back to article Online retailers delaying sales of Raspberry Pi 4 model until 2023, thanks to a few good chips getting scarce

Online retailers may not be able to send you a specific Raspberry Pi 4B model even for next year's Christmas. Mouser is providing an estimated ship date for a Raspberry Pi 4B model with 4GB RAM of January 25, 2023. Digi-Key is also indicating that it will ship the same model now only in 2023. Raspberry Pis are great stocking …

  1. Fazal Majid

    Here in the UK The Pi Hut has the 4GB version in stock.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Are you sure? There's a bunch of people that "have things in stock" then you actually order one and it's backordered until the second coming. So I no longer trust any of that.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        I think WHSmiths still have storeroom full of Acorn Electrons

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've one in my attic, in its original packaging, too.

          1. Piro Silver badge

            AC because you don't want anyone finding out where you live, to steal that valuable piece of kit?

            But seriously, nice. It's always enjoyable to see classic kit will preserved.

      2. segfault188
        Thumb Up

        Yes, Pi Hut do have 4GB Pis in stock. I ordered one at the weekend & it is being delivered today.

      3. chriskno

        Ordered two Pi 4's, 8Gb, from Pi Hut, arrived in 3 days.

      4. Flak
        Happy

        4B with 4GB @ the PiHut

        Yes, just ordered one!

  2. redpawn Silver badge

    Arrrg!

    Now I'm going to have to build things with my older Pi boards rather than just surfing the net and streaming video with a new one.

  3. Sampler

    2023

    That's, like, not a typo? 2023, a whole other year? Christ, I'd expect a Pi5 by then!

    1. 20TC

      Re: 2023

      Not uncommon now. 354 days lead time for some LAN ICs we needed recently and then you have to put them on a PCB and build the rest of the 'thing'. Then 8 weeks shipping from the Middle Kingdom which would make it Feb 2023 already.

      Even plastics and rubber/synthetics are in short supply / long lead time due to petrochem shortages..

      1. Sampler

        Re: 2023

        Well, shit, I keep hearing things are bad but I didn't realise they were like a year waitlist on parts bad.

        I guess that's a big delay on a lot of shiny new things given they can't get the current things out the door.

      2. Anna Logg

        Re: 2023

        Absolutely, I was after some tuppence ha'penny JST dc connectors yesterday; normally ex stock from mouser, digikey, RS, Farnell etc. Now out of stock everywhere and next delivery January 2023. it's getting very tricky to actually build stuff!

      3. DropBear
        FAIL

        Re: 2023

        "Not uncommon" is not the same as "not thoroughly motherfucking insane". This has gone on for long enough, and we don't even have a clear unambiguous answer as to why ALL chips are STILL basically unobtainium. One would expect human civilisation to get its shit together faster than this even after a nuclear winter, so no, sorry, this doesn't compute. Unless you are going to tell me that on january 1st 2021 ALL chip foundries were erased from the face of the Earth in the blink of an eye, I'm not interested in whatever their current excuse is supposed to be.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2023

        August 2020 I ordered a budget garden shed from a local fencing supplier - with an advertised lead time of a month. It finally arrived about 8 months later.

        Just looked at their page. The lead time still predicted as a month - but the price has gone up from £450 to £720.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: 2023

      I think these are just arbitrary lead times, they don’t mean anything but a number sometime in the future because there are no firm dates being offered by manufacturers . Expect them to change when supply starts to trickle through.

      Try and get a Google Coral USB with importing a used one from Japan for triple the price.

  4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    I was seeing expected delivery in Jan for some Pi 3 models, but maybe that will evaporate in the new year :(

  5. druck Silver badge

    Pi 3B+'s are also impossible to get hold of, I've had to buy a 3B from ebay to upgrade the original 256MB Model B in the shed.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Shed certified electronics are always expensive

    2. Down not across Silver badge

      Bah...CM3/CM3+ would do...

      Sure Pi4 would be nice, but I'd be happy to find some CM3+ (or CM3) to populate TuringPi with...

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Unhappy

    all eggs, one basket

    just pointing out the obvious: "Let's make EVERYTHING in China" - bad choice, obviously. Obviously NOW, that is. (when 'second source' is ALSO the 'first source' there IS no 'second source')

    Sometimes, when the lemmings are running towards a place that everyone ELSE seems to say is REALLY GOOD, it does not necessarily mean that the proverbial cliff (that is rumored to have lemmings stampede to their deaths off of) is NOT dead ahead... even when such a thing has allegedly been debunked. "There is NO cliff" "the basket will hold" "look how much less it costs to have it made over there" etc.

    And now it looks like bean counters were VERY, VERY WRONG. We taught our world-wide competition how to make our stuff, we invested OUR money into building all of our new factories there, they effectively hired slave labor to make the stuff, nobody else could compete so they stopped making stuff everywhere else, the rest of the world looked the other way from all of the various abuses and just quietly moved everything "off shore", and now, HERE! WE! ARE!!!

