Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller has been available for one dollar in single quantities for about half a year, with at the time, 500- and 3400-pieces reel pricing to be determined.
But Raspberry Pi Trading has now started to sell the chip in bulk with reels of 3,400 and 500 pieces directly to businesses for a unit price of respectively 70 and 80 cents via the new Raspberry Pi Direct website. Distributors have been selling reels for a while, but closer to 85 cents to 95 cents per unit.
That basically means smaller quantities should still be purchased through distributors, but it makes more sense to purchase reels directly from Raspberry Pi Trading. Eben Upton also says they have enough wafer stock to produce 20 million chips with more on the way, so no shortage is expected. That contrasts with the current situation with many STM32 microcontrollers when some companies have orders for batches to be manufactured as far as 2027.
Eben further explains one of the reasons they have an edge in terms of supply: the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller is built on a more modern semiconductor process (TSMC 40LP) than most other microcontrollers. As a result, each die only occupies 2mm2, meaning each 300mm wafer yields about 21,000 dies. So Raspberry Pi Trading may benefit from the microcontroller shortage, while other companies benefit from the relative Raspberry Pi SBC and SoM shortage.
Note that Raspberry Pi Direct is only selling to businesses, so in case you wanted to get a reel with 500 pieces purchased under your name this won’t work. A company name is required during registration, and they only accept bank transfers from the company account. US, UK, and EU companies will require extra information. My account was immediately approved, and I could add a 500-piece reel for $400.
In the next screen (not shown) with address and phone number, $80 in taxes was added for a total of $480, which was odd since I selected Hong Kong. But taxes were gone in the next screen after clicking on Shipping, with instead $75 added for shipping by DHL.
Clicking on Continue to payment will reveal more information on the same page with the option to select a different billing address.
I’ve stopped at this point since I don’t exactly need 500 RaspberryPi RP2040…
For people who are not familiar with microcontroller pricing, Raspberry Pi RP2040 pricing is amazing in 2022, but that’s roughly the price one might expect from a similar chip, and there are certainly cheaper microcontrollers, albeit less capable and convenient to use, such as the PMS150C that starts at just 3 cents.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.