back to article Don’t expect a Raspberry Pi 5 in 2023, says Raspboss Eben Upton

If you’re hoping a new Raspberry Pi will pear in 2023, we have bad news: Rasbposs Eben Upton says work on a Raspberry Pi 5 won’t start until the second half of the year, meaning delivery is a way off yet. In an interview with Christopher Barnatt’s Explaining Computers YouTube channel, Upton revisited a lot of the news The …

  1. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Bye bye Pi

    > If you’re hoping a new Raspberry Pi will pear [sic] in 2023

    Not really, no. Though it would be nice if any RPi appeared on the shelves at some point in the future. With the Pi4 being as powerful as I ever need to go.

    From my perspective, the best thing about Pis is their GPIO. Being able to attach peripherals, devices and sensors to a Pi and to access them (more or less) on a Linux platform. However, over the past couple of years, I have moved on, found other ways of doing the same. These days I find that an ESP32 performs all the interfacing functions I need - though more I/O pins would be nice.And with their inbuilt WiFi and low cost and availability throughout the pandemic, they are hard to beat. Even when or if RPis become available to amateurs like me, the shine has definitely gone off the product.

    Plus, for those who only want a cheap media player, there are (and always have been) alternatives at similar prices and often with better specifications.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bye bye Pi

      I'm kind of on the same page. Currently playing with ESP32 as RPi's are like rocking horse shit due to them sucking the corporate cock.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Bye bye Pi

        >RPi's are like rocking horse shit due to them sucking the corporate cock.

        Is this a piHat I've missed?

        Presumably harder to do in the cloud - this has to be the ultimate desktop (or under desk) application

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Bye bye Pi

      Isn't the Pi Pico W the closest thing to the ESP32? That has been available throughout the pandemic.

      1. DrXym

        Re: Bye bye Pi

        Yes there are plenty of them. Except the one I want which has headers soldered on - the WH model. The other 3 kinds seem to be abundant and pretty cheap.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Bye bye Pi

          I understand that the headers are added by the retailer.

          1. DrXym

            Re: Bye bye Pi

            Picos come with or without headers, with or without wireless. I'm after WH. I could always solder headers onto a headerless board and have a bag of headers for that purpose but I hate doing it for the sake of a quid.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Bye bye Pi

        They are comparable, but depending on the use case, there are some major differences. Both support WiFi and technically there is hardware support for Bluetooth LE on both, but the ESP32's Bluetooth stack is thoroughly tested and the Pico's is absent (hardware support but no official driver). The ESP32 also has a lot more memory on the chip which can be important if you're using it to retrieve data over the internet; it's not that important if you're sending packets but if you're using HTTPS, that uses quite a bit of RAM. It all comes down to what it's used for.

        In my uses for the Pi, an ESP32 is usually not viable, as I want a full OS with a lot more resources available to me. It is, however, interchangeable with the numerous other SBCs that run Linux made by other companies. I haven't needed to buy one recently, but it is quite possible that the next SBC I acquire will be from someone else.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Bye bye Pi

          It's a huge opportunity for makers of RK3588 based SBCs, because when the Pi5 eventually appears I predict the SoC will still be trumped by the RK3588 and RockChip will have a new even higher specced generation out by then.

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Bye bye Pi

            The makers of those SoC's (which do indeed have decent performance) have zero interest in the hobby market, and their software support sucks big time. Very few contributions to upstream, which means support and new features are generally done by third parties, who have to guess half the time on how the HW works. If you want Android, probably OK, but as SBC's running Linux you will always be struggling to get all the chip features properly integrated.

            Also worth noting that one of the reason these boards are available now is their sales are so much lower than the Pi's. If they got to similar volumes, they are likely also to have supply problems. Low sales volumes mean less money to spend on software support. It's a spiral that Pi broke out of very early on.

        2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Bye bye Pi

          There is also plenty of availability in that niche.

          It's a shame they have not used the opportunity to compete with STM32F7 or even STM32H7 that have not yet been cloned by the Chinese and there are massive shortages of these MCUs.

