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posted by janrinok on Thursday February 01, @09:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the selling-out-to-the-microsofters dept.

Vlogger Jeff Geerling has an analysis of rumors of a future IPO for Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd.

But long-term, will Eben's vision for what makes Raspberry Pi change? Will there be turnover and some of the people who make the Pi a joy to use be gone?

Will the software side start leaning on subscriptions to increase revenues to make shareholders happy?

And ultimately, could Eben be replaced, and would that change things? Yes, probably, but I won't speculating about any that here. See my blog post about enshittification from last month if you wanna read more about that topic.

What I will do is answer some misconceptions I've seen about Raspberry Pi and the IPO.

The Register covered the IPO discussion the other day and while bankers have been appointed to the task, the CEO asserts that nothing will change.

"The business is in a much better place than it was last time we looked at it. We partly stopped because the markets got bad. And we partly stopped because our business became unpredictable."

"Unpredictable" is an understatement for many who attempted to acquire certain models of the computer during the supply chain crunches of recent years. "The public markets value predictability as much as they value performance," said Upton.

(2023) Arm Acquires Minority Stake in Raspberry Pi
(2023) Eben Upton Interview on Raspberry Pi Availability Update and Painful Decisions
(2023) Raspberry Pi Produced 10 Million RP2040s in 2021, More Pi Stores Likely
(2022) 10 Years of Raspberry Pi: the $25 Computer Has Come a Long Way
(2021) Raspberry Pi Raises Price for First Time, Reintroduces 1 GB Model for $35
... and many more.

Original Submission

Related Stories

Raspberry Pi Raises Price for First Time, Reintroduces 1 GB Model for $35 18 comments

Raspberry Pi 4 2GB gets a price hike to $45, 1GB version coming back for $35

We've been used to getting better hardware for cheaper or in the case of Raspberry Pi model B boards a stable $35 price tag since 2021 with gradual improvements to the hardware. Many companies already had to hike prices for their board due to supply constraints, and Raspberry Pi Trading has become the latest victim of the increase in components with the Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB RAM going back to its original $45 price tag, and the re-introduction of the Raspberry Pi 4 1GB for $35. We are told this is temporary, and once everything settles the Raspberry Pi 4 2GB should sell for $35 as was the case since last year. This is the very first price hike in Raspberry Pi (short) history.

[...] Eben Upton explains the Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 400, and Compute Module 4 will not be as badly impacted as earlier products based on a 40nm manufacturing process. That means they'll have to make some tough choices notably prioritizing Compute Module 3, Compute Module 3+, and Raspberry Pi 3B, at the cost of the Raspberry Pi 3B+ which will fall at the back of the queue mostly to cater to the needs of industrial customers. People still using Raspberry Pi 3B+ in their design are recommended to switch to Raspberry Pi 4 with 1GB RAM.

Also at The Register.

Previously: 2 GB Model of Raspberry Pi 4 Gets Permanent Price Cut to $35

Original Submission

10 Years of Raspberry Pi: the $25 Computer Has Come a Long Way 40 comments

10 years of Raspberry Pi: The $25 computer has come a long way:

This little device has revolutionized computing since it came on the scene. We take a look back at its journey.

The UK in the 1980s was ground zero for the microcomputer revolution. Cheap computers based on 8-bit processors flooded the market, teaching a generation to program using built-in BASIC interpreters. Homes had devices like Sinclair's ZX81 and Spectrum, while schools used Acorn's BBC Micro.

These weren't like today's PCs. They were designed and built to be accessible, with IO ports that could be accessed directly from the built-in programming environments. Turn one on, and you were ready to start programming.

But then things changed: 16-bit machines were more expensive, and technical and marketing failures started to remove pioneers from the market. The final nail in the coffin was the IBM PC and its myriad clones, focused on the business market and designed to run, not build, applications.

It became harder to learn computing skills, with home computers slowly replaced by gaming consoles, smartphones and tablets. How could an inquisitive child learn to code or build their own hardware?

Raspberry Pi Produced 10 Million RP2040s in 2021, More Pi Stores Likely 11 comments

There's almost an "infinite" supply of RP2040 chips:

In a recent episode of Tom's Hardware: The Pi Cast, Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton revealed that 10 million RP2040 chips have been made since 2021 and that there could be more Raspberry Pi stores opening in the future.

Tom's Hardware Editor-in-Chief and The Pi Cast co-host Avram Piltch asked Upton "Why are there no shortage of RP2040 based products?" and Upton's answer "We took some big risks" lead to the revelation that Raspberry Pi purchased 500 wafers in 2021.

From a wafer, the yield is approximately 2000 die for 30mm. Newer chips, such as those in the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W and Raspberry Pi 4 use a 45mm square die, respectively the BCM2710 and BCM2711 packages. From a wafer Raspberry Pi expect to make 1400 die.

Upton then does the math and from 500 wafers, each yielding around 21,000 die, there are around 10 million RP2040 chips.

[...] This "stockpile" of chips from 2021 are what many of us keen Pico users are currently consuming, be it in the form of Raspberry Pi Pico , Pico W or third-party boards. Upton then talks about what is "effectively an infinite supply [of RP2040]" based upon how many die can be created per wafer. This is a refreshing statement, given how global supply chains have been hit by the pandemic.

Related: Raspberry Pi Adds 100,000 Units to Supply Chain, Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels in 2023

Original Submission

Eben Upton Interview on Raspberry Pi Availability Update and Painful Decisions 34 comments

Technologist David Bombal has a one-hour interview with Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton. The interview covers a range of topics, starting with the big questions about unit availability and when more stock will be available.

