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OLogic is the premier electronics and software design consultancy for robotics in Silicon Valley.  For over 14 years, OLogic has designed the insides of 100's of leading, robotics, and consumer electronic products.  

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Raspberry Pi vs. Pumpkin Pi

POSTED 10/07/2022

Raspberry Pi vs. Pumpkin Pi

Comparing the use of the Raspberry Pi to the Revolutionary Pumpkin Pi’s

When it comes to creating your own project that requires a linux computer, or even learning how to code in languages such as Python, the Raspberry Pi has always been a popular choice. While the Raspberry Pi has many awesome features, our engineering team at OLogic often was left wanting more. More speed, more performance, and more scalability for products that are designed for commercial sales, not as a home hobby project. That’s why the team at OLogic designed two evaluation kit (EVK) computing boards: the Pumpkin i350 and i500. These boards provide much more computing power than Raspberry Pi and have commercially available and industrial grade components that are designed for large scale production. So, when the Raspberry Pi does not meet your design requirements, it is time to look at the i350 and i500 Pumpkin Pi’s for your project. 

In this blog, we offer up some reasons why!

Raspberry Pi has been around since 2012 and several improvements have been made to it over the years. It remains one  of the best entry level EVK boards suitable for simple projects requiring a linux computer. It is a super affordable, versatile starter kit for projects by makers, hackers, and DIY inventors. The Raspberry Pi can load various OS images, ROS, Windows, and Raspbian. There are lots of shelf modules you can purchase to test different features and with the support available as an open source product, it is an amazing gateway into small form factor computing. 

We have tremendous respect for the Raspberry Pi, yet it has its limitations.

In early 2021, we introduced our high end Pumpkin Pi, the i500, an EVK designed by OLogic and powered by MediaTek Genio 500. This powerful board supports computer vision and AI Edge Computing. Designers are offered a transition product from prototyping to production building. 

Photo of a Blue Computer board, thePumpkin i500 - an EVK.

While developing the Pumpkin, we collaborated to establish a fantastic “IoT Ecosystem”, where MediaTek provides semiconductors, OLogic provides the hardware engineering and BayLibre delivers the software engineering.  

 Unlike the Raspberry Pi where you don’t have direct access to the Broadcom chipset that allows you to run operate on the Raspberry Pi, with Pumpkin Pi, you are never putting a module inside your product as you can directly add the chips on the product PCB board. The Pumpkin is designed as a development platform that lets you write your software before doing the final design.

Think of it like how the pumpkin in Cinderella turns into a beautiful carriage. When the development design is made into a custom PCB for the client, it is no longer a Pumpkin. Voila! It is now their unique custom made product! It’s like buying a tailor made suit vs. a suit off the rack!

Zoomed in image of the Pumpkin i350, a purple computer board/EVK. There is our OLogic logo and a small white pumpkin logo on the board.

Next we introduced the i350… Built on the success of our i500

Our Pumpkin i350, is a lower cost, mid-range performance platform that enables engineering teams to design for wider market adoption use cases such as door entry systems, personal gym trainers, child interactive companion robots, and much more.

Built using an ultra-efficient 14nm process, this highly integrated Edge AI platform incorporates a dedicated APU (AI processor) and DSP to enable vision and voice edge AI, with considerably greater performance and power efficiency than typically seen in common applications. This helps build redundancy and future proofing into the design.

With the advent of higher-performing AI-integrated chips, such as the MediaTek Genio 350 SoC and development board designed by OLogic, you can use the Pumpkin i350 to accelerate your engineering and shorten your development cycle, helping you to launch your new product faster and at a lower development cost and faster ROI than previously realized. 

When it comes to choosing the best computing module for your project, you would first need to determine how much computing power you need and what type of functionality you wish to support. If you find yourself limited with what the Raspberry Pi can do, then the Pumpkin will be best for you. 

Some key features are highlighted in these facts about our Pumpkin EVKs:

  • The Pumpkin’s feature set is different because the user has the ability of having more MIPI cameras, which allows a higher quality resolution.
  • The user has greater control over the image in terms of drivers, support hardware, and more since it is customized to your product. 
  • The Pumpkin has a dedicated AI Processing Unit to accelerate AI models from frameworks such as TensorFlow. As application examples AI models can be deployed on the chipset to allow the Pumpkin to be used for facial recognition and hand tracking, two common use cases for the Pumpkins. This lives in between the video processor and the main processor allowing for hardware acceleration which reduces computation time and allows for smoother operation.
  • Finally, the Pumpkin board has 2 different sizes: the highly capable Pumpkin i500 for when CPU performance is critical or the versatile i350. The i350 is designed with a smaller chipset to provide you with flexibility when considering your product specification requirements and cost. This gives you the design freedom to choose the chipset that best fits your use case, cost target, and product design needs. 

Overall, both the Pumpkins and Raspberry Pi make great options for engineering projects, depending on the complexity of the product design and desired capabilities. While we’re a little biased towards the Pumpkins, the Raspberry Pi is still a great module and has a variety of use cases and we have the utmost respect for it. But when you get stuck, just give us a call, we’re happy to help.

For more information on our Pumpkin products, visit us today at our website or shop for an i350 or i500, as well as their supporting accessories on our Shopify store