In a recent episode of Tom’s Hardware: The Pi Cast, Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton revealed that 10 million RP2040 chips have been manufactured since 2021, and more Raspberry Pi stores will open in the future. revealed that it is possible.
500 wafers equals 10 million RP2040
Avram Piltch, editor-in-chief of Tom’s Hardware and co-host of The Pi Cast, asked Upton, “Why isn’t there a shortage of RP2040-based products?” Upton’s answer “We took some big risks” leads to the revelation that Raspberry Pi bought his 500 wafers in 2021.
Upton said the offer to buy 500 wafers and subsequent decision was made within a day. For each wafer he has 21,000-22,000 RP2040 dies with a die size of about 2mm square. Upton then compares the “big chip world” where the die is his 30mm square. His original BCM2835 SoC (used in his original Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi Zero) is based on this technology.
Yield from wafer is about 2000 dies at 30mm. Newer chips such as the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W and Raspberry Pi 4 use 45mm square dies in BCM2710 and BCM2711 packages respectively. Raspberry Pi expects him to make 1400 dies from his single wafer.
Upton then does the math, yielding about 10 million RP2040 chips from 500 wafers producing about 21,000 dies each.
This “stockpile” of chips for 2021 is what many avid Pico users are currently consuming in the form of Raspberry Pi Pico, Pico W, or third-party boards.Upton then talks about what a “virtually endless supply” is [of RP2040]” It is based on the number of dies that can be made per wafer. This is a refreshing statement given how global supply chains have been affected by the pandemic.
Upton is keen to bring enthusiasts to the Raspberry Pi Pico / RP2040, backing this up by stating that he wants Pico to be a never-ending product, strategically configuring “millions” of boards. and many other components (buck/boost converters, Wi-Fi, etc.). These bulk purchases mean that it’s virtually impossible for the Raspberry Pi Pico to run out of stock.
More Raspberry Pi Stores Coming
During the show, co-host Ash Hill asked Upton about opening more Raspberry Pi stores, and Upton talked about potential overseas expansion. It has a community and may be a candidate location for future stores. This will be the first store not based in the UK.
The Raspberry Pi store in the heart of Cambridge is located on the ground floor of the Grand Arcade shopping mall. Opened in February 2019, the store offers accessories and books from the Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi itself, and many partners. Stores are not just for sales. Often there are events, gatherings, like conferences.
The store, which opened in 2019, was less than a year before the pandemic hit, effectively closing all non-essential retail outlets due to UK government guidelines during a series of lockdowns. 2022 was the first ‘perfect’ trading year for stores as government Covid restrictions were lifted.
Upton has hinted at a potential second Raspberry Pi store in the UK, with Leeds being a candidate. At this point, an expanded “pop-up” store seems more likely, giving the Raspberry Pi time to figure out what the “next chapter” might look like.
Raspberry Pi has other ‘pop-up’ stores across the UK. The first pop-up was on London’s famous Oxford Street, and the store has since moved to Gateshead and Edinburgh across the UK.for In 2023, the store will return to tour Head south to Southampton, then back to Birmingham, Leeds and finally Gateshead.