according to the input. This chip is different for all types of Arduino. Generally, Arduino used ATmega controllers like ATmega2560, ATmega8, ATmega1280, etc.
  • Arduino can be powered by a USB serial port or DC power jack. USB serial port is also used to connect Arduino with the computer to load the program. And simultaneously it also powered the board. When a board is not connected with the computer, it can be supplied by a DC jack or power input pin. This pin needs a 7-12 V DC supply to turn on the board. And this supply is used to ON LEDs and other components.

There are many other components are available like LEDs, oscillators, voltage regulators, and many more.

Arduino Board
An Arduino Board

What is a Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is founded and registered by an educational charity based in the UK. It was developed with an aim to educate people in various subjects on computer science.

Raspberry Pi launched in 2012 and after that many versions are released with different memory capacity and peripheral device support. The maximum price of raspberry Pi is 35$ and other models have less than 35$. So, it is a very cheap and affordable model.

Generally, Scratch and Python language are used for programming in Raspberry Pi.

The first model of raspberry Pi (A and B) has only 256 MB RAM (Random Access Memory). The latest model of Raspberry Pi (4) is available in a range of 1 Gb to 4 GB RAM.

It has a 64-bit microcontroller that can run an operating system (Linux). The main supported operating system is Raspbian.

The Raspberry Pi has a video output, HDMI port, SD card port, USB 2.0, Audio Jack. In other words, it is a mini computer without a screen.

It is also capable to do all tasks that a desktop computer can do like browsing the internet, playing HD videos, making a spreadsheet, and playing games.

Raspberry Pi
A Raspberry-Pi Board

Arduino vs Raspberry Pi

Both of these boards are very helpful for beginners, hobbyists, and students to make hardware projects.

What is the difference between these two boards?

An Arduino is a microcontroller that is similar to a simple computer. It is used to run one program at a time and it operates again and again. It is very easy to use.

A Raspberry Pi is a general-purpose computer that is used to run more than one program. It usually used with Linux operating system. It is more complex than Arduino.

When you have to use the Arduino? and When you have to use the Raspberry Pi?

For beginners, who is learning projects and for small and single application where one program installed and run it again and again for a specific task, then go for Arduino. Because it is easy to use, easy to program, easy to power, and chip compared to the Raspberry Pi.

But if you need a controller for multitasking applications like driving robot, streaming media, Arduino is not suitable. Hence go for the Raspberry Pi.

The below table gives a comparison between Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Sr. No.   Arduino Raspberry Pi
1 Power Arduino is easy to power the board using a battery. Raspberry Pi is difficult to power the board using a battery.
2 Application It is used in simple tasks. It is used in a complex task.
3 Use It is a microcontroller and used to run one program at a time. It is a mini-computer and used for multi-tasking and it is able to run more than tasks at a time.
4 Cost Cheaper than Raspberry Pi. Costlier than Arduino.
5 Connect to the Internet Arduino needs extra hardware to connect with the internet and needs to program Arduino to interface with an external module. There is an ethernet port available in some model of Raspberry Pi which can directly connect with the Internet.
6 Onboard Storage It has onboard storage, there are no slots for SD cards for extra storage. There is no onboard storage. But it has a slot of SC card.
7 USB Port It has only one USB port for upload programs in the Arduino. It has 4 USB ports which are used to connect different devices with the board.
8 Language Generally, it uses Arduino and C/C++ languages. Python is recommended programming language but C/C++, Python, and Ruby are pre-installed on a board.
9 Processor It uses a processor of the ATmega family. It uses a processor of the ARM family.
10 RAM Arduino has around 2kB SRAM. Raspberry Pi has a RAM of 256 MB to 4 GB.
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