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Even Respberry Pi isn’t immune to the great chip shortage

Affordable enthusiast computer maker Raspberry Pi has announced that it’s been forced to increase the price of one of its devices due to the ongoing global chip shortage.

CEO Eben Upton revealed the news of his company’s first ever price increase in a recent blog post. The increase will apply only to a single model, that being the 2GB variant of the Raspberry Pi 4, which will now retail for $45 rather than the usual $35.

In order to continue hitting that famed Raspberry Pi price point, which is so beloved of educational institutions, the company is reintroducing the 1GB model that it discontinued in February of last year for $35.

The cause of this price rise is a shortage of components. Upton pinpoints increased demand for semiconductors due to an upsurge in home working and entertainment amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, allied to constrained supply.

This has had a knock-on effect for Raspberry Pi. Despite “significantly increased demand”, Upton claims that the company will only be able to make seven million units in 2021, which is similar to what it made in 2020.

The company has also been forced to eke out its limited stocks of older 40nm silicon. It will will now prioritise the Compute Module 3, Compute Module 3+, and Raspberry Pi 3B, and deprioritise the Raspberry Pi 3B+.

Upton foresees these shortages continuing into 2022, though he is at pains to explain that this price increase will be a temporary one.

“We see early signs that the supply chain situation is starting to ease,” he says. “As global supply chain issues moderate, we’ll keep revisiting this issue, and we want to get pricing back to where it was as fast as we can.”

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