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Don’t expect a Raspberry Pi 5 in 2023, says Raspboss Eben Upton
The team needs a year to recover and figure out how not to stress supply chains before planning an upgrade
If you’re hoping a new Raspberry Pi will pear in 2023, we have bad news: Rasbposs Eben Upton says work on a Raspberry Pi 5 won’t start until the second half of the year, meaning delivery is a way off yet.
In an interview with Christopher Barnatt’s Explaining Computers YouTube channel, Upton revisited a lot of the news The Register reported last week about the growing availability of Pis this holiday season, after a few years in which a certain virus kicked the filling out of the Pi supply chain and left mere crumbs for buyers to fight over.
Barnatt asked Upton about future Pi products, especially a Pi 5.
Which was when Upton delivered the melancholy news.
“Don't expect a Pi 5 five next year,” Upton said, explaining that the Pi team sees 2023 as a year to spend “recovering from what just happened to all of us.”
And while he feels the Pi team could conceivably crank out a Pi 5 in 2023, he thinks it’s a bad idea to try.
“You know what would really be a disaster? If we tried to introduce some sort of Raspberry Pi 5 product and couldn't ramp [production] properly because of constraint.”
Upton also wants to avoid introducing a Pi 5 and seeing that product cannibalize the supply chain in ways that hurts production of other Pi products.
He said it’s fair to assume that the Raspberry Pi 5 would be built on a CPU that uses a process node previously unused in the single board machines but added that it’s not just CPU availability that determines how many Pis can be built.
“Some of them [supply chain issues] are about packaging some of them are about test capacity some are about substrates,” he said.
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Upton named the second half of 2023 likely to see supply chain concerns abate, and that’s when the time will be right to start thinking about a fifth version of the Raspberry Pi.
Which likely means that machine will debut the following year, meaning five years could conceivably pass between the June 2019 debut of the Pi 4 and the Pi 5.
Earlier in the interview, Upton pointed out that Pi eaters have only ever had to wait around three years for a new Pi recipe. But he added that in recent years Raspberry Pi Trading, the entity that makes Pis, has delivered worthy upgrades to existing models. The Raspberry Pi 400, for example, baked a model 4 Pi into a keyboard not long after the bare board debuted, while the Raspberry Pi 4 was updated with double the RAM less than a year after launch. Upton also reminded viewers of myriad software updates that make the Pi more appetising, such as the improved 3D support that landed in August 2022.
The thrust of his argument that it may be a while since the rPi 4 debuted, but the platform has not stood still. And won’t, even without a new model on the drawing board. ®