Arm makes strategic investment in Raspberry Pi

Arm investment Raspberry Pi

Arm has just acquired a minority stake in Raspberry Pi through a strategic investment in order “to deliver critical solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) developer community.” Paul Williamson, SVP and GM, Internet of Things Line of Business, Arm explains the rationale behind the investment:

Arm and Raspberry Pi share a vision to make computing accessible for all, by lowering barriers to innovation so that anyone, anywhere can learn, experience and create new IoT solutions.

With the rapid growth of edge and endpoint AI applications, platforms like those from Raspberry Pi, built on Arm, are critical to driving the adoption of high-performance IoT devices globally by enabling developers to innovate faster and more easily. This strategic investment is further proof of our continued commitment to the developer community, and to our partnership with Raspberry Pi.

Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi founder and CEO, also provided remarks:

Arm technology has always been central to the platforms we create, and this investment is an important milestone in our longstanding partnership

Using Arm technology as the foundation of our current and future products offers us access to the compute performance, energy efficiency and extensive software ecosystem we need, as we continue to remove barriers to entry for everyone, from students and enthusiasts, to professional developers deploying commercial IoT systems at scale.

There was no detail about the amount invested or further details about the agreement so that’s about all that we know. I don’t usually write about business news, but in this case, Raspberry Pi has also been a RISC-V member since January 2019, and it’s unclear how Arm’s investment may influence future development of RISC-V chips and boards by Raspberry Pi.

While I think there’s zero chance that the Linux SBCs from the company will use a RISC-V processor in the near to medium term, so I was expecting a potential Raspberry Pi RISC-V microcontroller (e.g. Raspberry Pi RP05) and Pico-V board to eventually come out. But unless I missed something, there’s been zero news about Raspberry Pi and RISC-V in recent years, and Arm’s investment may seal the fate of any potential Raspberry Pi RISC-V MCU.

Thanks to Thomas for the tip.

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13 Comments
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Mike
Mike
6 months ago

Well that was a foolish move. Eben Upton has never been able to keep the pi’s in stock since its creation. All it’s going to take is some company to produce a board a little cheaper, keep them in stock, same great OS the Pi has and that will be the end of pi.

Stuart Naylor
6 months ago

Upton is Raspberries weakest link in the comedy section of CEO’s. I don’t think they have any choice as Broadcom is a cul-de-sac the Pi5 is what it is because of Broadcom and they also had to create a Southbridge for it. Likely because VC7 is realtively poor they are making concession for next gen to use a Mali. Raspberry should be able to use its economies of sale and now links with Arm as also the historical Cambridge links are strong. The nolonger have a viable GPU option and also NPU option has never been tackled which for IoT/Edge… Read more »

Bill
Bill
6 months ago

Arm and Raspberry Pi share a vision to make computing accessible for all”

ARM Please prove it by producing, by default, drivers for GPU’s used in your reference design products for the open source communities.

And Upton, now that you are full capitalist, please wind up the whole charitable status of the Pi Foundation, which is an insult to anything that has genuine charitable status.

tkaiser
tkaiser
6 months ago

‘Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd.’ is there since early 2013 with Upton still being CEO of both Foundation and the new company. He resigned as foundation CEO later that year though to concentrate on the commercial side of things.

And recently I learned since 2021 it’s called only ‘Raspberry Pi Ltd.’ any more.

Stuart Naylor
6 months ago

They where supposedly collaborating but still to see any fruits and don’t know if the Panthor driver is a 1st or without help.
https://www.collabora.com/news-and-blog/news-and-events/a-helping-arm-for-panfrost.html

Sfinx
Sfinx
6 months ago

closed chips from broadcom are useless in modern open-minded world. pi is the last board I’ve personally would select. it is the same like select apple devices for IoT

David Willmore
David Willmore
6 months ago

This almost sounds like a move from ARM to try to keep Rpis ARM. As Jean-Luc points out, Raspberry Pi Ltd. is a member of the RISC-V group. Add in the new RP1 chip that makes any processor with a few lanes of PCI-E able to have a full RPi 40 pin header compatable device, and you have a clear ‘flight risk’.

Ztrawberry
Ztrawberry
6 months ago

Yes David, my thoughts exactly. The ‘risk’ of RISC-V is indeed too big for ARM to ignore and the RPi plays and important role at the bottom-end. Hell, even US senate wants to get involved to regulate it 🙂

Dru
Dru
6 months ago

Contrary to other opinions, I am good with this.

RISCV is a bit overrated. The people behind RISCV are fine people, and they are trying very hard. However, they are still missing important architectural features. This is the case even though RISCV is 10+ years old. They need more time.

ARM32 and ARM64 are very well designed architectures.
I also think Raspberry Pi have done a great job keeping their prices down while continuing to improve their software and documentation.

dave
dave
6 months ago

which features is risc-v missing?

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
6 months ago

Mali and restrictive licensing???

Khadas VIM4 SBC