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BBC’s Micro:bit VS Raspberry Pi

BBC’s Micro:bit VS Raspberry Pi

While on paper the micro:bit is lower-specced across most areas than even the Raspberry Pi Zero, in some ways it can do more directly out of the box, which makes it perfect for its aims. The insertion of an accelerometer and magnetometer on the board itself means that extra features like this don’t have to be added with a HAT board, making it very user friendly for those new to electronics.

Programs are compiled and flashed straight to its solid-state memory to be executed, while its edge connector and GPIO pins mean that it can be connected to a range of peripherals (which rather makes up for its lack of standard ports). While all models of Pi will hit the micro:bit in a straight benchmarking evaluation, its low speed and minimal specs make it ideal for newcomers as it’s not overly complicated.

But it’s amazingly capable little machine that can do a lot more than a Pi fan may think – in fact, it’s worth noting that the micro:bit isn’t so much a competitor to the market leader as a buddy to it. Those inspired by what they can create on the micro:bit are likely to start picking up Pis and HATs and creating ever-more complicated projects with the BBC’s microcontroller.

Raspberry Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero
Raspberry Pi Zero
  • CPU: 1 GHz ARM1176JZF-S single-core
  • GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
  • RAM: 512 MB (shared with GPU)
  • Networking: n/a
  • GPIO: 40
  • Ports: microUSB x 1, Mini-HDMI, 1080p60, composite video via GPIO, stereo audio through PWM on
  • GPIO Storage: MicroSDHC
  • Programming languages: Python, BBC BASIC, C, C++, Java, Perl, Ruby, Squeak Smalltalk
  • Extras: SPI, DPI

Raspberry Pi 2

Raspberry Pi 2
Raspberry Pi 2
  • CPU: 900 MHz 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
  • RAM: 1 GB (shared with GPU)
  • Networking: 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet (8P8C) USB adapter on the USB hub
  • GPIO: 17
  • Ports: USB x 4, HDMI, composite video, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Storage: MicroSDHC
  • Programming languages: Python, BBC BASIC, C, C++, Java, Perl, Ruby, Squeak Smalltalk
  • Extras: SPI, DPI

Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi 3
Raspberry Pi 3
  • CPU: 1.2 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
  • RAM: 1 GB (shared with GPU)
  • Networking: 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.1
  • GPIO: 17
  • Ports: USB x 4, HDMI, composite video, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Storage: MicroSDHC
  • Programming languages: Python, BBC BASIC, C, C++, Java, Perl, Ruby, Squeak Smalltalk
  • Extras: SPI, DPI

BBC micro:bit

BBC Micro:bit
BBC Micro:bit
  • CPU: 16 MHz ARM Cortex-M0
  • GPU: n/a
  • RAM: 16 KB
  • Networking: 2.4 GHz Bluetooth low energy wireless networking
  • GPIO: 17
  • Ports: microUSB x 1, 25-pin edge connector, battery port
  • Storage: 256 KB flash memory
  • Programming languages: Python, JavaScript, Microsoft Block Editor, Microsoft Touch Developer
  • Extras: Accelerometer, magnetometer, 25
  • LED display

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