Gaming PC

Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout: What Each Pin Does on Pi 4, Earlier Models

The best thing about all Raspberry Pis, including the Raspberry Pi 4, is that they can be used to build all sorts of awesome contraptions, from robots to retro game consoles to fart detectors. Most of the sensors, motors, lights, and other peripherals that make these projects possible connect to the Pi’s set of GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) pins. These pins provide a direct connection to the system-on-chip (SoC) at the heart of the Pi, allowing the Pi to communicate with external components and add-ons known as HATs (Hardware Attached on Top). All Pi models since 2014’s Raspberry Pi B+ had 40 GPIO pins, but the Pi Zero and Zero 2 W have 40 holes where you can solder pins or wires. Don’t worry if you don’t have a soldering iron. We have a list of the best soldering irons for you.

This guide has been updated to reflect the new features of the Raspberry Pi 4. The Raspberry Pi 4 still comes with 40 GPIO pins, but some additional I2C, SPI, and UART connections are available.

No matter what you build, you’ll need to know the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pinout, a map, and a description of what each pin can do. Some pins provide voltage and logic, others are ground, and still others connect to different kinds of interfaces. All of these are described below.

GPIO pinout for Raspberry Pi 4 and earlier. (Image credit: Les Pounder)

General purpose input/output (GPIO) pins

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