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Get in the C: Raspberry Pi 4 can handle a wider range of USB adapters thanks to revised design's silent arrival

Resistance no longer futile?

There is good news for prospective buyers of the diminutive Raspberry Pi 4 as the USB-C issue that stopped the device working with some power supplies has been fixed.

The issue arose with the change to a USB Type-C connector for powering the device. An error in detection circuitry on the Pi side caused some power adapters to mistake the computer for an audio device, and therefore not shove the expected power down the line. The Raspberry Pi Foundation's own USB power supply (yours for £8) was fine, other cables (marked with an "e") were less so.

Pi fans have been speculating over the last few months that the fix had landed after purchasers reported spotting a new design in the wild.

Back when the snafu was discovered, Pi supremo Eben Upton told The Register that a solution for the issue would "probably get rolled up into a design-for-manufacture spin of the PCB at some point".

We asked Upton this week if the fix was out and he confirmed the update had indeed been rolled into a PCB Design for Manufacturing (DFM) process. He added that he would have expected the update "to have reached end users by now".

Possibly keen to avoid what some term "The Osborne Effect" and clogging up the channel with older models as customers awaited the new device, the revision has emerged with very little fanfare.

The update, Upton told us, had also moved "the WLCSP SD card voltage switch to the top side" to protect it from damage, and also "silk screen tweaks to reduce solder bridging in manufacture".

Upton said the 4GB version of the Pi 4 remained "the high-volume runner". Back at launch, he reckoned it would be the 2GB version that would fly off the shelves, but by September he acknowledged that the 4GB was most popular.

We doubt there are too many tears at the foundation about the £54 version outselling the £44 version. Interestingly, the £34 1GB version is showing as out of stock from several major vendors. Our recommendation would be a stretch to 2GB or 4GB regardless if Pi ownership is your thing.

We asked Upton some further questions about the possibility of modifying or recalling existing devices, but he has yet to reply. Those users affected by the problem will have most likely dealt with it through use of an alternative power supply or cable by now.

Either that, or consigned the thing to the Drawer of Discarded Gizmos. ®

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