Fam­ily re­sem­blance

APC Australia - - The Lab -

When the Raspberry Pi first ap­peared in 2012, the unique form fac­tor suf­fered one com­plaint: poor place­ment of screw holes. In fact the first ver­sion of the board had no screw holes.

Screw holes are im­por­tant be­cause add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi came in all sorts of shapes and sizes, caus­ing a few is­sues. For ex­am­ple, the Pi­brella board was de­signed for a 26-pin GPIO and it had a rub­ber foot to stop it short­ing out on the HDMI port when pressed. What was needed was a stan­dard con­nec­tion, so with the Raspberry Pi B+ in 2014 we saw a 40-pin GPIO and screw holes added to the cor­ners of the board. This of­fered a con­sis­tent me­chan­i­cal point to which boards could be se­cured us­ing M3 stand­offs.

This new stan­dard was part of the HAT (Hard­ware At­tached on Top) which saw EEPROM chips that would talk with the new 40-pin GPIO and en­able con­fig­u­ra­tion of the board. This then be­came the de facto Pi form fac­tor and sub­se­quent model B boards have fol­lowed this lay­out, en­abling a board de­signed to meet this stan­dard to work across the range of Raspberry Pi.

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