The ongoing global silicon chip shortage has had a huge impact on the supply, price and availability of affordable computing solutions in every industry.
Covid-19 has had the unfortunate two-pronged effect of:
- severely limiting production capacity for many manufacturers of computer chips; and
- creating a surge in demand for mobile computing solutions by forcing much of the world to operate in work/school from home scenarios.
These two factors created the perfect storm for demand to rapidly outstrip supply by a huge margin.
With computer chips being used in so many modern devices, many big brands and products have faced production shortages for current devices and setbacks for new releases, including Apple and Samsung phones, Sony and Microsoft gaming consoles and even a shortage of chips for new modems has had a negative impact on the rollout of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).
Increased costs stemming directly from supply shortages have compelled many individuals to search for cheaper alternatives in the low-cost computing space, a gap which for many has been filled by the Raspberry Pi microcomputer.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation began producing budget microcomputers with the aim of making computer and digital education accessible to as many people as possible, especially those who would not otherwise be able to afford traditional computing solutions. Most recently, they have been providing devices and equipment to assist underprivileged schoolchildren so that they may continue to learn from home during pandemic restrictions.
Their latest offering has seen the evolution of their credit card sized computer being housed directly within a compact keyboard and despite the current shortages and price increases, can be had for as little as 110 AUD, whilst previous iterations that are not built into a keyboard are as cheap as 10 AUD. The price point of this device and its widespread accessibility has led to many fantastic creations and projects, including:
- Google enabled smart mirrors.
- Remote-Controlled 3D printers.
- Wi-Fi range extenders.
- Vehicle security and GPS tracking.
- Intercom assistants.
A Raspberry Pi has even made its way onto the International Space Station.
Whilst the Raspberry Pi may not be a substitute for the majority of business and enterprise solutions, if you are seeking to the get best value for your money with cost effective or alternative solutions during the current silicon shortage, please reach out to the team at Managed Services Australia on 1300 024 748 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you.