        3. Adrian 4

          Re: Bye bye Pi

          > but the ESP32's Bluetooth stack is thoroughly tested and the Pico's is absent (hardware support but no official driver)

          I believe the driver became available this month in the latest SDK release, but you're correct in that it could hardly be called thoroughly tested yet.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bye bye Pi

        The Pico's aren't bad. I just also don't want to reliant on one manufacturer anymore. They are just concentrating on the compute modules now. I get there is a chip shortage however they wouldn't sell all the CM's they are if it wasn't for the community they are turning their back on. Add to that employing ex-police that used rpi's for covert surveillance and their reaction to it on twitter by blocking loads of people and they are digging themselves a hole. They aren't invincible.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Bye bye Pi

          Exactly Pico is tempting, it seems to be available, but there is no easy way to switch to something else if availability becomes a problem.

          It's probably safer to develop for smaller STM32 and clones and use CPLD or FPGA if you need some sort of "programmable I/O" facility that STM32 does not have.

        2. James Hughes 1

          Re: Bye bye Pi

          Not concentrating on CMs at all, all models are still in production, we just need to spread the available chips over all that production so it tends to be batchy. Lots of Pi3 and similar hitting shelves right now for example. Making lots of Pi4 as well.

    3. prandeamus

      Cheap media player...

      If you're in the mood for making recommendations, what cheap media players would you suggest? I've seen many articles and ads talking about "raspberry pi killers" which usually turn out to be SBCs which are more functionality at a higher price point. I've used some RPi v1 boards in a media player hobby project and would love to know about alternatives.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Cheap media player...

        At some point, you have to consider commercial media players. I went to some effort to get a Pi to work as a media player for a family member, getting the DRM support in, having a local server for their video files, and a nice tiny USB keyboard as a remote control, only to find that they weren't enjoying using it. They had replaced it with a basic Android TV stick which cost less, had a faster processor, native support for DRM, a client app that could talk to the local server, and came with a remote control they found more intuitive. I couldn't find any argument for why the Pi was preferable, and it meant I got another Pi.

        At some point, building everything myself leads to poorer products than getting one that was built for the purpose. They're still brilliant for something that doesn't exist commercially, but if I ever need a media player, maybe I will consider not DIYing one. I've reinvented a lot of wheels, and they don't always provide a benefit.

  2. Ramis101
    FAIL

    Pi5 in 2023, a Pi4 would be nice!

    CPC Farnell still showing Pi4 as on backorder est del 21/08/23 !!!!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Pi5 in 2023, a Pi4 would be nice!

      Pimoroni and Rapid are both showing as having RPi3+ in stock at time of this posting.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Priorities

    Rather than looking into creating another unobtainium product, then frustration and resentment, maybe they should focus on increasing the production capacity.

    When supply is unreliable, then not many people or businesses are going to look at RPi seriously.

    Work on RPi5 signals that there is something wrong with the management and priorities.

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Re: Profits

      That's what happens when you become a for-profit organisation.

      Never mind that the success of the RPi family is solely due to the software base - there are better / cheaper SBCs, but with terrible or non-existent software - much of which was originated or popularised by home users and the domestic (world) market.

      Now there's money to be made, those millions of authors, creators and advocates can be left high and dry.

      1. Lon24

        Re: Profits

        Industrial users have been prioritised during the component supply hiatus.

        The conundrum is that industry will take the volume that gives RPRPi manufacturing the clout to buy components in volume and keep the prices relatively low. But industry is shipping RPis as part of selling a much larger package and being part of their supply problem potentially kills that trade. So retail get a good product when there is abundance and little when there is not.

        Because RPF is a charity that doesn't isolate from the harsh unwelcome practicalities of board manufacture and marketing. Satisfying future mission objectives they have, not unreasonably, taking the hit now alongside the RPI enthusiasts.

        I feel the pain personally - I'm hanging out for another RPi-4B/8GB.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Profits

          It's a shame they don't seem to publish what exact memory chips they use, so you don't have to study the photos of the boards and guess.

          Then you could possibly buy any RPi 4B that is available and just solder the required memory chip. It's a quick job.

      2. DrXym

        Re: Profits

        It's not just solely for software. It's also a known quantity in terms of people's experience and reliability. It also has a massive aftermarket of bits and bobs that make it suitable for so many things. And the community that exists to support the platform. But yes software is part of it too.

