Raspberry Pi

Is Raspberry Pi a Microcontroller or Microprocessor

This is the most common question which arises in the mind of the people that all the tasks which can be fulfilled by using the microcontrollers like the Arduino can be done with the Raspberry Pi as well and moreover, the Raspberry Pi is known as the single-board computer used for versatile purposes. An answer of this confusion has been made clear in this article, but before understanding the answer of this question, first see what is the microcontroller and microprocessor.

What is a microcontroller

A microcontroller is a board which contains the microprocessor, memory like RAM and other input output pins, and ADCs (Analog to Digital Converters). These microcontrollers are used for different applications like robotics and automation are the most common applications of the microcontrollers. The microcontrollers are programmed by using different programming languages commonly used are C programming, Java, and Python.

What is a microprocessor

The microprocessor is an electronic device which is tiny in size and is used to control the operations of the computer by using arithmetic logic. For better understanding, we can say that if the CPU of a computer is embedded on the single IC, it will be known as the microprocessor. The microprocessor is programmable and contains the clock, and registers which read the binary information from the memory of the system and perform tasks according to that provided binary information.

What is the comparison between the microcontrollers and microprocessors

The major differences between the microcontrollers and microprocessor are:

Microcontrollers Microprocessors
They control CPU and other electronic components like I/O peripheral components embedded on a same IC They contain only the microprocessor
They is used in the embedded boards They are used in the computers
They used internal buses to communicate with the I/O peripheral devices They used the external buses to communicate with the I/O peripheral devices
Common examples are 32 bit Microcontrollers and 64 bit microcontrollers Common examples are reduced instruction set microprocessors and digital signal multiprocessors
Low Clock Speed High Clock Speed
Low cost High cost
Consumes less power Consumes more power

Is Raspberry Pi a microcontroller or microprocessor

On the basis of the above discussion we can deduce the results that the Raspberry Pi is a microprocessor because it can run the operating system on which multiple tasks can be performed whereas the microcontrollers do not run the operating system and are also programmed for a single task.
But yes, among different models of the Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi Pico is a microcontroller that is used to program for the single application like the other microcontroller such as Aduino.


The Raspberry Pi is a microprocessor as it is a single board computer, can host the operating system, can perform multiple applications at the same time where the microcontrollers are programmed for the single application. In this write-up, we have discussed the differences among the microcontrollers and microprocessors and on the basis of that justified the Raspberry Pi is a microprocessor.

About the author

Hammad Zahid

I'm an Engineering graduate and my passion for IT has brought me to Linux. Now here I'm learning and sharing my knowledge with the world.