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What is arduino ?

what is arduino

Arduino® is a hardware and software package that allows you to learn electronics (while having fun) while becoming familiar with computer programming. Unlike other boards, Raspberry Pi for example, Arduino is open source, so you can download the original schematic and use it to build your own map and sell it without paying royalties.

The Hardware

They are programmable electronic cards (therefore equipped with a processor and memory) on which we can connect temperature, humidity, vibration or light sensors, a camera, buttons, adjustment potentiometers, contacts electric… There are also connectors for connecting LEDs, motors, relays, displays, a screen…

An Arduino board is a brain that makes electronic systems intelligent and animates mechanical devices.

The image below shows an the Uno board which is widely used for beginners.

An Arduino Uno board with its connectors.

In writing related to Arduino you will often see the words “microprocessor”, “micro-controller”, “MCU”, “AVR”, “ATMega168”, “ARMCortex-M3”…

In a very simplified way: all these terms designate a processor. The processor is the calculation unit (CPU) contained inside the integrated circuit designated by one of the terms previously mentioned (example: MCU, ATmega168, etc.)

The Software IDE

The creators of Arduino have developed software to make programming arduino boards visual, simple and complete at the same time.
This is called an IDE, which stands for Integrated Development Environment.

The Arduino IDE is the software used to program Arduino boards.

The IDE displays a graphics window that contains a text editor and all the tools needed for programming activity.
You can therefore enter your program, save it, compile it, check it, transfer it to an arduino board…
At the time of writing this page, the most recent version of the Arduino IDE is 1.8.10. The look is pretty much the same on every platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux). The following image shows the initial screen that appears when launching the IDE.

Types of Arduino Boards

Over the years, the designers at Arduino.cc have come up with a number of board designs. The first Arduino board, the Diecimila, was released in 2007. And since then, the Arduino family has evolved to take advantage of the different types of Atmel microprocessors.

The Due, released in 2012, is the first Arduino to use a 32-bit ARMCortex-M3 processor. It stands out from the rest of the family in terms of processing power and board pinout configuration.
Other boards, like the LilyPad and the Nano, don’t have the same pinout as well and are aimed at a different range of rather “mobile” applications.
In the case of the LilyPad it is for easy integration into clothing and fabrics.
The Esplora integrates sensors and actuators and the compact size of the Mini, Micro and Nano predestines them for miniature, light and discreet applications.

When several types of microcontrollers are indicated, it means that an early version was produced with the first type and later with the other (generally more powerful).
For example, an older version of the Duemilanove will have an ATmega168, while newer models will have the ATmega328. Functionally, the ATmega168 and ATmega328 are identical, but the ATmega328 has more internal memory.

The latest additions to the Arduino family, Leonardo, Esplora, Micro and Yún, all use the ATmega32U4 microcontroller. If the latter is similar to an ATmega328, it also integrates a USB serial interface component, which eliminates an integrated circuit (easier routing) like the one present on the Uno and Duemilanove boards (ATmega16U2, FT232RL).

Arduino naming convention

Although the design of the Arduino circuit and its software is open source, the Arduino team has reserved the use of the term “Arduino” for its own designs.
The Arduino logo is a registered trademark.

You will sometimes find builds that look like official Arduino boards, but are not produced by the Arduino team. Some manufacturers use “-duino” or “-ino” in the product name, such as Freeduino, Funduino, Diavolino, Youduino, etc. Some, like boards made by SainSmart, use only the model name (Uno and Mega2560 for example).

Due to a dispute between the company created by the original founders (Arduino LLC) and a different company created by one of the original founders (Arduino SRL), Arduino LLC uses the Arduino trademark in the United States and Genuino elsewhere.

Some “manufacturers” claim to be selling an Arduino board, but are actually just a copy using the trademark without permission.
Massimo Banzi has dedicated a section of his blog to these blatant unauthorized copies.

The main point to remember here is that you can copy the schematics, the bootloader code, the Arduino IDE code and use them to create your own version (open source principle) .
Just don’t call it ‘Arduino’.

What can you do with an Arduino?

In addition to the ease of programming made possible by the Arduino IDE, the other great feature of an Arduino is the capability of the microcontroller on which it is based.
With a few extra shields readily available, a wide selection of inexpensive sensor modules and actuators, there really isn’t much you can’t do with an Arduino.
The condition is to keep in mind a few basic constraints: memory, clock frequency, peripheral output currents and voltage levels.

Here are some possible applications for an Arduino:

Measurement and detection

  • Automated Weather Station.
  • Lightning detector.
  • Tracking of the sun for orientation of the solar panels.
  • Radiation monitor.
  • Automatic wildlife detector.
  • Home or business security system.


  • Little robots.
  • Rocket or airplane model.
  • Multi-rotor drones.
  • Simple CNC for small machine tools.


  • Automated greenhouse.
  • Automated aquarium.
  • Laboratory sample shuttle robot.
  • Precision thermal chamber.
  • Automated electronic test system.

What is a Raspberry Pi ?

What is a Raspberry Pi

A Raspberry Pi is a small, credit card-sized computer that can be used with a variety of input and output hardware devices, such as a monitor, TV, mouse, or keyboard, to create a fully functional personal computer at an affordable price. This article will cover the different models of Raspberry Pi currently available, their key features, and their potential uses.

