This article was originally published as a TechRepublic cover story. For Raspberry Pi, the passage of time over the past year has been marked by the launches of a series of new products (four devices in 2020, to be precise, plus another device in January this year), a feat the British computer maker managed to pull off despite the country being plunged into a series of COVID lockdowns. Demand for its tiny computers soared due to the overnight switch to home working. On top of that, after the launch of Raspberry Pi's High Quality Camera in April 2020, the company went on to launch the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 one month later. This would be followed by the Compute Module 4, the Raspberry Pi 400, and most recently, the $4 Raspberry Pi Pico in January this year.
One of the world's most popular and innovative computers officially launched on February 29, 2012. Eight years and 31 million units sold later, the Raspberry Pi remains one of the most important devices, powering a huge community of makers, students and businesses. What started as a small project, meant to increase applications for Cambridge University's computer science program has become a global movement. Everyone self-respecting tech geek should own a Raspberry Pi. If you don't already have one, it might be time to get started.
The British maker of the Raspberry Pi computer has raised the price of its 2GB RAM Raspberry Pi 4 by $10 due to the global semiconductor shortage. The price hike, though temporary, is yet another example of how much the chip supply chain has changed since the pandemic struck. Raspberry Pi dropped the price of the 2GB Pi 4 by $10 in February 2020 to $35, but as of today it's back to $45. "Unfortunately, cost increases caused by the current shortage mean that this product is not currently economically viable at this reduced price point. We are therefore moving it back to $45 on a temporary basis," writes Raspberry Pi Ltd CEO Eben Upton, noting that in the entire history of Raspberry Pi, it had never – until now – had to increase the price of a product. Automakers can't shift cars because they lack key chips, while gaming fans have found it difficult to buy Sony's Play Station 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X consoles.
The Raspberry Pi has sold 10 million units - continuing its success as the most popular British computer ever. The computer, about the same size as a credit card, was first released in 2012 and is widely used as an educational tool for programming. However, it can also be used for many practical purposes such as streaming music to several devices in a house. A new starter kit for Raspberry Pi, including a keyboard and mouse, has been released to celebrate the success. The kit also includes an SD storage card, official case, power supply, HDMI cable, mouse, keyboard and guidebook - it costs 99 plus VAT and will be available in the coming weeks.
A smaller version of the popular Raspberry Pi 3 will go on sale in a few months. Raspberry Pi is developing a new version of its Compute Module, a single-board computer that plugs into specific on-board memory slots. The new Pi will be more like a mini-computer inside a computer, and it won't come with a power supply. The Compute Module will have similar circuitry to that of Raspberry Pi 3, a wildly successful computer that can be a PC replacement. But it will be smaller, with the memory, CPU, and storage embedded tightly on a board.