        I assume all of that accounts for its popularity. There are certainly cheaper parts out there - Aliexpress is filled with Pi clones which are a bit cheaper but the flip side is you lose all of the above if you go that route.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Profits

          That secondary market of bits and bobs is in a pickle. There is no point manufacturing bits and bobs if people can't buy RPi to use them with.

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Profits

            There already is an installed base of many many millions to sell those bits and bobs to.

    2. lostinspace
      FAIL

      Re: Priorities

      Did you even actually read the article? He said exactly that:

      "“You know what would really be a disaster? If we tried to introduce some sort of Raspberry Pi 5 product and couldn't ramp [production] properly because of constraint.”"

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Priorities

        It's right in the headline as well. Somehow, he managed to skim even that.

      2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Priorities

        It's good that they recognise it is not a good idea, but from the article you can't see that they are actually doing something about it, more like just hoping for the best.

        Bear in mind that "supply chain issue" is now a rolling theme. There is no guarantee things are going to change in 2023. It is probably likely that next year we will read that "supply chain issue" will abate in 2024 and so on.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Priorities

          It’s clear enough that he is saying RPi5 will be delayed from going into production because of supply chain problems, and the existing models will be brought back to ready availability.

          Development work on RPi5 is ongoing, of course it is. Likely it began before covid and the availability problems and continued throughout. Hardware development guys don’t work on production logistics.

          So I understand this to mean that at some point after 2023 when the RPi4 and other models Pi demand are being met with equilibrium of component supply/ production capacity, then Pi5 production can be quietly introduced to begin preloading the retail channel around the world to meet the inevitable very high initial demand without causing too much disappointment.

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: Priorities

            That does not inspire confidence at all. Signalling that there is a new model around the corner means people may hold off purchases and wait for the new hardware. This may give an illusion that supply issue has been fixed and once RPi 5 is released, we will have shortages all over again as everyone will try to buy that new RPi.

            Hardware development guys don’t work on production logistics.

            Hardware development "guys" have to work with the logistics, otherwise if they design something that turns out to have a crucial component becoming unobtanium or having some other availability issue then the whole project gets toast.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Priorities

          Could be. Still, while it's only anecdotal, rpilocator results do seem to have picked up a bit lately, in some regions, anyway.

        3. James Hughes 1

          Re: Priorities

          You cannot run a company like RPI just by "hoping for the best" They seem to be pretty confident that by h2 next years things will have dramatically improved, which lines up with predictions from other companies and analysts.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Priorities

      >ather than looking into creating another unobtainium product, then frustration and resentment, maybe they should focus on increasing the production capacity.

      Yes because they're entirely fungible,

      The hardware designers in Cambridge should stop browsing Broadcom app notes and get themselves to Shenzen to ease supply chain issues for the component that goes into the thingy that you need to make the widget that the wafer makers need to get product to the fabs.

    4. James Hughes 1

      Re: Priorities

      How do you propose increasing production when you cannot get the parts? This is not a production capacity problem. Its a supply chain problem.

      This supply situation has affected EVERYONE who sell in quantity. Yes, it affects Pi customers, which is a horrible situation to be in, and if anyone has an actual workable suggestion to fix the worldwide silicon supply chain problem I am sure there are many many companies out there, not just Pi, who would love to hear it.

  4. prandeamus

    History Lesson

    Remember Nascom 2 in the 70s?

    My recollection is a bit vague, but Nascom 1 was a big success. They announced they were working on Nascom 2 and the sales pipeline for Nascom 1 dried up, just as supplies for some essential chips in the Nascom 2 became hard to obtain. I'm sure there were other examples. You have to keep schtum about future plans.

    I would expect the Pi folks to be extremely cagey about announcing future plans in this climate. They'd be crazy not to be thinking about a next generation. Equally, they'd be crazy to disclose anything about such plans.

    1. Lon24

      Re: History Lesson

      The good news is that enthusiasts really, really want the latest and fastest. Hence the guaranteed sell-out on announcement. But also the volume (industrial) users have specced and tested a product and if it works they won't want to change the model.

      That's why practically all the old products are still shipping.

      And if they really need the RPi5 spec - they will take time to test and evaluate it before taking volume. So that works quite well in the RPi lifecycle. Early volume from the retail trade and later volume from the industrial base. If only Covid hadn't happened then the RPi5 would be in early fifecycle overlapping industrial mature RPi4 and everyone would probably have been very happy.

