Arm Holdings has acquired a minority stake in Raspberry Pi Ltd, reinforcing a partnership that began in 2008. This strategic investment is designed to support development of Raspberry Pi's low-cost low-power Arm-based platforms aimed at edge computing and IoT applications, leveraging Raspberry Pi's ability to deliver affordable, high-performance computing globally.;

"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," said Paul Williamson, SVP and GM, Internet of Things Line of Business, Arm.

Raspberry Pi's single-board-computers (SBCs) for students, enthusiasts, and commercial edge and IoT developers have historically been based exclusively on system-on-chips featuring Arm cores. This is a big deal for Arm as Raspberry Pi has sold more than 40 million SBC units as of 2022, a huge number for Arm, which has not seen much success with IoT, despite high expectations of Softbank.

The use of Arm technology has been quite beneficial for Raspberry Pi's product development, providing the necessary performance, energy efficiency, and software ecosystem to facilitate accessible computing for a wide range of users, from students to professional developers. But in the recent years competing SBCs based on RISC-V SoCs began to emerge, posing threat to Raspberry Pi's domination and to Arm's place in emerging edge computing, edge AI, and IoT markets.

In a bid to strengthen Raspberry Pi's positions, Arm is infusing the company with cash, possibly trying to speed up development of more versatile and competitive solutions (either in terms of performance, or in terms of power).

"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," said Williamson. "This strategic investment is further proof of our continued commitment to the developer community, and to our partnership with Raspberry Pi."

Source: Arm

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • dwillmore - Friday, November 3, 2023 - link

    Hmm, Raspberry Pi Ltd. joins RISC-V group (Jan 2019). Raspberry Pi Ltd. releases Rpi5 with a unified Rpi1 I/O chip (Oct 2023) freeing them from being tied to a particular SoC family. ARM Ltd. invests in Raspberry Pi Ltd. (Nov 2023). Hmmm...... Really seems like a "here's some cash, stay ARM."

    Can you imagine the marketing impact of a RISC-V RPi board after all these years of it being ARM based? Sure, the number of boards effected isn't huge, but it's the marketing impact of losing a flagship product that needs to be considered.
  • Sivar - Friday, November 3, 2023 - link

    This is a good observation.
  • meacupla - Friday, November 3, 2023 - link

    There's already a RPi sized Risv-V SBC.
    Milk-V Mars CM
  • shadowjk - Friday, November 3, 2023 - link

    It's easy enough to churn out SBCs in RPi format. The hard part is the software support. Raspberry Pi, while not perfect, is miles and miles ahead of everyone else. This has become their greatest strength really. It doesn't matter much if someone releases some 20-core arm/risc-v/mips/whatever board when you have to spend weeks on getting a modern kernel and distro setup, and then it all stops working in a few months and the manufacturer never ever updates the software ever again.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, November 9, 2023 - link

    > Can you imagine the marketing impact of a RISC-V RPi board

    IMO, the marketing value would be fairly limited. I think the main benefit would be an impetus and platform for doing RISC-V optimizations of many common software libraries & packages.
  • twelvebore - Saturday, November 11, 2023 - link

    > Can you imagine the marketing impact of a RISC-V RPi board

    I can. Tumbleweed comes to mind.
  • patel21 - Friday, November 3, 2023 - link

    Hopefully next Pi will use more newer ARM core than the 5 year old A76 used in pi5.
  • nandnandnand - Sunday, November 5, 2023 - link

    Sure, it will use A77.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, November 9, 2023 - link

    TBH, the A76 was a best-case scenario, for the Pi 5. I expected it'd be A75, since that actually has better PPA than the A76. The thing about Raspberry Pi is that they care a lot more about price and features than performance, since they want to cater to the widest market.

    Eben Upton said this point was drilled in, early on, by a highly respected tech executive who told him in no uncertain terms that the Pi's #1 value proposition is its low cost of entry. Because of this, the Pi doesn't use the latest node. So, even if ARM cut them a sweetheart deal on licensing fees, it would still affect costs to fab a bigger core on an older manufacturing node (not to mention power & heat). That's why I don't think it'd be realistic for the Pi 5 to have used anything bigger than the A76.
  • shadowjk - Friday, November 3, 2023 - link

    As for IOT, RP2040 is definitely chipping away at the ESP dominance, but the missing bit is integrated WiFi/RF. A version of RP2040 with WiFi would probably become the dominant iot chip in a couple of years.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now