Supply chain problems drive the price of the Raspberry Pi 4 up

Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi announced a few days ago a "temporary" increase in the price of the Raspberry Pi 4, in the statement released, indicated that the price of 2GB version would increase from $ 35 to $ 45 and that a version with 1GB of RAM previously discontinued would be reintroduced at $ 35.

Upton expressed hope that the price increase is temporary and said there are early signs that the supply chain situation is starting to improve. "These price changes are not here to stay," wrote Upton. As problems in the global supply chain are alleviated, we will continue to review this issue and want prices to return to their previous level as soon as possible. »

“In February of last year, we announced that we were phasing out the 1GB variant of the Raspberry Pi 4 and increasing the 2GB product to our $ 35 reference price. Unfortunately, the increased costs caused by the current shortage means that this product it is currently not economically viable at this reduced price. So we will temporarily reduce it to $ 45, ”said Eben Upton.

Since semiconductors have a great demanda in this industry and its supply is limited: the increased demand for electronic products for work at home and leisure during the pandemic has turned into panic buying, and companies try to acquire the components they need to make their products.

“We now expect our supply chain challenges to continue through much of 2022. These challenges will particularly affect our older products, which are made from 40nm silicon - in practice, anything that doesn't. It's not a Raspberry Pi 4, a Raspberry Pi 400, or a Compute Module 4, ”says Upton. With that in mind, Raspberry Pi plans to make various changes to help customers.

40nm chip shortage also means the old Raspberry Pi 3B + has no priority in favor of other Raspberry Pi 3 variants; The company continues to manufacture older products primarily for industrial customers and embedded systems that need to use specific Pi boards for long periods of time. Upton recommends that long-term customers using Pi 3B + plan to migrate to the 1GB version of Pi 4.

To support the many industrial customers who have integrated the 2GB variant of the Raspberry Pi 4 into their products, Raspberry Pi Foundation is reintroducing the 1GB variant priced at $ 35. This offers a certain degree of choice: less memory for the same price; or the same memory at a higher price. Upton says the Raspberry Pi foundation will prioritize Compute Module 3, Compute Module 3+, and Raspberry Pi 3B, and deprive the Raspberry Pi 3B + of that priority.

Of course, users of the compute modules will have invested in carrier card designs and stocks. Raspberry Pi 3B has a single band radio, no protective case; many industrial users will have made significant investments in compliance testing.

In contrast, Raspberry Pi 3B + uses the same wireless chipset as Raspberry Pi 4, with the same modular FCC certification; According to Upton, this similarity will result in a lower cost of migration.

This is all temporary:

“Neither of these decisions is acceptable. In the history of the Raspberry Pi, says Upton, we have never raised the price of a product and have often chosen to lower the price. Likewise, the long-term availability of our products, in stock, is a fundamental part of our value proposition to industrial customers. But this series of temporary changes is the best way we have found to help all of our customers in this strange moment. " These price changes did not come to stay. As problems in the global supply chain subside, the Raspberry Pi Foundation will continue to review this issue, and the structure says it wants prices to return to their previous level as quickly as possible.

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