Raspberry Pi computers are small, single-board, simple computers that were developed in the UK as an educational tool to promote the teaching of computer science in schools and developing countries. First released in 2012, they quickly surpassed sales expectations as their small credit-card size and inexpensive price point (roughly US$35) made them attractive for other uses such as robotics, home and industrial automation, and commercial consumer products. By March 2018 sales reached 19 million. Education continues to be a primary focus of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which couples these low-cost, high-performance computers with free educational resources to help train students and educators about computing, and how to make things with computers.
A smaller version – Raspberry Pi Zero – with reduced input/output (I/O) and general-purpose input/output (GPIO) was released in late 2015 and sold for US$5. Raspberry Pi 3, was released in early 2016 with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, and was the first 64-bit product, supporting ARM’s A64 instruction set and the ARMv8-A architecture. In November 2016, SUSE became the first major vendor to support it with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM on the Raspberry Pi. This is available as a specially packaged version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM as an image tailored for Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.
The Raspberry Pi plays an important role in helping businesses increase efficiency and become more digital. It is a component of many Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which provide automation, monitoring, robotics, and much more. With its small form factor, low energy use and surprising processing power it offers an attractive low-cost option that is helping a growing number of organizations worldwide.