Raspberry Pi 5 Not Launching Until After 2023

Raspberry Pi 3A+, Raspberry Pi Zero W and Raspberry Pi 4
(Image credit: Future)

As we have previously reported, Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton announced via a recent blog post that 100,000 units would be making their way into the supply chain, and that the in the latter-half of 2023 we can expect stock levels to return to pre-pandemic normality. That said, the supply chain shortage has impacted the normal cadence of Raspberry Pi releases, and according to Upton in an interview with Christopher Barnatt from Explaining Computers it means we sadly won't be seeing a Raspberry Pi 5 in 2023.

In the interview, Explaining Computers host Barnatt asks Upton about the future of the Raspberry Pi and if there are new models on the horizon. Upton then talks about how the past couple of years have been "weird" (pandemic and global chip shortage) and it has disrupted the cadence of Raspberry Pi development and release. Upton states that "the platform [Raspberry Pi 4] has been around longer than any Raspberry Pi platform has been around before, I think.".

At 29 minutes and 30 seconds Upton breaks the bad news, "Don't expect a Pi 5 next year [2023]" Upton then expands and explains that 2023 is a "recovery year". The recovery year is there to help Raspberry Pi and the technology industry recover from the double-punch of a pandemic and a global chip shortage which has caused a slowdown across the world. 

Upton explains "What would really be a disaster would be if we tried to introduce some kind of Raspberry Pi 5 product" Upton provides a scenario akin to that of the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, launched midway through the pandemic. It has been relatively unobtainium since release. 

Upton said he is very concerned about the consequences "if we introduced a Raspberry Pi 5 product and it couldn't ramp properly because of constraints, or if we introduced some Raspberry Pi 5 product and it somehow cannibalized some supply chain element." Upton then explains how cannibalization could impact the recovery of Raspberry Pi 4 and the 3 / 3+ and that Raspberry Pi has to be "ginger" as they move forward with its recovery. 

"The good news is the second half of next year, 2024 onwards, some of those things start to abate. And that's the point where we can start to think about what might be a sensible Raspberry Pi 5 platform," Upton said. 

Upton talks about how in the years since the Raspberry Pi 4 was released, it has seen performance upgrades, largely down to bumping the stock 1.5 GHz CPU speed to 1.8 GHz which was first implemented in the Raspberry Pi 400 and its impressive keyboard heatsink. The Pi 4 has also seen many software improvements and energy optimizations (the Pi 4 was notable for running rather warm in the early days) in its protracted history.

The normal cadence of Raspberry Pi releases is that we see a new "model B" every three to four years. But the global chip shortage has added an additional delay, with the Raspberry Pi 5 now likely seeing a 2024 release date. At five years this would mark the longest gap between Raspberry Pi releases in the almost 11 year history of the product.

We've reached out to Upton for further comment and will update this story with any additional information we gather. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Raspberry Pi Model B Release Dates
Model BRelease DateCadence
Raspberry PiFebruary 2012
Raspberry Pi B+July 20142 Years 5 Months
Raspberry Pi 2February 20156 Months
Raspberry Pi 3February 20161 Year
Raspberry Pi 4June 20193 Years 4 Months

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".

  • sundragon
    Yeah, we get the pandemic was hard but there is an obvious and measurable lag between Rasperry Pi's post pandemic sales compared to almost every other technology sector with the same reliance on chips: Cars/GPUs/Motherboards/Networking/IOT, etc. I'm not sure what the cause was but possibly poor management - I know gasp
    I understand they wanted to focus on industry that relies on RBPi's for products but they have opened the door for competition from smaller Chinese/Taiwanese manufacturers that are now producing better hardware. The only saving grace is the software support being lagging. That being said, that gap in software support is closing because the community has been looking for alternatives. it's been 3 years, 6 months since the 4B's launch and at this rate it will lag by another two years for the RBPi 5 - if Upton's comment about "End of 2023" being when sales get back to normal, and THEN they will launch a 5 in 2024... Which, would mean 5+ years. Yeah, nope. You mismanaged your post pandemic production and now are scrambling to fulfill orders. Again, EVERY industry has had similar issues to overcome and is for the most part back to normal.

