A Look Back at Raspberry Pi's Accomplishments Over the Last Year

On this Pi Day, we review all that the Raspberry Pi has built, launched, and accomplished throughout the last several months.

Celebrating 10 years of Raspberry Pi

2022 was a very eventful year for Raspberry Pi team, and it was made even more special due to the year marking a full decade of shipping Raspberry Pi computers. The Raspberry Pi 1 B, complete with a mere 512MB of RAM and a 700MHz BCM2835 CPU, released in February 2012 to over 100,000 orders the day it came out. Since then, subsequent generations of the Raspberry Pi have added many times the performance, connectivity options, and IO. The latest Raspberry Pi 4, released in June 2019, contains almost 40 times the computing power of the Raspberry Pi 1 B while remaining at the affordable $35 price point.

What began as an effort to get more students into Cambridge's computer science program has grown far beyond its initial expectations with over 45 million units sold since they were first introduced on February 29th, 2012. Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton has stated that in another 10 years, there should be no one on Earth who has not had the opportunity to access a low-cost, high-performance computer.


In keeping with the mission of making computer science accessible to everyone, Raspberry Pi has produced many resources for younger students and hobbyists who are new to programming. In 2022, this included their 'Introduction to Python' project pathway which aims to teach learners basic coding skills such as variables, functions, control flow, and digital graphics through a series of fun, interactive sessions.

A few months after their Introduction to Python path, a new seminar series focusing on cross-disciplinary computing was released with the aim to break down barriers, both academic and geographical, to expand what computing really entails in everyday life.

Astro Pi missions

Back in late 2021 / early 2022, the European Space Agency's Education division partnered with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to place a pair of upgraded Astro Pi units aboard the International Space Station. Each one contains a Raspberry Pi 4, a Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera module, and a suite of sensors within a custom Sense HAT for the express purpose of letting students below the age of 20 run their own experiments in space. In August of 2022, the results of the 299 experiments came back, complete with analysis from the students themselves. With a strong focus on the environment and climate change, teams measured the impact of water vapor on temperature, how the pandemic affected vegetation density, the extent of microplastics in the ocean, and much more.

Shortly after this round of experimentation concluded, 768 teams were able to apply for a chance to run their projects throughout early 2023, with the results being made available shortly thereafter.

Raspberry Pi OS

As the Raspberry Pi lineup has continued to add more powerful processors with increasing RAM sizes, the need for an official 64-bit OS became abundantly clear. Seeing this, Raspberry Pi OS was trialed throughout 2021 and was finally made generally available in February 2022 to much acclaim, as it is now on-par with other modern operating systems.

September 2022 saw a new version of Raspberry Pi OS that reworked several UI and IO utilities for easier use. The main menu added a search feature akin to Windows 10 while the audio interface was updated to separate audio input and output devices. But the most substantial change was allowing users to select NetworkManager over dhcpcd, giving them many more options for viewing and changing their connections.

The Raspberry Pi Pico W

Built upon Raspberry Pi's custom Arm chip, the RP2040 is a $1 microcontroller with a dual-core 133MHz Cortex-M0+ MCU, 264kB of SRAM, and Raspberry Pi's own Programmable I/O (PIO) subsystem. The Raspberry Pi Pico was the first board to incorporate the chip, but its lack of wireless connectivity made it difficult for use in IoT applications. However, June 2022 saw the launch of the $6 Raspberry Pi Pico W, which adds an Infineon CYW43439 combination Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module, thus turning the Pico W into a potent competitor in the wireless IoT project space.


The PiCamera tool has been a longtime staple on the Rasberry Pi, as it allows for the camera to be accessed and capture images/videos. PiCamera2 revamps these features in addition to adding many more. At a basic level, the new library improves rendering performance thanks to hardware acceleration, enables the use of various encoding schemes, makes it easier to use with computer vision/machine learning applications, and moves away from Broadcom's proprietary camera APIs to an open source model with support for all official Raspberry Pi cameras and numerous third party ones.

Global Shutter Camera

Like most other modern cameras, the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera Module uses a rolling shutter to block or allow light to enter its sensor. This type of shutter technology is cheaper and easier to implement, but one downside is that images are created one line-at-a-time, meaning that fast-moving objects appear extremely blurred in the final shot. However, a new revision, called the Global Shutter Camera, ditches the rolling shutter for a global one. The 1.6-megapixel Sony IMX296 sensor on the new module captures the entire image at once, making it ideal for applications where minimal distortions are a must.

Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3

And in keeping with the camera theme, the third edition of the Raspberry Pi Camera Module was released. Based around the Sony IMX708, the Camera Module 3 increases the resolution to 12 megapixels versus the previous generation's 8.1. In addition to this, the module now supports powered autofocus, providing clear images from 5cm away all the way to infinity, and high dynamic range (HDR) for capturing a wider range of brightness in images. Even better, the $25 price-point was maintained for the basic version, with the wide-angle variant coming in at $35.

RP2040 debug probe

Ever since its release in early 2021, the Raspberry Pi Pico has been used in countless applications, with many of them involving the debugging of other Pico/Arm-based boards via the single wire debug (SWD) protocol. Inspired by the community's efforts, Raspberry Pi created their own Debug Probe built around the RP2040 chip. It offers two headers for SWD and UART debugging on embedded targets, along with a USB port for connection to the host system for use with the Picoprobe firmware. Finally, the probe can operate purely as a USB to UART bridge for devices which might lack the functionality.

A new toolchain installer for the Raspberry Pi Pico

Getting started with the Raspberry Pi Pico SDK can be challenge due to the number of setup steps before programs can be successfully compiled and deployed, and it is doubly true on non-Linux systems. This is why Raspberry Pi has come out with the Pico setup tool for Windows, which bundles the toolchain, libraries, some examples, and even the IDE itself into a single installer by simply running an executable.

Supply chains

The COVID-19 pandemic caused massive ripples in the economy, with one of the primary issues being supply chain disruptions caused by factory shutdowns and limited component availability. However, late 2022 saw some good news, as Raspberry Pi production was finally able to increase again after a couple years of disruptions.

It has been over 10 years since the first Raspberry Pi SBC was released, and its, along will all other subsequent boards, have had a massive impact on students, hobbyists, and the industry as a whole. We look forward to seeing what Raspberry Pi is able to achieve in 2023!

Arduino “having11” Guy
21 year-old IoT and embedded systems enthusiast. Also produce content for Hackster.io and love working on projects and sharing knowledge.
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