    Is anyone ELSE *NOT* surprised? (and yet I have to assist others with working around this problem, more contracting work for me if it is solvable, but what if it is not, at least not in the short term? Re-designing the circuit board to use a different component may take longer or cost more than paying some scalper for components at 100 times the original cost)

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: all eggs, one basket

      Yes but worse. We did not want factories, we wanted the products.

      So plenty of the design, industrialization of designs, and the factories themselves, all offloaded to China.

      Now they are the ines that know how to build stuff, and we know how to support it, and more importantly, do the marketing.

      The problem, of course, is that they know they just need marketing... And this is why we are on the beginning of a cold war with them, because we cannot compete any more. I mean, we could, but the marketing and beancounter team says "no".

    2. Must contain letters

      Re: all eggs, one basket

      I've said this before, making the stuff is not the only problem here - and yes I agree it is becoming a big burden we've created for ourselves, all the hoarders, 'stockists', 'yes we've got the 2000 FPGAs you need ready to ship' scammers just happen to be in China too. Money and hope set off to the east and we are left to glumly wonder if we can ship product in 2023.

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: all eggs, one basket

      just pointing out the obvious: "Let's make EVERYTHING in China" - bad choice, obviously

      When it comes to semiconductor manufacture we haven't outsourced everything to China, unless you count Taiwan as part of China⁽¹⁾. According to this article on semiconductor market share, 62% is Taiwanese, 17% is Korean, 7% each for China and the US, 1% Israel and 5% the RoW.

      The problem isn't outsourcing anyway. You might have noticed there's been a pandemic raging for nearly two years, which has totally screwed up commodity supplies, manufacturing and logistics. There's a major tension between economic efficiency and resilience in the face of regional or global shocks. There haven't been many big shocks for the last three decades so the pendulum has swung far towards efficiency. No doubt it will swing back towards resilience in the near future.

      ⁽¹⁾ That's me blacklisted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: all eggs, one basket

        Maybe Bob meant the Republic Of China?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: all eggs, one basket

          specifically, R.O.C. and unfortunately the source of the parts is no longer visible on various distributor sites so I cannot tell where they are being made. As I recall a couple of components were being made in R.O.C. at the time they went short and the availability is unstable. One I designed around by selecting a different component with negative logic and fixed it in firmware. I recall having seen tariff info on these parts so most likely R.O.C. but now it's no longer there, for good or ill.

          What R.O.C. does (in many ways) is a kind of "lock in" that involves their internal tax code, moving parts from one area to another (or import from Taiwan or elsewhere) often having a tariff or VAT applied (or it used to, may have changed). So they built a bunch of factories of various kinds of components near to where board assembly is done, no tariff except at the end, unless you buy parts "elsewhere". This also affects design choices. End result, if an entire TOWN gets shut down due to the virus or a whim or anything else, you end up with shortages. All eggs, one basket again.

          Paul Atreides (Dune) would say that "He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing."

          Though this may not be the case with the RPi part shortages (which may be affected because of simple re-prioritization), it is ONE of the factors in the international supply fiasco.

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: all eggs, one basket

        @Arthur the cat - "and 5% the RoW"

        Is that the Republic of Wakanda? I've seen documentaries on their advanced tech, looks interesting...

      3. Bartholomew Bronze badge
        Coat

        Re: all eggs, one basket

        > When it comes to semiconductor manufacture we haven't outsourced everything to China, unless you count Taiwan as part of China⁽¹⁾

        There is no way that any sensible person would ever think that the "Republic of China" (Taiwan) was the "People's Republic of China" (China). That would be like thinking that the "People's Front of Judea" (Pythons) was the "Judea People's Front" (Campaign for a Free Galilee) or even the "Judean Popular Front" (a single old man).

      4. Chris Evans

        Misleading figures

        The: "62% is Taiwanese, 17% is Korean, 7% each for China and the US, 1% Israel and 5% the RoW."

        seems to relate to where the companies HQ is, so not the full picture. According to: https://www.tsmc.com/english/aboutTSMC/TSMC_Fabs

        One of their four 12-inch GIGAFABs is in China

        One of their six 8-inch Fabs is in China

        One of their six 8-inch Fabs is in USA

        Still mostly Taiwan.

    4. Marty McFly Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: all eggs, one basket

      Don't blame the bean counters.

      We want cheap $35 computers to play with. That price point means make it in China. Are we willing to pay 2x or 3x that price point for genuine western world made chips? Produced at the prevailing western world wages under the auspices of western world society like environmental impacts, etc.