  5. Silverburn

    Supply chain stress?

    Forget about Pi5... just ship 8gb CM4s sometime this century first!

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Supply chain stress?

      Berrybase have had loads of those recently,

  6. iron Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    A Pi 4 in 2022 would have been nice but no you had to sell them to industry instead of the students and hobbyists you're supposed to serve.

    You've angered the community by ignoring them, hiring a dodgy surveilance expert copper and insulted them on Mastodon till the Pi Foundation server was banned from the Fediverse.

    I really needed a Pi 4 8GB for an open source project 6 months ago but now I'm looking at a cheap, barebones x86 box and renting cloudy ARM chips instead. >:(

    1. James Hughes 1

      There is no "instead". Pi4 were sold to students and hobbyist throughout, just in lower percentages. But why do you think Pi are supposed to only serve them? Industry has been buying Pi since the first model, and those sales have bootstrapped the company, enabled to build better products, and keep the prices low for everyone else.

    2. Dekken

      I would recommend Pine64 generally, the masto debacle was both hilarious and somewhat infuriating.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah the Raspberry Pi. I have one just sitting in a box not doing anything cause I could never find a good use for it.

    I changed out the rPi 3 B+ I was using with NextCloud with an old Optiplex 3020. That has been a lot smoother and faster so far. And now I can run more when I get around to messing with it more, At the cost of 10W vs 200W at max. But power is cheap here and I can make the difference by changing the thermostat a degree or two.

    Then there is the electronics part. Plenty of projects out there. Nice enough to give a parts list that you need, but I really found nothing to help me understand electronics. All I was able to do was follow instructions. I could not get anything I made to work I could never figure out why.

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Pi4 is fine for now

    Supply chain aside, Pi4 is fine for now. Really the specs on it are quite high on it. Even if I built a little desktop out of one the only thing I could imagine is wanting more RAM for some memory-intensive uses (although you can already get one with 8GB on it -- well it's listed at any rate, I can't say if you can actually *get* it...)

  9. karlkarl Silver badge

    I think there is a real risk that if people keep wanting more powerful Raspberry Pis, that the company will price themselves out of this specific market and we will need to start again from scratch finding a cheap low powered device.

    Personally I found the Pi2 to be perfect. I would be very happy if they just focused on making a shedload of them so that they could be sold cheaply at 20 bucks for hobbyist engineering projects.

    If you want a fast PC... just buy one. An even faster Raspberry Pi is not really the right direction.

  10. Binraider Silver badge

    I've had at least one of every major (consumer) release of the Pi. As fun and capable as they are, the reality is for most folks they just get stuffed in the drawer if you don't have a permanent desk to sit another keyboard, mouse and monitor on.

    The GPIO is ultimately where it does well and differentiates from other platforms. And for that, Pi1 was adequate!

  11. RobDog

    Big up for Explaining Computers

    Great channel. He does the research to a depth I don’t have time to do and often puts a spin on it that I enjoy. So yes thanks Chris Barnatt too.

  12. amacater

    I wish the Pi universe was a bit more cooperative and played well with others.

    It would be lovely if three things were to happen:

    * Raspberry Pi to upstream all their kernel mods and dtbs

    * Pi hats of all kinds to work out how to interoperate with each other and work with other platforms - hats are great but tied entirely to Pi as an ecosystem

    * Raspberry PiOS to actually talk to Debian about how to build an OS

    As a Debian dev, I'm very biased but the first and last points are very important - Pi 4 and earlier models can (nearly) work with vanilla Debian but it is bondage and discipline - and there may be things that depend on a 32 bit armhf distribution that Raspberry Pi don't really care about.

    SBCs from China and Armbian - don't even go there....

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: I wish the Pi universe was a bit more cooperative and played well with others.

      1. We've been putting a lot of effort (and money) in to upstreaming as much as we can. Hence we now have open source graphics (DRM, Mesa etc), a standard camera interface, libcamera, and now use V4L2 rather than openMax to get access to the codecs etc. There is some stuff that would never be accepted upstream though.

      2. HAT's are a Raspberry Pi design/invention, I guess if other people want to use them, then they simply have to adhere to the spec?

      3. What wrong with Raspberry Pi OS?

      I agree with the comments about SBCs from China and Armbian. They are certainly not a panacea.

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