Which one is better Arduino or Raspberry Pi for IoT app development? - Coffee with CIS - Latest News & Articles

Which one is better Arduino or Raspberry Pi for IoT app development?

Internet of Things has brought a revolution in the concept of interconnected people, gadgets and systems.

It has been predicted that by the year 2020, the installed base of the Internet of Things will grow to an approximate number of 31 billion worldwide. Whether it is enterprise mobility solutions or cloud computing services, the internet of things has been widely used in all parts of the globe in a massive number since it was launched. The advanced technologies of IoT enable the users to manage the smart devices seamlessly irrespective of place and time they are in.

IoT has been a prime player in mobile application development and has been controlling mobile interface from the beginning. This technology is estimated to have immense potential to change the face of application development in the coming years. Choosing an IoT platform is sure a pre-requisite element to begin the development of an end-to-end IoT solution. The two most popular and efficient open firmware and hardware platforms for IoT app development are Raspberry Pi and Arduino.


Arduino is an open-source company that is used worldwide for designing and manufacturing single-board microcontrollers and microcontroller kits that are further used for building digital devices. It can also be explained as a project as well as a user community whose products are licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. This license gives permission to manufacture Arduino boards and software distribution by anyone. These Arduino boards can be accessed commercially in a preassembled form.

These boards are also available in the form of DIY (Do It Yourself) kits. Arduino is an electronic platform that is relatively very easy to use and implement. These boards are able to read inputs. For instance, Arduino boards can easily light on a sensor, a finger on a button as well as even a Twitter message and then turn it into an output such as Turning on an LED, activating a motor or publishing some pre-compiled content online. Users can instruct the board about what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board. Arduino acts as the brain of thousands of projects from dealing with the simplest to the most complex scientific instruments.

Raspberry Pi

On the other hand, Raspberry Pi can be explained as a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom. It was basically developed to promote the teaching of basic computer science in small schools of developing companies. It can also be defined as a typical low cost, small credit card-sized computer that can be plugged into a computer monitor or TV and can be used with the help of standard keyboard and mouse.

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This small single device is efficient enough to enable people to explore computing with the help of its features. With the help of Raspberry Pi, users can browse the internet, play high definition videos, make spreadsheets, perform word processing, play games and much more. In addition to it, Raspberry Pi has the ability to interact with the outside world and can also be used as an array of digital maker projects including music machines and parent detectors to weather stations and mini houses with infrared cameras. It can be used to learn to compute by all ages across all countries of the world.

The Comparison

When it comes to the IoT app development company, there are a few features that need to be considered by them while comparing both of these technologies and considering which one to use. These features are as follows :

  • The requirement of power: The typical requirement of power in an Arduino with 2 KB RAM, 32 KB Flash Memory and 1 KB EEPROM is very less (approximately a 9V battery will work). The power drawn can also be decreased by Vcc voltage. But on the other hand, Raspberry Pi is a full-fledged computing system and thus requires much more power than Arduino.
  • Network connectivity: Raspberry Pi consists of built-in ethernet port as well as USB ports for the connection of WiFi dongles but this facility remains absent on Arduino and it requires additional hardware for connection.Β 
  • Sensor connectivity: For sensor connectivity, Arduino consists of 14 digital as well as 6 analog input and output pins. Also, its hardware design is scalable and can be interfaced with sensors that measure pulse-width modulation, temperature, etc.
  • Development languages: Arduino does not consist of an operating system. Therefore, the user can code in C or C++ with the Arduino IDE. Prototyping is also done with the help of these languages because of the absence of an operating system. On the other hand, Raspberry Pi runs on its own operating system known as Raspbian which is completely based on Debian Linux. This OS enables the user to code in several languages such as C, C++, Java, Python, .NET. PHP, NodeJS, and others.Β 

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  • Compatibility with operating systems: Raspberry Pi is able to run a complete operating system such as Debian and can multitask easily. While Arduino can run only limited processes at one time and its functions are not as many as Raspberry Pi. Due to the existence of a complete operating system, it takes longer to initiate and it cannot be guaranteed that the code will run as expected after restarting the system.

  • Cost efficiency: Raspberry Pi can be considered as a mini-computer and that's why it is a little more expensive than Arduino because, in it, applications and processes can be chosen.


When it comes to IoT applications, it would be intelligent to give tasks to Raspberry Pi to save the total cost and to make things simpler. While on the other hand, if one needs to perform only a single set of applications Arduino will be the better option as it saves power, and can be compiled with hardware according to the users’ preference. Internet of Things solutions is all about compiling complex tasks into simple ones and it completely depends on the user what he/she wants to do.