      Bean counters are not my favorite people by any means. But the math only works out a certain way if we want our favorite Pi to stay at or near the price point we are accustomed to.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: all eggs, one basket

        When I was in chip design/manufacture 30 odd years ago I'm pretty sure staff wages were not really a consideration in processes that were nearly fully automated. The only reason why 'abroad' got the work was because someone would invest in the plant needed to make it. In the US the industry is worth £250 billion and employs 300,000 people. I doubt they're on near a million a year each.

    5. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: all eggs, one basket

      And now it looks like bean counters were VERY, VERY WRONG.

      When have the bean counters (and button sorters) ever been right?

    6. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: all eggs, one basket

      The Sony factory in Pencoed in Wales makes Pis, but guess where the parts (don't) come from...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: all eggs, one basket

        If it wasn't China it would be something else

        In the Kobe earthquake the world discovered that all the black plastic that coated chips used a chemical made by one Japanese chemical company - guess where it exported from ?

        Then floods in Thailand wiped out the world's supply of spinning rust for 2 years.

        It's not just where you make your product, it's where the people that make the products that go into the products that make the products that you use to make your product....

        If anyone feels like worrying, the crucibles that melt the Silicon boules that are used for all chip wafers are all made from Quartz from a single mine.

    7. Piro Silver badge

      Re: all eggs, one basket

      Not surprised in the slightest. I was warning about this well over a decade ago. Nobody gives a crap when things are cheap and going well.

  7. John Sager

    Other options

    I'm currently doing a little project with a STM32 Nucleo board. Luckily Mouser had hundreds in stock but I only needed two. However it's not 'load Linux & go' - it requires some 'close to the metal' development and that's been quite fun since I haven't really done much of that for a long time.

  8. amacater

    Hmmm - Pis were being built in Wales

    At the Sony factory - don't know what happened to them.

    1. Screepy

      Re: Hmmm - Pis were being built in Wales

      Not sure the were manufacturing the chips though we're they?

    2. James Hughes 1

      Re: Hmmm - Pis were being built in Wales

      Still built in Wales. Some Chinese passives, but silicon is mostly Taiwan iirc.

      So why the whole conversation about China above I am really not sure.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm - Pis were being built in Wales

        The chips are fabbed in Taiwan, but where do the wafers come from ?

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: where do the wafers come from?

          We get ours from Waitrose. Tunnocks Caramel. Made in Scotland since 1890.

          Mine’s the one with the dark chocolate six pack in the pocket.

  9. Tron

    Read the air.

    Supplies may not be delayed, they may be ending. The US may decide China is off limits. China may decide to cut its losses and take Taiwan. With or without Russia joining in and taking Ukraine, it would be game over for IT supplies and a new cold war. You may get a Radio Shack Pi in a couple of years, but it won't be cheap.

    Maybe not even that. How long before governments 'take back control' of tech and the net on the grounds of public safety and national security? The economic argument against that didn't stop Brexit border blocks, migrant labour blocks and staff repatriations. Our ability to do our own thing with tech, online or off it, may be ending.

    Grab what you can now. It may be your last chance.

    1. Trubbs

      Re: Read the air.

      Merry Christmas

    2. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Read the air

      Ww3 does seem to be rather in the air. When one makes a major move they all will, taking advantage of chaos.

      Rather be proven wrong ofc but the signs are there in neon. With arrows pointing at em.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Read the air

        Not WW3. More likely the US will become more isolationist whilst fearing its own civil war. Russia will annex Ukraine and the Baltic states - either by force or political coercion to satisfy their historical fear for a defensive barrier.

        The ripple effect will be Orwellian. More countries will come under the rule of tyrannical governments using potential conflict as their populist justification for a totalitarian power grab.

  10. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Floatation sinking?

    > But the supply chain challenges have also worsened for Raspberry Pi 4 models in the last month

    Not what you want to announce if you are planning an IPO in 2022

  11. SleepGuy
    FAIL

    I need my Pi!

    Been a real problem for me as well. Been selling a Pi4-based product this year and board availability has tanked. Sure I can get one here or one there (max order quantity of 1), but that doesn't work out so well when I need 10 every month or two. I was able to find an alternative board. It will require some case changes but should actually simplify the build as this board has a selectable OTG USB port as well as Pi-compatible CSI and GPIO. Worst part will be getting the OS/Software to run! Will see how it works when the first board arrives soon!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I need my Pi!

      " Worst part will be getting the OS/Software to run! "

      Many years ago it was decided that we should make more generic NT solutions that met a business sector requirement. No more trying to customise from scratch for each different customer in that business sector.

      We spent several months investing in building and testing the template HW model and its SW combinations.

      The first sale came in - and the equipment was delivered to us techies for build and integration.

      Unfortunately the salesman had found "a good deal" on a different model of HW. It proved to be something of a lemon and extremely difficult to get standard NT working on it in all the respects that were needed.

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