Raspberry Pi Chip Shortages Cause Price Hike
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Friday, 22 October 2021

You may have heard about the chip shortages and how they are hitting things like car production and thought "no problem, doesn't affect me!" But hearing that our favorite Raspberry Pi has gone up in price is an effect too far!

The Raspberry Pi has become such a basic component in all sorts of things it really should be part of any sane retail price index so that its price can be taken into account in estimates of inflation. It has managed to find its way into education, physical computing and entertainment. It makes possible projects that would otherwise be unthinkable. To put is simply many programmers have grown so accustomed to its low price that it isn't factored into the deployment of their software.

It has been irritating that the Pi Zero has been not only limited to one per person and has been in short supply for a while, but now the chip shortage has hit the mainstream Pi 4. What will we do?!

"But despite significantly increased demand, we’ll only end up making around seven million units in 2021: pretty much exactly what we did in 2020. The result has been a shortage of some products, notably Raspberry Pi Zero and the 2GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4."

Being more serious, the impact isn't that bad: The Pi 4 2G has been repriced to $45 and the Pi 4 1G has been reintroduced at the $35 entry point. This takes us back to the situation in June 2019 when the Pi 4 was introduced, so it's really an undoing of a previous price cut. You can now choose the low-cost option if 1 Gb of memory is enough for what you want to do.


There is slightly worse news if you have a use for the Pi 3, which uses a different chip, also in short supply:

In allocating our limited stocks of 40nm silicon, we will prioritise Compute Module 3, Compute Module 3+, and Raspberry Pi 3B, and deprioritise Raspberry Pi 3B+.

Keeping the Compute Module available makes sense and the suggestion is that if you are using the 3B+ you should move to the Pi 4 1G.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation believes that the price increase is not here to stay and as soon as the chip shortage eases prices, or rather what you get for you $35, will return to normal. This might be a promise that cannot be kept, however, if wider supply and labour conditions don't improve.



More Information

Supply chain, shortages, and our first-ever price increase

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 October 2021 )