Talking about circuit board:micro:bit vs Arduino vs Raspberry Pi

- Apr 08, 2019-

STEMs often use circuit boards, but there are many different types of products, and many products are confusing. In this issue, we introduce three common products and add some related concepts.

The most red boards are not Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and this year micro:bit is also gaining popularity. What are the specific differences between the three?

Recognize the two concepts

Before the three are listed in detail, the two concepts are explained first, one is the Micro Processing Unit (MPU), and the other is the Micro Control Unit (MCU).


The concept of MPU is not too complicated. The whole set of design is very similar to the computer. Most of the finished products have built-in complete operating system, complete operation interface, and the sentence is like a small computer, but he is smaller, and the working frequency is lower, the operation is lower. The function is poor, the chip area is small, the cost is low, and the power consumption is small. However, with the advancement of semiconductor technology, the development of the MPU series has become closer and closer to personal computers. One of the representative products in the STEM field of study is the Raspberry Pi. It is worth mentioning that some people have recently mentioned SoC (System on a Chip), which can integrate more functions, such as Wi-Fi, etc., but due to the high complexity, it is more suitable for advanced discussion.

raspberry PI MPU

MPU such as small computers, many people's first learning program is to design them as game consoles.


MCU is lighter than MPU, and its design purpose is more single. The above operating frequency, computing power, chip area, cost and power consumption are further reduced. He can't operate like a computer. There is no built-in operating system. Program development needs to go through other systems. Write and re-enter, but its simple design makes everything faster and more direct. Some manufacturers can even connect directly to the sensor, so they can be used in everyday products such as electronic watches, electric toothbrushes, sphygmomanometers, smoke. Detector, etc.Representative products in the field of STEM are micro:Bit and Arduino.

the Asthma Management Kit

Arnav Sharmay designs the Asthma Management Kit

To add a point, the above classification is a concept. In practice, the two can of course be applied independently, or they can be combined to clearly understand the design they need. Then find out the strengths and strengths of both, making it easier to pick the right hardware.

Three product introductions

In addition to the above basic concept classification, the following describes the basic structure and history of the three products, which will help you understand the status.

British student product: micro:bit

Launched around 2012, the UK government provides a free micro:bit board for local children between the ages of 11 and 12. This backplane features a versatile and lightweight package with a set of 5 x 5 total 25 LEDs, left and right programmable buttons and alligator clips on the board, and can be used with JavaScript, Python and Scratch. Wait for programming.The advantage is direct and simple, but its design is not conducive to the connection of high-order robots, but it is also the most suitable for entry, especially for students from high school to middle school. After all, the wiring method can reduce the need to stabilize the connection line. Problems such as welding or connecting breadboards.


The ancestor of low-cost micro-design:Arduino

Arduino started development in 2003. It was actually a program name. The original idea was to reduce the cost of learning for junior college students. Therefore, most of the related programs were developed in open source. The various design products developed since then were also loved by organizations such as Maker Faire. Up to now, there have been many versions of the development, and the entry level is also the most common UNO in the workshop, and the MEGA with more connected interfaces.In terms of the program interface, there is basically a dedicated ARDUINO 1.8.3 development, which can be installed on each operating platform; there are also development environments similar to Java and C. Suitable for high to small adults to learn to use.

Arduino UNO R3

Affordable computer: Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is also a British product, but it was developed by the Foundation and launched around 2012. It is designed to promote basic computer science education. Therefore, based on all computers, the backplane has output such as processor, memory, USB, Ethernet, HDMI, RCA, etc. The volume is about a credit card size and is SD. The card is used as a storage medium, and the Linux system operating system is also stored in the SD card, but it also means that it has a browser, document software, and the like.The advantage is that it does not need to connect to other operating systems and supports multiple programming languages. However, due to the use of Linux, it is a medium-to-high-end product and is only suitable for people in secondary schools or above.

Raspberry Pi 3 model B

Other related common concepts

The above circuit boards can be directly designed as robots or smart products. However, after years of development, in order to meet different design requirements, most of them have more types of accessories.


Sensors are electronically designed parts with specific functions, most commonly used as ultrasonic measuring instruments for measuring distances, and gyroscopes for collecting three-dimensional data, as well as motion sensing, vibration sensing, pressure sensing, barometric sensing, and positioning. Sensing, infrared sensing, sound sensing, and CO2 sensing.

Arduino sensor kit


The sensor is closely related to the expansion board. The purpose of the expansion board is to further expand the function of the board in a simple manner. The expansion board will add different functions according to the needs, such as network connection or shooting lens, and the expansion board will integrate multiple sensors, and the expansion board is only for display.

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