December 8, 2023

PBX Science

VoIP & PBX, Networking, DIY, Computers.

Raspberry Pi still in shortage but alternative “Pi” always there

5 min read

Raspberry Pi still in shortage but alternative “Pi” always there


Raspberry Pi still in shortage but alternative “Pi” always there.


In April Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton confirmed in News : The output of Raspberry Pi had been deeply affected by the shortage of various chips.

Chip shortage caused wide influence on various industries, which reply on various chips.

Half year passed, but the situation keeps unchanged, still a tough issue for many companies. 


As the price of Raspberry pi in market has soared too much, the cost-rising is another issue, which may make a company unprofitable. 


Raspberry Pi still in shortage but alternative "Pi" always there.


Even you could accept such high prices as above lists, but the supply is still unstable and not guaranteed.


For a product manager or project leaders, an alternative solution should be always a must even one product or supply is sufficient any time.



Official prices of Raspberry Pi 4


Raspberry Pi 4 Model B was released at the end of June 2019

  • Processor was upgraded to 1.5GHz Broadcom BCM2711 (quad-core Cortex-A72)
  • The onboard memory capacity was increased to 1/2/4GB, and the Bluetooth was upgraded to 5.0
  • 2 USB2.0 ports and 2 USB3.0 ports
  • power supply also uses a newer USB-C port.

Different models

  • 1GB model:  $35
  • 2GB model:  $45
  • 4GB model:  $45

On February 28, the price of the 2GB version will be reduced to $35, and the 1GB version will be gradually discontinued [20] ; the 8GB version will be launched on May 28, priced at $75 .

  • 2GB model:  $35
  • 8GB model:  $75



Is there similar products or “Pi” can be an alternative solution?


The answer is “YES” definitely.

Many technology companies have been copying “ideas” from Raspberry Pi after First generation Raspberry pi was released in 2012.

  • Credit-card size
  • Low power consumption
  • Rich interfaces
  • Wired and Wireless networking
  • Supported by many Linux
  • Low price

Orange Pi, NanoPi, Banana Pi…..

Chinese companies produced huge quantity various “Pis” in the past decade, such as Banana Pi, Orange Pi, Rock64, NanoPi,……

However, some Pis disappeared forever after strong competition, Orange Pi and NanoPi rank top 2 in Chinese “Pis”.

 You can go to to find them. 


For example,  this Orange Pi 3 LTS is only US$35 now:

  • 2G Flash memory
  • 8G EMMC
  • HDMI
  • WIFI+BT5.0
  • CPU: AllWinner H6 SoC
  • Android 9.0/ Ubuntu/ Debian OS

Raspberry Pi still in shortage but alternative "Pi" always there.


Orange Pi is not so perfect as what you expect on Raspberry Pi, but good enough for general uses. 

However, 2 issues you may need to pay attention:

  • Firmware: Official firmware still need to improve, but you can use third-party firmware instead, like ARMBIAN.  ARMBIAN firmware is much better than official one.
  • Accessories: not much as Raspberry Pi’s.
  • Community contribution:  The community scale is smaller comparing to Raspberry Pi’s

Hence, Orange Pi is still worth to try, especially not expensive.


Other alternatives:


Onion Omega2+

For $13, the Omega2+ is the cheapest IoT SBC device you can find here

. It runs the LEDE (Linux Embedded Development Environment) Linux system – an OpenWRT -based distribution.

Its components, cost and flexibility make it perfect for almost any type of IoT application, thanks to running a custom Linux system.

  • MT7688SoC
  • 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • 128MB DDR2 RAM
  • 32MB on-board flash storage
  • MicroSD Slot
  • USB 2.0
  • 12 GPIO Pins



NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit


This is a very unique and interesting alternative to the Raspberry Pi from NVIDIA for only $99 . Yes, it’s not a device that everyone can take full advantage of – it’s just for a certain group of geeks or developers.

NVIDIA explains it using the following use case:

The NVIDIA® Jetson Nano™ Developer Kit is a small, powerful computer that lets you run multiple neural networks in parallel for applications like image classification, object detection, image segmentation, and speech processing. All on an easy-to-use platform that runs on just 5 watts.

