Difference between ESP 32 vs Raspberry pi

Today we are going to see the comparison between ESP32 & Raspberry Pi. Before that, we have known the basics of ESP32 and Raspberry Pi.

ESP32 and Raspberry Pi are two popular platforms used in electronics and programming projects, but they differ significantly in terms of hardware, programming, and other factors. Here are some key differences between ESP32 and Raspberry Pi.

What is ESP32??

Esp32 is a low-cost development board with WIFI & Bluetooth chips embedded in it. The main feature of ESP32 that makes it better than other development boards is that it is dual-core 32-bit with an ESP-WROOM-32 LX6 microprocessor. ESP32 plays an important role in developing IoT-based applications as it consists of two wireless technology such as WIFI and Bluetooth. ESP32 has an operating voltage of 2.2v to 6v with the onboard regulator to provide stable voltage and an available output current of more than 500 mA. ESP32 has a dual-core processor which runs independently of each other. 1 core at 240 MHz, 2 cores at 240 MHz adjustable clock frequency. Esp32 has a flash memory of 4 MB which makes ESP32 faster. it has a built-in hall effect sensor.

ESP32 is a low-cost, low-power system on a chip (SoC) series with Wi-Fi and dual-mode Bluetooth capabilities. It's built around a Tensilica Xtensa dual-core processor, running at 160MHz (overclockable to 240MHz). With 520KB of SRAM, 34 GPIO pins, and integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the ESP32 is designed for simple, cost-effective, and power-efficient IoT applications. While it doesn't have built-in USB ports, it can be programmed via USB-UART, and while it doesn't include onboard storage, it does support microSD and SPI flash. It is developed by Espressif Systems. The ESP32 can be programmed using the Arduino IDE, ESP-IDF (IoT Development Framework), MicroPython, JavaScript, Lua, and more. ESP32 operates at 2.7V - 3.6V and has a wide operating temperature range from -40°C to 125°C.

The ESP32 includes a Tensilica Xtensa LX6 microprocessor in both dual-core and single-core variations and includes built-in antenna switches, RF balun, power amplifier, low-noise receive amplifier, filters, and power management modules. ESP32 is already integrated with antenna switches, RF balun, power amplifier, low-noise receive amplifier, filters, power management module, and advanced adaptive biasing for low-power operation. It supports a variety of Bluetooth features such as classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth low energy, and Bluetooth 4.2 specifications. ESP32 includes both RAM and flash memory, the size of which depends on the specific variant. Typically, an ESP32 variant has 512KB of SRAM and 4MB of flash memory. The ESP32 chip has 34 GPIO pins which can support functions such as ADC (Analog to Digital Conversion), DAC (Digital to Analog Conversion), I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit), UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter), CAN 2.0 (Controller Area Network), SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface), and more.

The ESP32 is widely used in IoT devices, wearable electronics, smart home applications, and many other scenarios due to its features, low cost, and ease of use. It provides a high level of integration, and its extensive protocol support makes it a very versatile chip for building connected devices.

Types of esp32 development board

  • ESP32-DevKitC
  • ESP32 Thing
  • SX1278 ESP32 (LORA)
  • ESP32-CAM
  • ESP 32s

ESP32 can be programmed in different programming environments such as

  • Arduino IDE
  • Espressif IDF

What is Raspberry Pi??

Raspberry Pi is a series of low-cost, credit-card-sized single-board computers that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as learning to program, running basic computer applications, and building DIY projects. The Raspberry Pi was first introduced in 2012 by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based charity that aims to promote computer science education and the use of technology for social good.

The Raspberry Pi is designed to be an affordable and accessible platform for learning and experimentation. It is equipped with a processor, memory, USB ports, HDMI port, and other components that are found in traditional computers. It can be used as a standalone computer, or as a component in a larger project, such as a home automation system, a media center, or a gaming console.

The Raspberry Pi runs on Linux-based operating systems, such as Raspbian, which is specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi. It can also run other operating systems like Ubuntu, Windows 10 IoT Core, and others.

One of the key features of the Raspberry Pi is its versatility. It can be used in a wide range of applications, from basic programming projects to complex industrial control systems. It has become a popular platform for makers, hobbyists, educators, and researchers.

The Raspberry Pi is also supported by a large and active community of developers, users, and enthusiasts. There are many online resources, tutorials, and forums dedicated to Raspberry Pi, making it easy for anyone to get started with this platform.

Overall, the Raspberry Pi is a powerful and flexible platform that offers an affordable and accessible way to learn programming, experiment with electronics, and build DIY projects. Its popularity has contributed to the growth of the maker movement and has inspired many people to explore the possibilities of technology.