What Is Raspberry Pi?

The evolution of computers has led to the creation of the Raspberry Pi, a small, low-cost computer that is accessible to people of all backgrounds and skill levels. While computers have become commonplace in many parts of the world, they are still not widely available in developing countries. The Raspberry Pi was developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the UK as a solution to this problem, providing an affordable and easy-to-use computer that can be used for a variety of purposes, including learning programming languages and managing networks. The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer about the size of a credit card and can be connected to a variety of hardware devices such as a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. It has gained increased popularity in recent years due to its versatility and affordability.

How does Raspberry Pi work?

The Raspberry Pi is a compact and programmable device that contains the essential features of a motherboard, but does not come with peripherals or internal storage. To use it, you will need to insert an SD card with the operating system installed into the designated slot in order to boot the computer. The Raspberry Pi is compatible with Linux OS, which helps to reduce the amount of memory required and allows for a wide range of potential applications. After setting up the operating system, you can connect the Raspberry Pi to output devices like monitors or TVs via HDMI, and input devices like mice and keyboards. The specific uses and applications for the Raspberry Pi depend on the user and can vary greatly.

Top 6 Models of Raspberry Pi 

There are many different models and generations of Raspberry Pi single-board computers to choose from, which can be confusing for those interested in purchasing one. Here is an overview of some of the notable models available on the market:

1. Raspberry Pi Zero

This is the cheapest model offered by the company, costing as little as $5. It is similar in size to the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ and has the same processor and 512 MB of RAM, but does not come with built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. However, it can be made internet accessible through USB. The slightly more expensive Raspberry Pi Zero W includes Bluetooth 4.0 and built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity.

Raspberry Pi 0

2. Raspberry Pi 1

The Raspberry Pi 1 Model B was released in 2012 and has a standard size for future releases. It originally had 26 GPIO pins, 256 MB of RAM, and a single CPU core. In 2014, the Raspberry Pi B+ was released with a starting RAM capacity of 512 MB and 40 GPIO pins, which became the standard for all subsequent models. The Raspberry Pi Model B+ costs $25 and includes four USB ports and an Ethernet connection. The Pi 1 Model A+ ($20) has a faster CPU processing speed but does not come with an Ethernet connection.

Raspberry Pi 1

3. Raspberry Pi 2 B

This model was released in February 2015 and features significant improvements in memory and speed, with 1 GB of RAM. It is the standard size, with 4 USB ports and is currently priced at around $35.

Raspberry Pi 2B

4. Raspberry Pi 3

The Raspberry Pi 3 B was released in 2016 and the B+ version, released in 2018, has a faster processing unit, Ethernet (802.11ac), and Wi-Fi than the earlier version. It is suitable for a wide range of uses, with standard HDMI and USB ports, 1 GB of RAM, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections in addition to Ethernet. It does not generate much heat or consume a lot of power, making it suitable for projects that require passive cooling and can be purchased for $35.

Raspberry Pi 3

5. Raspberry Pi 4B

This model was released in 2019 and has a range of memory capacities from 2 GB to 8 GB of RAM. It also has a faster 1.5 GHz processor and a mix of 2.0 and 3.0 USB ports. It is suitable for virtually any use case with a high enough RAM capacity to meet the needs of even dedicated programmers. The price ranges from $35 to $75 depending on the memory, and all versions come with all connectivity options.

Raspberry Pi 4B

6. Raspberry Pi 400

This model is unique in that it is designed in the form of a keyboard and was launched in 2020. It operates with 4 GB of RAM and includes standard USB ports. It can be used as a home computer with just a monitor and mouse, and is suitable for use in classrooms. It costs $70.

Raspberry Pi 400

Top 10 Features of Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a small, low-power computer that is popular for DIY projects and educational purposes. It has a variety of features that make it a versatile and capable device, including:

  1. A Central Processing Unit (CPU) that is the brain of the computer and performs instructions using logical and mathematical operations. Raspberry Pi uses the ARM11 series processor on its boards.
  2. An HDMI port that allows the device to output video to an HDTV using an HDMI cable.
  3. A Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) that speeds up image calculations.
  4. Random Access Memory (RAM) where real-time information is stored for easy access. Different Raspberry Pi models come with varying RAM capacities, with the Raspberry Pi 4 currently having the highest at 8GB.
  5. An Ethernet port that allows for wired internet access and connection to routers and other devices.
  6. An SD card slot where users must insert an SD card that contains the operating system and serves as a storage device.
  7. General Purpose Input and Output (GPIO) pins that are used to interact with other electronic circuits and can be programmed to read and control electric signals.
  8. LEDs that provide status information about the Raspberry Pi unit, including power status, SD card activity, and Ethernet connectivity.
  9. USB ports that allow the computer to connect to peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, and hard drives.
  10. A power source connector that typically uses a 5V micro USB power cable and the amount of electricity consumed depends on the use and number of connected hardware devices.


Raspberry Pi has been extremely popular, selling 46 million units in its first ten years according to the CEO of Raspberry Pi Limited. The device is used by IT professionals for a variety of purposes, including testing new software and networks, and has a significant presence in the business and industrial markets, comprising 44% of annual sales. A Raspberry Pi 5 model is currently in development.