Raspberry Pi Board B GPIO Header

The purpose of this article is to use the Raspberry PI GPIO header to blink a couple of LEDs. Hence this article is called "The Blinking Raspberry Pi GPIO Header". Here is the Raspberry Pi GPIO header, or what some people call the P1 header. In the rest of this article I shall be referring to it simply as the header. This article is designed to be as simple as possible to show how it's possible to interface with the pins to make a couple of  LEDs blink.

There doesn't seem to be much information on the Internet about the basics of interfacing to these pins so I decided to write this article as I went along experimenting on my own Pi. This article is really designed for beginners and anyone new to the Raspberry Pi.

The GPIO pins are actual physical pins on the Broadcom SoC chip which have been routed to the edge of the PCB to a header socket. These pins operate at CMOS voltage levels of 3.3 V and can get damaged if you push more voltage / current through them. There is no buffer circuitry or any kind of protection between the pins on the processor and their tracks that lead to the header socket,

For such a small board with 6 layers, the schematic routing must have been difficult... As a designer I can imagine how difficult it must have been to route the GPIO pins from the BGA chip to the outside edge of the board. In this case they are not in any particular order, just a set of random pins from the first 32-bit GPIO register.

The Raspberry Pi board B header Pinout and processor mapping circuit diagram can be obtained here: Raspberry_Pi_GPIO_Header_Pinout_Circuit.gif

Once you get the Raspberry Pi working you should do what any self respecting engineer / scientist in UK would do, and that is to convert this high tech ARM 11 core GPU processor that is capable of high speed 1080p resolution video into a gadget that blinks a couple of LEDs.

This article continues...
Raspberry Pi Board B GPIO Header
Raspberry Pi GPIO Header Pinout
GPIO Header Pin Mapping
Raspberry Pi GPIO Header Pin Protection
Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout
Raspberry Pi GPIO Header Pin Interfacing & LED Blinking
Raspberry Pi GPIO Interface Circuit
Raspberry Pi Motor Controller
Raspberry Pi Board B GPIO Header Interfacing with 74HCT14
The Cambridge Boffin: Raspberry Pi GPIO Buffer Project
Raspberry Pi GPIO Connectors
Raspberry Pi Pinout

Raspberry Pi GPIO Connector Cable
Raspberry Pi Projects

Author: Peter J. Vis