There are different types of Raspberry pi Boards available

  • Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+: Released in July 2014, this was an improved version of the original Model B. It included more GPIO pins, more USB ports, a micro SD slot, and lower power consumption.
  • Raspberry Pi 2 Model B: Released in February 2015, this model had a 900 MHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, which made it 6 times faster than its predecessors.
  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B: Launched in February 2016, this version has a 1.2 GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, integrated 802.11n wireless LAN, and Bluetooth 4.1.
  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+: Released in March 2018, it featured a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, dual-band wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2/BLE, faster Ethernet, and power-over-ethernet support.
  • Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: Released in June 2019, it came with a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU, up to 8GB RAM, dual-band wireless LAN, Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and two USB 3.0 ports. It supports two monitors at once and supports up to 4K resolution.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W: These are smaller versions of the Raspberry Pi, which are very low cost (the Zero retails for just $5). The Zero W comes with integrated wireless LAN and Bluetooth.
  • Raspberry Pi 400: Released in November 2020, this is essentially a Raspberry Pi 4 in a compact keyboard with a 64-bit quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 1.8GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, wireless LAN, Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and two USB 3.0 ports.
  • Raspberry Pi Pico: This is a microcontroller board, similar to the Arduino, that was released in January 2021. It's not a full-fledged computer like the other Raspberry Pi models but is great for electronics projects.

Comparison between ESP 32 vs Raspberry Pi

  • Processing Power and Memory: The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is significantly more powerful than the ESP32 in terms of processing capability and memory. This makes the Raspberry Pi more suited to tasks that require substantial computational power, multitasking, or running a full-fledged operating system. Conversely, the ESP32, with its lower power consumption and cost, is excellent for straightforward tasks, like reading sensors and controlling outputs.
  • Networking: Both the ESP32 and the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. However, the Raspberry Pi 4 also includes a Gigabit Ethernet port, which can provide faster and more reliable networking in some situations.
  • Operating Systems and Programming: The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B can run a variety of Linux distributions, making it suitable for a wide range of software and development tools. On the other hand, the ESP32 can run RTOS, Arduino, and MicroPython, which may be easier to use for simple applications or for those who are more comfortable with these platforms.
  • GPIO Pins and Interfacing: While both boards offer numerous GPIO pins for interfacing with other devices, the ESP32 also includes 18 analog input channels, making it a better choice for applications that need to read analog sensors. The Raspberry Pi lacks built-in analog inputs, requiring an external ADC for such tasks.
Boards ESP32 Raspberry pi
CPU dual-core processor Quad-core Cortex-A72
RAM 520KB SRAM 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB
Internet Connectivity Built-in WIFI both Built-in WIFI & Ethernet port
Bluetooth Connectivity present present
SD card support Not present (external module needed) Built-in SD card slot
Software C/C++ languages, micro python micro python, Python, C, C++
Operating System No Required (Raspbian (Debian-based), Ubuntu)
Operating Voltage 5v 5.1v
Operating Frequency 160MHz, overclockable to 240MHz 1.5GHz
Cost cheaper expensive
Family ESP Family ARM Family
Ease of use Easy and Simple for beginners Complex and Hard to learn for beginners
Application Use for simple Application Home Automation, Weighing Machines, smart dustbins use for Advanced level Applications such as servers, Robotics, Desktop PC
USB No built-in, USB-UART for programming 2 USB 2.0 ports; 2 USB 3.0 ports
GPIO 34 40 pins (no analog pins external ADC required)

Application of ESP32

  • Home automation
  • Smart plugs and lights
  • Industrial wireless control
  • Baby monitors
  • IP cameras
  • Sensor networks
  • Wearable electronics
  • Wi-Fi location-aware devices
  • Security ID tags
  • Wi-Fi position system beacons             
  • Fish & pet feeder

Application of Raspberry Pi

  • Home Automation
  • Gaming Console
  • Robotics
  • Industrial Control
  • Web servers
  • Desktop replacements

Advantages of using ESP32 over Raspberry Pi 

  • ESP32 is less expensive and smaller than Raspberry Pi, making it more compact.
  • ESP32 consumes less power than Raspberry Pi.
  • Requires minimal setup, making it ideal for beginners while Raspberry Pi requires more setup and configuration.

Advantages of using Raspberry Pi over ESP 32

  • Processing Power: Raspberry Pi has a much more powerful processor than ESP32 for building complex application
  • Connectivity: Raspberry Pi has built-in Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Operating System: Raspberry Pi can run a full-fledged operating system like Linux
  • Programming Languages: Raspberry Pi can be programmed using a variety of programming languages, including Python, C, C++, and others
  • Video and Audio Capabilities: Raspberry Pi has built-in video and audio capabilities
  • User Interface: Raspberry Pi can be connected to a display and used as a standalone computer.

In conclusion, the choice between the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B and the ESP32 depends largely on the specific requirements of the project at hand. The Raspberry Pi 4, with its impressive processing power and flexible software capabilities, is ideal for complex tasks requiring a full operating system or heavy computational work. Conversely, the ESP32 shines in some areas.

"I hope you find this IoT blog very helpful to you. In the upcoming lesson, we will see more about IoT till then bye. See you all in my next blog."

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