So basically, if you’re working on AI or deep learning, you can take advantage of the development equipment. In case you’re curious, a production compute module for the device will arrive in July 2019.

key parameter:

  • CPU: Quad-core ARM A57 @ 1.43 GHz
  • GPU: 128-core Maxwell
  • RAM: 4 GB 64-bit LPDDR4 25.6 GB/s
  • Display: HDMI 2.0
  • 4 x USB 3.0 and eDP 1.4


ASUS Tinker Board S

The ASUS Tinker Board S isn’t an affordable Raspberry Pi replacement for most people , but it’s a strong alternative. 

It features the same 40-pin connector you’d normally find on a standard Raspberry Pi 3, but offers a powerful processor and GPU. Likewise, the Tinker Board S happens to be the same size as a standard Raspberry Pi 3.

The main highlight of this board is the presence of the 16 GB eMMC (in layman’s terms, it has an SSD-like storage unit on the board to make it work faster.).

  • Rockchip Quad-Core RK3288 processor
  • 2 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Integrated Graphics Processor
  • ARM® Mali™-T764 GPU
  • 16GB eMMC
  • MicroSD Card Slot
  • 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.0 + EDR
  • USB 2.0
  • 28 GPIO pins
  • HDMI Interface






For the same price as you might want from a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, ​​you’ll get a faster processor and double the memory on the Rock64 Media Board. 

  • 4 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.5 GHz
  • ARM Mali 450 MP2 GPU
  • LPDDR3 RAM (up to 4GB)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Micro SD Slot
  • eMMC module slot
  • SPI Flash 128Mbit
  • 4K digital video out
  • 2x USB 2.0 Host
  • 1x USB 3.0 Host
  • PI-2 bus
  • PI-P5+ bus
  • IR R/X port
  • Real Time Clock (RTC) port
  • Power Over Ethernet (POE) (when using optional HAT module)
  • A/V jack
  • Power, Reset and Recovery buttons
  • 3.5mm barrel power (5V 3A) port






The Odroid-XU4 is a perfect Raspberry Pi replacement if you have room to slightly bump up your budget ($80-$100 or even lower, depending on the storage capacity).

  • Samsung Exynos 5422 Octa ARM Cortex™-A15 Quad 2Ghz and Cortex™-A7 Quad 1.3GHz CPUs
  • 2Gbyte LPDDR3 RAM
  • GPU: Mali-T628 MP6
  • USB 3.0
  • HDMI 1.4a
  • eMMC 5.0 module socket
  • MicroSD Card Slot


Le Potato

Le Potato by Libre Computer , model number AML-S905X-CC. 

If you spend more than a Raspberry Pi, you get double the memory and HDMI 2.0, which could be a perfect fit. 

  • Amlogic S905X SoC
  • USB 2.0
  • HDMI 2.0
  • microUSB
  • MicroSD Card Slot
  • eMMC Interface


Banana Pi M64

It comes with 8G eMMC – the main highlight of the Raspberry Pi replacement. So it costs $60.

The presence of the HDMI interface makes it capable of 4K. In addition to this, Banana Pi provides a wider variety of open source SBCs as an alternative to the Raspberry Pi.

key parameter:

  • 1.2 Ghz Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 64-Bit Processor-R18
  • 8GB eMMC
  • WiFi & Bluetooth
  • USB 2.0
  • HDMI


VIM 2 SBC by Khadas


The VIM 2 by Khadas is the latest single board computer, so you can get Bluetooth 5.0 support on the board. Its prices range from a base model of $99 to a cap of $140 .

The base model includes 2 GB RAM, 16 GB eMMC, and Bluetooth 4.1. However, the Pro/Max version includes Bluetooth 5.0, more RAM, and more eMMC storage.

  • Amlogic S912 1.5GHz 64-bit Octa-Core CPU
  • T820MP3 GPU
  • Up to 3 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Up to 64 GB eMMC
  • Bluetooth 5.0 (Pro/Max)
  • Bluetooth 4.1 (Basic)
  • HDMI 2.0a
  • WiFi


At the end:

More than 46 million Raspberry Pis are sold to all over world in past ten years.

From hobby devices to industrial purposes, Raspberry Pi provides us the DIY chance. 

We still wish Raspberry Pi will back to normal stock with official price near soon.

However, you may have fun to try difference “Pi”. Good Luck!



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