00:00 - Intro: Tough Environment
00:07 - Intro: Eben Upton hacked the network as a kid
00:40 - Raspberry Pi shortage (stock availability)
07:22 - People say that you're not looking after hobbyists!
10:12 - Raspberry Pi OS is backwards compatible
12:37 - The pain affecting all of us
16:33 - The origin of the Raspberry Pi // How it started
23:16 - Eben hacked the school network // Creating an environment for young hackers
32:05 - Changing the Cambridge and the World
35:00 - African growth and plans
40:03 - General purpose Computer vs iPhone vs Chromebook
43:28 - Possible IPO and Raspberry Pi Foundation
44:50 - The Raspberry Pi RP2040
48:33 - How is Raspberry Pi funded?
49:10 - How is the next product decided?
50:22 - Raspberry Pi Foundation sticking to its roots
51:17 - Advice for the youth or anyone new
56:01 - Changing roles // From tech to business
57:08 - Do you need to go to university? // Do you need degrees?
01:00:05 - Learning from experiences
01:01:44 - Creating opportunities
01:05:05 - Conclusion

No transcript is available and Eben does speak very quickly. Also published on YouTube if you do not have the obligatory LBRY account to block the algorithmic "recommendations".

Arm Acquires Minority Stake in Raspberry Pi 8 comments

Arm Acquires Minority Stake in Raspberry Pi

Arm Holdings plc today announced that it has made a strategic investment, a minority stake in Raspberry Pi Ltd — the arm of Raspberry Pi responsible for the new Raspberry Pi 5 and past Raspberry Pi products.

[...] "Arm technology has always been central to the platforms we create, and this investment is an important milestone in our longstanding partnership," said Eben Upton, CEO, Raspberry Pi.

[...] Arm's minority stake in Raspberry Pi Ltd also shows a firm commitment to the continuation of Arm CPUs in future Raspberry Pis. With the rise of RISC-V CPUs in devices ranging from $9 to hundreds of dollars it is clear to see that we will not be seeing a RISC-V based Raspberry Pi for the foreseeable future.

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, @10:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, @10:11PM (#1342710)

    In the old days, you'd become publicly traded to raise money to grow a business

    Today, you do it to give your investors an "exit strategy"

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, @11:06PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, @11:06PM (#1342714)

    The RaspberryPi has been a very well supported ecosystem for quite a while now. I've used alternatives, the FoxG20, BifferBoard, various BeagleBoards. None has been nearly as well supported. Any problems? You're on your own. So what alternatives are up and coming, if the Pi gets the usual MBA crapification. Preferably running a debian derivative, good community. Maybe RiscV?

    • (Score: 2) by namefags_are_jerks on Friday February 02, @01:15AM (2 children)

      by namefags_are_jerks (17638) on Friday February 02, @01:15AM (#1342724)

      I'm thinking the RPi (and the 'Maker Movement') has peaked a few years ago now.. While the mainstays are still around, the influx of new companies (and SM influencers/wannabe-YTpros pushing the products..) has about dried up. Even "STEM" branded products are disappearing from the electronics stores here.

      Their future business looks totally MBA-crapification like was said -- stuff like the Pico, which was trying to use the RPi bandwagon into the STM32/Atmega-dominated space, but /really/ flew above most purchaser's heads to personally get down with. No Impoverished Teenage Nerd would really want one.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by canopic jug on Friday February 02, @06:43AM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 02, @06:43AM (#1342756) Journal

      The RaspberryPi has been a very well supported ecosystem for quite a while now.

      One of the main reasons for that excellent support and strong community has been that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been plowing generous amounts of money in to education since the beginning. That means that there is all kinds of entry-level support, too.

      So while other boards might be cheaper at the moment of checkout at a web shop, they are not cheaper in the long run: That tiny different in price ensures that there really is that broad community base. I fear losing that if they go with an IPO. As someone else has already mentioned it used to be that an IPO was to raise money to grow a business. Nowadays, due to the loss of control in handing the reins over to Wall Street's nanosecond high-frequency traders and many a handful of day traders, all that will be most likely eliminated as the edges get shaved off again and again until there is nothing left. Then they can host a "successful bankruptcy" and divvy up what's left for their own further benefit.

      Eben's track record is not perfect, he did bring in microsofters and the harmful effects of that are still ongoing. However I'm hoping he'll do the right thing and put off an IPO indefinitely and back off of the talks with the banskters.

      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by VLM on Friday February 02, @01:18PM

      by VLM (445) on Friday February 02, @01:18PM (#1342783)

      So what alternatives are up and coming

      Mini PC. Intel NUC size. At peak the Raspi were selling for around $200 and the upper one hundred range gets you a little mini PC that arrives with probably pirated windows installed but Linux installs pretty easily over it.

      Specs are usually a lot higher. Power consumption usually about twice as high, like 8 watts instead of 4, but that doesn't matter unless you're using batteries. And if you're using batteries WTF you'd use a pi is a mystery anyway.

      During the covid supply chain crunch anywhere I'd have stuck a pi running linux, I stuck a micro pc for less money.

      I think the pi is going away as a meme. From the top down, "little PCs" cost almost nothing more and are a million times more capable, and from the bottom up, use CircuitPython or similar on a $5 ARM or ESP32 board. In between, there's not much apps left. Like the point of an IPO is to get sold off to either a "bigger" or "smaller" dev board company.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday February 02, @01:31PM

      by takyon (881) <> on Friday February 02, @01:31PM (#1342786) Journal

      RISC-V will have the same problems as ARM, if not worse.

      Just Wait™ long enough and the alternatives *might* become better supported: []

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snotnose on Friday February 02, @12:29AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday February 02, @12:29AM (#1342720)

    Once he IPOs he can wish all he wants, but Wall Street will drive things.

    My ducks are not in a row. I don't know where some of them are, and I'm pretty sure one of them is a turkey.