Raspberry Pi warns of bots as supply still tight

Raspberry Pi warns of bots as supply still tight

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Raspberry Pi is continuing to see short supply of its single board computers, prioritising industrial customers and pointing other customers to its 400 all-in-one Linux keyboard and its own RP2040 microcontroller.

“As you will have noticed, it can be hard to buy a unit from stock at the moment. Several factors are contributing to this,” said Ebon Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi, who has also warned that bots are driving up prices.

“As we’ve said before, the current situation is as much a demand shock as a supply shock,” he said. “Demand increased sharply from the start of 2021 onwards, and supply constraints have prevented us from flexing up to meet this demand, with the result that we now have significant order backlogs for almost all products. In turn, our many resellers have their own backlogs, which they fulfil when they receive stock from us.”

“We set aside a certain amount of BCM2711 silicon supply for Raspberry Pi 400, which plays an important role in our mission to provide general-purpose PC computing at an affordable price. Many of our Approved Resellers have this product in stock today,” he said in an update.

”While they are not full-fledged PCs like other Raspberry Pi products, Raspberry Pi Pico, and the many third-party boards based on our RP2040 microcontroller, can be used for many of the same embedded applications. We have plenty of stock of Pico, and of RP2040.”

He flagged the impact of increased demand back in May and October:

“Despite a variety of supply-chain challenges, we’ve consistently been able to build around half a million of our single-board computers and Compute Module products each month. As we said in October, the 28nm BCM2711 part used on Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 has been more readily available than the 40nm parts used on our older products,” he said.

However the backlogs absorb units faster than production, so little of that production volume ends up being immediately available on reseller websites. Where units do appear, bots often attempt to scalp stock which is then resold at higher prices elsewhere, he says.

Many Approved Resellers have implemented single-unit limits to combat this, with Adafruit and others going further and enforcing two-factor authentication. Upton is encouraging other Approved Resellers to consider this route.

“We spend a lot of time on backlog management. We have to balance volume demand from commercial and industrial customers with the demand we see from individuals. Right now we feel the right thing to do is to prioritise commercial and industrial customers. There is currently enough supply to meet the needs of those customers,” he said.

He emphasises buying from approved resellers rather than the grey market.

“Our Approved Resellers get preferential access to supplies of Raspberry Pi products. They’re also held to a single price: those people you see complaining on social media that they’ve seen Raspberry Pis on sale for vastly inflated amounts of money aren’t buying from Approved Resellers, who will all sell you a unit for the price we state on our products pages plus your local taxes and shipping where appropriate,” he said. He points to tools such as rpilocator to keep an eye on which resellers have recently received stock.

Related Raspberry Pi articles

Other articles on eeNews Europe

If you enjoyed this article, you will like the following ones: don't miss them by subscribing to :    eeNews on Google News


Linked Articles