    BTW, the recent video of Upton saying they care about the scalpers should have happened already - we are all dealing with over priced PIs. I'm glad you finally are waking up to the issue but again, too little too late for anyone that's been looking to purchase a Pi for ALL of 2021 and 2022 - it's been scalpers doubling or more. Meanwhile the competition has been selling better hardware for less. The video and this apologetic response just seem like they are scrambling to reduce bad press before it comes to bite them on the *** :LOL:

    So bring on the competition, I love RBPI's mission initially to serve the maker community and tinkerers but you snooze, you lose. You focus on industry then you will lose the market that put you on the map -- And that is a lesson that we'll be reading about in 2023 and 2024 ¯\(ツ)
    Reply
  • zintoki
    You should stop selling your production to companies who resell RPis in overpriced packs and there will be no pandemic shortage...
    Reply
  • CDS1972
    Recovery year? Makes me wonder if they have an excess of Pi 4 still in inventory and want to try to sale as much of it as they can before they Pi 5.
    Reply
  • vern72
    I'm fine with it. Take your time. My Pi's do everything I want them to do. The only thing I'd want is more RAM right now.
    Reply
  • HideOut
    CDS1972 said:
    Recovery year? Makes me wonder if they have an excess of Pi 4 still in inventory and want to try to sale as much of it as they can before they Pi 5.
    You clearly are clueless. They are months behind on demand.
    Reply
  • tw37
    Ebon and the pi foundation - I empathize with you, but also have to say that as makers it's been a long, agonizing wait, we've had enough. We understand you need to protect your business, the commercial organizations you think your business needs to support. However, not having access to boards for ~2+ years is downright ridiculous, nothing less. Time will be best judge of your actions, it's outcomes. From what i've been seeing the maker community is tired of sitting, waiting for Pi's to turn up on shelves. It's time the maker community rallied around other platforms, helped create healthy competition so that we have other options.

    As much as i wish the Pi foundation success in all the great work it does, i also will be supporting other platforms in the coming months, years to make sure we have a more healthier + larger ecosystem of stable/reliable/sustainable maker platforms.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    Wasn't the pi 4 supposed to have a massive backlog of orders. (Like years long) But the pi zero easy to obtain?

    Moving to a new ARM chip would exacerbate those issues I believe.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    My guess is that he's waiting for semiconductor fabrication prices to stabilize, so they can decide which node to use. That will enable them decide things like which CPU core to use & how big to make the GPU. Right now, too much is probably up in the air.

    I think he's probably waiting until the Cortex-A76 enters their price range, and I'd guess it'll be made on a 14 nm node.

    Anyone who doesn't want to wait can go ahead and order an Orange Pi 5, today. Do note that you'll likely face more headaches and issues with it, than you would with a Raspberry Pi.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    sundragon said:
    there is an obvious and measurable lag between Rasperry Pi's post pandemic sales compared to almost every other technology sector with the same reliance on chips:
    They've recently had one supplier discontinue Pi manufacturing, because it was no longer profitable for them. I believe an issue the Pi Foundation faces is that they want to avoid/minimize any structural pricing changes, so they can ultimately continue to offer it at the previous MSRP.

    sundragon said:
    I understand they wanted to focus on industry that relies on RBPi's for products but they have opened the door for competition from smaller Chinese/Taiwanese manufacturers that are now producing better hardware.
    There already was competition, for many years before the pandemic. I believe the Raspberry Pi Foundation doesn't mind competition, being a not-for-profit organization.

    sundragon said:
    I love RBPI's mission initially to serve the maker community and tinkerers
    Their primary mission is to get cheap, usable hardware into the hands of kids & educators, around the world. All the other stuff is just gravy.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    zintoki said:
    You should stop selling your production to companies who resell RPis in overpriced packs and there will be no pandemic shortage...
    They're doing this, I believe.

    CDS1972 said:
    Recovery year? Makes me wonder if they have an excess of Pi 4 still in inventory and want to try to sale as much of it as they can before they Pi 5.
    No, quite the opposite. They have no inventory and feel they need that long to fulfill the unmet/backlogged demand.

    vern72 said:
    The only thing I'd want is more RAM right now.
    More RAM than... 8 GB? Why?
    Reply