High demand drives Raspberry Pi shortage

May 20, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
High demand drives Raspberry Pi shortage
Manufacturers are seeing shortages of Raspberry Pi boards, which Eben Upton of the foundation says is more from a boom in demand than chip shortages.

Raspberry Pi boards are in increasingly short supply as demand has exploded and lead times have increased for a wide range of components leading to delays through 2021.

“This is a particularly tough time. The main distributors Farnell and RS and both are heavily impacted by the pandemic and Brexit,” said Maria Chizzali, chief operating officer of Sfera Labs in Italy that has recently launched a sensor system based on various versions of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4.

“It’s not easy to procure the Raspberry Pi4 module so we have secured supply with two versions and will launch with those. As soon as availability goes back to normal we will supply other options,” she said. “We have a relationship with manufacturers and buy directly from them and that helps and we have orders to mid 2022 and we try to manage the supply for those.”

“Raspberry Pi is a high-demand product in the market but, like many, has experienced supply chain challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nicki Young, President of OKdo, a subsidiary of Electrocomponents alongside RS Components. “These challenges come about due to a significantly increasing reliance and demand on chips for use in consumer electronics to cars and everything in between as the IoT and connected movements continue to gather pace.”

“This has had a near-term impact on the inventory levels with OKdo and RS Components as we've had an overnight doubling of lead times,” she said. “We are managing this carefully with the inventory we do have available up until the end of the calendar year when we anticipate more availability. Okdo continues to work with our customers and partners to provide fulfilment globally, supporting their needs and their demand on the limited inventory we do have.”

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