Raspberry Pi makes its first ever worth enhance, international chip scarcity accountable

The British maker of the Raspberry Pi laptop has raised the value of its 2GB RAM Raspberry Pi 4 by $10 because of the international semiconductor scarcity.  

The worth hike, although non permanent, is one more instance of how a lot the chip provide chain has modified for the reason that pandemic struck. Raspberry Pi dropped the price of the 2GB Pi 4 by $10 in February 2020 to $35, however as of immediately it is again to $45. 

"Sadly, price will increase brought on by the present scarcity imply that this product is just not at the moment economically viable at this diminished worth level. We're due to this fact transferring it again to $45 on a short lived foundation," writes Raspberry Pi Ltd CEO Eben Upton, noting that in the whole historical past of Raspberry Pi, it had by no means – till now – needed to enhance the value of a product.

SEE: Hunker down: The chip shortage and higher prices are set to linger for a while

Raspberry Pi, after all, is not alone. Automakers can't shift cars because they lack key chips, whereas gaming followers have discovered it troublesome to purchase Sony's Play Station 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Sequence X consoles.  

The provision scarcity has not surprisingly additionally restricted manufacturing at Raspberry Pi. Upton says it should solely make seven million models in 2021 – nearly precisely the quantity it made in 2020, which was also its best year to date, partially attributable to increased gross sales throughout the first wave of pandemic lockdowns. 

This 12 months's flat development bucks its historical past of in any other case constantly growing manufacturing at a Sony manufacturing facility within the UK, which has assembled the Pi since 2012. The 2020 lockdown additionally caused problems for engineers building the 2020 Raspberry Pi 400.  

Upton stated merchandise briefly provide this 12 months included the Raspberry Pi Zero and the 2GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4. So, regardless of elevated demand, a scarcity of those merchandise put a cap on manufacturing numbers.

In 2022, Upton expects the provision challenges to fall most closely on older merchandise with chips constructed on older 40nm silicon. These merchandise embody the Compute Module 3, Compute Module 3+, and Raspberry Pi 3B, and Raspberry Pi 3B+ – primarily all the things that is not a Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 400, or Compute Module 4, which use 28nm silicon.

1GB Pi 4 returns for industrial clients

As a result of 2GB Pi 4 worth rise, Raspberry Pi can be bringing again the 1GB Pi 4 for $35. It cancelled the 1GB variant when it minimize the value of the 2GB variant. The return of the 1GB variant is to assist industrial clients that use the 2GB variant of their merchandise, in line with Upton.

Upton outlined the migration path for industrial clients who use the Raspberry Pi 3B+, recommending they transfer to the 1GB Pi 4, which makes use of 28nm silicon.

SEE: Chip manufacturers' revenues are reaching a historical high as global shortage continues

"Customers of Compute Modules will after all have made investments in provider board designs and stock. Raspberry Pi 3B has a single-band radio, and not using a protect can; many industrial customers can have made important investments in compliance testing. In distinction, Raspberry Pi 3B+ makes use of the identical wi-fi chipset as Raspberry Pi 4, with the identical FCC modular certification; we anticipate this similarity to translate right into a decrease migration price," he notes.

"Our steerage to industrial and embedded customers of Raspberry Pi 3B+ who want to optimise availability in 2022 is to start migrating your designs to the 1GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4.

"We anticipate to have sufficient 28nm silicon over the following twelve months to assist each our present Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 clients, and clients migrating from Raspberry Pi 3B+; and that we see early indicators that the provision chain scenario is beginning to ease."



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