Raspberry Pi 5 shortages shouldn't last long

Or at least that's the hope, based on current production rates.

Jeff Geerling speaks to Eben Upton at CES 2024

At CES 2024, I had the opportunity to chat with Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi's CEO. We discussed the future of AI on the Pi, RP2040's successor, the impending launch of Compute Module 5, and current production rates of Pi 4 and Pi 5 computers—Raspberry Pi's bread and butter.

The news is good: currently (as of last week), they are manufacturing Pi 5 at a rate of 70,000 per week. By the end of January? 90,000 per week.

That would put manufacturing capacity for Pi 5 alone at 400,000 units every month.

Raspberry Pi 4 manufacturing line

He mentioned (and I'm sure the workers at the Sony factory where Pi 5's are made would agree!) this rate can be sustained for a time, but will taper to something more maintainable once the backlogs are clear:

I will be pleased but surprised if we have five million units a year of sustained demand at this point just for that one product.

But I suspect what we'll probably do is, we'll probably build it that way for two or three months, we'll burn through the backlogs, we'll deal with all the people who want to get them in first in single units early, then in multiple units early.

I asked also about AI features being integrated directly into Pi silicon, and he suggested addons are the way to go for the foreseeable future:

Some of your users will use it, some of your users won't use it, and you're taxing the users who don't use it to help the users who will [...] that's the reasoning that's kept things like an ADC off the board for over a decade.

And Compute Module 5 when?

[Eben:] I think we've committed CM5 is happening.

[Jeff:] I remember on the forum someone mentioned first half of 2024...

[Eben:] Yeah.

Watch the full conversation on YouTube:


Yeah, we've been hearing that for a couple years now. With the "shortages" and the scalpers I've moved on to x86 boards and mini PCs. They're more convenient and available. I'm completely over the raspi stage.

Realistically, with the advent of cheaper CPUs like the N100, there's not much reason to be using a Pi - unless you need GPIO or the very small form factor. You get way more bang for your buck from mini PC with an N100 over a Pi 5. I think most people just don't know this and think because the board alone is cheaper than a mini PC, then it's a better value. But, once you get all the required accessories, the Pi ends up around the same price, and then is still far less performant than an N100.

I don't think anyone is realistically buying a Pi to use as a mini PC and expecting good performance - there have been far better options since the Pi was first released. People are buying them for scenarios where the Pi comes out as the better option. Personally I am waiting on a couple of Pi 5s because I'm after the ability to take a decent resolution 360-degree panorama from four cameras stitched together at a remote site where only solar power is available. You don't need much processing power for that, and a 12 MP USB camera is pretty rare so the Pi is ideal. Its open source software libraries for the camera also make bug hunting significantly easier compared to pretty much all the other options.

At least in the US, use rpilocator.com and be willing to shift resellers. I bought an 8GB 5 in early December.

Watching since then, 80% of the time they have been available. (at list prices)

I currently use my pi4 as a small desk top, don't use and guess never will use the pio pins so wonder how many others users are in a similar situation, would a painless version be easier and cheaper to produce.

How big is the chance that they'll still get scalped though...? When COVID caused a shortage, I don't think anyone was expecting it to last this longggg...

The Covid shortage was two problems: first, the chip production crisis where BCM2711 were impossible for Raspberry Pi to produce in large quantities, which led to reduced production capacity (which persisted for years—and Raspberry Pi wasn't the only small manufacturer to be affected... multiple car manufacturers had huge inventories of cars without computers sitting on lots, it was very difficult for people to buy new cars).

After people realized the shortage was happening, some jerks decided to start scalping them, and during that period, I received multiple emails saying "I have a box of 100 Pi 4 I can ship for $X amount" or "if you send your viewers to my site, I'll sell Pi 4s to them at $X amount (always a little more than MSRP, but a 'deal' because it was less than that average scalper price).

This time around, there are still scalpers, but Raspberry Pi is not having the same production issues—they are able to keep getting in chips, so the only bottleneck is manufacturing line capacity.

I was lucky enough to snag one from microcenter the day they had them in stock :)

It's fun but for 90$ we are really nearing 1/2 of what a much more powerful micro computer costs.

this was recommended to me for setting up a Komga server but used the pi 5 because it's what I had on hand,
It seems to run ok, but we'll see what happens when I start connecting devices to it.

The world has moved on. There are better platforms to use than a Raspberry Pi

The pi is more for learning about small controllers and electronics. Its mission started and continues to be for educational purposes. It’s fun to tinker with circuits and make small projects. So if your looking for just a mini desktop computer and not interested in tinkering or making, then there may be more appropriate choices for you.

Down here in New Zealand I didn't have that long to wait for my Pi 5.
The Pi 5 had shipped in just over two weeks from the order date.

It was the power supply with the Australian/ New Zealand power plug that has been delayed significantly
I only got notified today that it has shipped, so nearly three months after it was ordered.

Did anyone else have more trouble getting the supporting accessories then the Pi 5 itself?

I just bought one in the UK and received it in less than 2 weeks.