December 21, 2023

Your Comprehensive Guide to Raspberry Pi 5: Now Fully Supported on Viam

Written by
Esha Maharishi
Product Manager

You've probably heard of the Raspberry Pi: the super user-friendly single-board computer that is beloved for its blend of simplicity, affordability, and versatility. Its low-cost and recognizable features—like USB ports, HDMI outputs, and a friendly OS—make it a top pick for robotics and smart device projects. 

That’s why when the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the Raspberry Pi 5 late October we knew we had to get this board supported on Viam… and fast. 

In this blog, we’ll cover all you need to know about the Raspberry Pi 5, including how to set it up with Viam. Let’s dive in. 

How the Raspberry Pi 5 stacks up to its predecessor

The Raspberry Pi 5 made a splash when it dropped, instantly creating a buzz and a lengthy waitlist, which we eagerly joined.

Impatience got the better of us though, especially after learning about the board's new features. We couldn't wait three months to give its benefits to our community, so we turned to eBay for a quicker solution.

Once we got our hands on it, we were hooked. 

Here’s why we love the Raspberry Pi 5:

  • Enhanced Processing Power: The Pi 5 boasts a significantly faster processor compared to the Raspberry Pi 4, making it a powerhouse for complex tasks and speedy project executions.
  • Faster RAM: Faster memory means better multitasking and the ability to handle more demanding applications, something the Pi 4 might have found challenging.
  • Larger Bandwidth & Speed: The Raspberry Pi 5 has enhanced bandwidth for its USB ports, enabling faster data read speeds from USB devices, and a faster Micro SD card reader.

In essence, the Raspberry Pi 5 isn't just an upgrade; it's a leap forward, opening new doors for developers and makers alike with its improved efficiency and capabilities.

The Raspberry Pi 5 and Viam together 

We’re happy to announce that Viam now supports the Raspberry Pi 5, giving you the power to harness the board’s enhanced capabilities with our powerful software. 

Eager to demonstrate the benefits of this integration, and to really see how the Pi 5 stands up against the Pi 4, our team put it through a little experiment. 

Twice the performance of Raspberry Pi 4

We recently tried out our new Verification System module with both the Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 5.

For context, the Verification System module is a Vision Service module designed for precise detection, verification, and alerting based on tailored criteria. 

When we compare the early performance of the Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 5, the Pi 5 proved far stronger; performing 2x faster than the Pi 4!

The difference in performance between Pi 5 and Pi 4.

How to set up a Raspberry Pi 5 with Viam

Setting up a Raspberry Pi 5 board with Viam is a simple process. 

When configuring your robot, simply:

  • Select “Create component”
  • Choose the “pi5” board model from the “Create component” dropdown
  • Give your component a name (for ease, we’ve named it “pi5”)

And, for a basic configuration, you’re done!

For those who want to dive into a more advanced setup, simply click on "Show more." This option allows you to fine-tune your configuration, whether you're working with analog sensors such as thermometers and humidity sensors, or want to use digital interrupts for encoders or ultrasonic sensors.

See the full Pi 5 board model documentation for more.

Get started with Raspberry Pi 5 and Viam

Ready to try out a Raspberry Pi 5 to speed up your own project? We’d love to see what you create, with the Verification System module or otherwise. You can start using Viam for free here, and if you have any questions or want more information, drop us a line in our Discord community!

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Get started with Viam today!