I get to write about a lot of cool creations here at PC Gamer, lots of impressive and creative DIY solutions. At the heart of many of these is a Raspberry Pi of some sort (opens in new tab). This company is known for delivering cheap computing hardware made to be played and experimented with, and boy do folks out there do just that.
The company has just delivered a bit of a good news bad news update about future production in an interview with ExplainingComputers (opens in new tab) (via Ars Technica (opens in new tab)) that you can watch embedded at the top of this article. Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi's CEO, revealed supply pressures will mean we won't see the new Raspberry Pi 5 launching in 2023, but that's largely so there's plenty of Pi for everyone in the meantime.
The Raspberry Pi 5 was originally expected sometime before the second half of 2023. It was set to be an upgraded board featuring a bunch of general improvements over the current Raspberry Pi 4 (opens in new tab). Things like a faster processor and Wi-Fi, more RAM, and all the sort of things that would be lovely to see in this credit card-sized computer. For now, the good old Pi 4 will have to do, and thankfully it should be readily available.
In the interview, Upton explains that most large orders for these teeny computers aren't from big companies. Instead it's often smaller businesses that are either using the Pi or selling products made on the Pi platform. These companies buy a few hundred at a time to suit their needs, which is very hard to do with current supply constraints. Shortages of the Pi units have the potential to really affect these outfits, so focusing on increased supply over releasing something new makes a lot of sense.
It also goes against the immediate DIY nature of the Pi platform to have customers on waiting lists. It's always been about getting units into people's hands as easily and cost-effectively as possible. Gatekeeping, even by supply constraints, goes hard against the Pi philosophy.
"We don't want people to get on a waiting list," Upton tells ExplainingComputers in the interview. "We want people to wake up in the morning, want a Raspberry Pi, then get one at 9am the next morning."
So instead of seeing a Pi 5 in 2023, the company is working on recovering stock this year. This will also give Raspberry Pi additional time to make something new and great when the supply allows it, rather than working with the current uncertainties. It's likely the next Raspberry Pi we see might be a little while off, but it'll be certainly worth the wait.