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Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2019


 

Raspberry Pi and Arduino not just for hobbyists
27 February 2019, Computer/Embedded Technology

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Raspberry Pi single-board computer, and platforms like it, have sparked a revolution in the electronics hobbyist/maker community.

We asked Brian Andrew, RS Components’ managing director for sub-Saharan Africa, how these mini computers can and are being used in the mainstream electronic engineering industry.

RS offers an extensive range of both Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards. These start from a low-spec version all the way to the highest-spec version that is available in that range. RS also offers the full range of accessories such as power supplies, cases, modules and components that are compatible with each brand.

“Raspberry Pi’s hardware is not open source, with the firmware required to run the Pi being closed source,” explains Andrew. “It can, however, run open source software and different operating platforms based on Linux. Many third party operating systems besides the Raspberry Pi’s Raspbian can be run on Raspberry Pi, such as Ubuntu, Windows 10 IoT Core, RISC OS, and other systems.”

While Arduino is open source for both hardware and software (although this is disputed when looking at the definitions for OSHW compliance) it cannot process complex programs like the Raspberry Pi. “For users, the main difference between the two boards is in the application. Arduino was designed for robotics and single-function applications, whereas Raspberry Pi can be used in robotics, multi-function applications and also run as a normal PC. Both boards come with extensive add-on modules, community support, free software libraries and tons of video tutorials,” he says.

As to whether they are suitable for serious electronic engineering designs, it really depends on the application, says Andrew: “An electronic engineer will usually start the process with one of these options as it’s easy to test a prototype quite quickly with either board, as they are simple to program. In addition, both boards are usually more cost effective options than a custom made board.

“From the results they can ascertain whether a premade board will suffice or whether they need to build something from scratch. In most instances the boards play a fundamental role in shortening the design process and reducing time to market.”

Andrew goes on to say that in some cases, developers can skip the custom board design stage entirely, and just deploy a product with something like a Raspberry Pi running it. He says there are more instances of this happening as the Raspberry Pi effectively functions as a mini PC, so it can be programmed to do almost anything. Furthermore, the cost of a Raspberry Pi makes it suitable to be used in commercial applications without increasing the overall cost of the product.

There is also a strong uptake of these platforms from the likes of the education sector and innovation hubs/makerspaces. “The development of these platforms has simplified coding and electronics while making it affordable and accessible to almost anyone. It’s now a breeze to teach robotics and electronics at schools and universities with cost-effective hardware and free software and resources. Similarly, it is easy for innovation hubs and makerspaces to use these platforms to build, design and test their ideas,” Andrew says.


Credit(s)
Supplied By: RS Components (SA)
Tel: +27 11 691 9300
Fax: +27 11 466 1577
Email: sales.za@rs-components.com
www: www.rsonline.co.za
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Further reading:

  • Rugged single-board computer
    23 October 2019, ETION Create, Computer/Embedded Technology
    ETION Create released the 2nd in its family of 3U OpenVPX COTS modules. The VF370 3U OpenVPX single-board computer (SBC) is based on the Intel Atom E3900 series of embedded processors and Intel Cyclone ...
  • Rugged single-board computer
    25 November 2019, ETION Create, Computer/Embedded Technology
    ETION Create released the 2nd in its family of 3U OpenVPX COTS modules. The VF370 3U OpenVPX single-board computer (SBC) is based on the Intel Atom E3900 series of embedded processors and Intel Cyclone ...
  • Signal recorder for military intelligence
    25 November 2019, Rugged Interconnect Technologies, Computer/Embedded Technology
    A new addition has been made to the family of Talon signal recording and playback systems from Pentek. The RTR 2654 26,5 GHz RF Sentinel intelligent signal scanning rackmount recorder combines the power ...
  • Beware! Identity is the new gold – and criminals know it
    23 October 2019, RS Components (SA), News
    Stolen identity is a highly potent tool for fraudsters, as a recent Carte Blanche insert featuring RS Components revealed. A buyer approached us to procure equipment on credit to the tune of R1,5 million. ...
  • 3D printer for rapid prototyping
    23 October 2019, RS Components (SA), Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    RS Components is shipping the latest version of the MakerBot 3D printer – the MakerBot Method – which has been designed to bridge the gap between industrial and desktop 3D printing. The unit targets engineers ...
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    23 October 2019, RS Components (SA), Test & Measurement
    A digital multimeter (DMM) with a built-in thermal imager has been added to RS Components’ RS PRO product range. The RS-9889 allows engineers to identify thermal overload issues in electrical equipment ...
  • Rugged removable memory tokens and receptacles
    23 October 2019, IPD Electronics, Computer/Embedded Technology
    ATEK Access Technologies released the latest additions to its Datakey Bar Series of ruggedised removable memory devices. The BRFG and BRFN panel-mount Bar receptacles minimise the required internal mounting ...
  • Red Bull Basement Hatch showcases Cape Town’s tech talent
    23 October 2019, RS Components (SA), News
    Cape Town’s brightest young tech geniuses gathered in Woodstock in September to share their ideas and their creations at the Red Bull Basement Hatch event. The Red Bull Basement Hatch brings together ...
  • 3U VPX software radio board
    23 October 2019, Rugged Interconnect Technologies, Computer/Embedded Technology
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  • Compact industrial connectors
    23 October 2019, RS Components (SA), Interconnection
    RS Components has extended its industrial connector portfolio with two new solutions from Harting, one of the world’s leading providers of industrial connection technology, including the recently launched ...
  • Read-only SD card adaptor
    25 September 2019, IPD Electronics, Computer/Embedded Technology
    ATEK Access Technologies launched its new Datakey read-only DFX PC adaptor, the latest addition to the DFX RUGGEDrive Series of Secure Digital (SD) memory devices. It works to prevent accidental deletion ...
  • What can sport teach us about MRO procurement?
    28 August 2019, RS Components (SA), News
    Just like triathlon transitions, if you don?t respect the details and aren?t supportive about making manufacturing flexible, as a supplier you aren?t contributing to your customers? success.

 
 
         
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