70 Replies Latest reply on Dec 3, 2012 9:57 AM by coder27

    new RPi model B planned soon

      http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=23600&start=3

       

      Maybe it will fix the USB hot plug problem.

      Maybe it will fix the residential CE/FCC compliance issue.

      no actual information available.

       

      Six days ago, JamesH wrote:

      "AFAIK there will be no change to the Raspi (overall - so same SoC, same memory etc) in the next year. There will be changes in SW though, but that is a simple upgrade."

      http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=23131&start=1

       

      There seems to be a pattern that new hardware revisions are released shortly after JamesH says they won't be.

       

      Model A's planned for March.

      http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3225&start=7

        • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
          morgaine

          If the Model A is planned for March 2013, then RPF's banner headline will have declared the Pi as the $25 computer for a whole year by then.  Isn't there a law against such blatant long-term false advertising?

            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
              GreenYamo

              Best not mention that over on the Raspi forums. Can't understand why they don't just amend it to $35, it's still a remarkable achievement !

               

              <Fawlty> I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it </Fawlty>

              • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                John Beetem

                Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                 

                If the Model A is planned for March 2013, then RPF's banner headline will have declared the Pi as the $25 computer for a whole year by then.  Isn't there a law against such blatant long-term false advertising?

                coder27 is being gamesome.  The link is to a 20 Feb 2012 comment where liz promises that "you'll definitely be able to buy Model As in March".  True, she doesn't specify the year.

                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                    morgaine

                    Oh dear, that time estimate probably doesn't stand then, as conditions always change over such timescales.

                     

                    Is there no more up to date ETA from RPF?  I bet that the subject of Model A has been brought up over there countless times.

                     

                    PS. I agree strongly with Steve.  To show basic integrity in marketting, they should have altered the banner line to $35 a long time ago.  I expect the Advertising Standards Authority would have something to say about this if someone cared enough to complain.  It's just one malaise among many though, so I guess caring about doing things right took a back seat a long time ago.

                        • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                          jamodio

                          I wonder what "device" is being updated.

                           

                          Interesting to notice that now they think model A will be used for industrial applications (hard to believe it is reliable enough for that kind of environment,) and that model B is the one recommended for schools and learning.

                           

                          30 weeks lead time for the BCM SoC?, that really sucks.

                           

                          Interesting post pointed by your last link.

                            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                              morgaine

                              Heh, I guessed on various occasions that the bottleneck was Broadcom's maximum fabrication rate of BCM2835 SoCs and not the board manufacturing capacity nor the chosen ordering volumes.  The evidence did point to it all along, as nothing else can explain a lead time of over half a year.

                               

                              As usual the fanbois tried to deny everything and paint RS as the guilty party, but coder27's links above make the situation clear.  Not even RPF can obtain more SoCs for Model A, every one produced reduces the number of BCM2835 parts for Model B.  The posts indicate that the restrictions are entirely at Broadcom's end.

                               

                              Interesting that the Model A will have only 256MB RAM, if the posts are to be believed.  I expect this is more a case of increasing profit than necessity, because the BOM cost will have plummeted way below RPF's original 10-30k batch values, and 512MB is at a pricing sweet spot now or very close to it.  It's probably a reasonable choice though, because most prospective Model A users are likely to be thinking of projects where power savings are beneficial.

                               

                              If the expectation is that Model A will be ready by the end of the year then it seems strange that the comments by "official people" are so fuzzy.  After all, it's Nov 26th today, so "end of year" is so close that there can't be any uncertainties remaining about expected ETA.  Only a new problem arising could change the ETA this late in the process.

                               

                              Morgaine.

                                • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                  John Beetem

                                  Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                   

                                  Interesting that the Model A will have only 256MB RAM, if the posts are to be believed.  I expect this is more a case of increasing profit than necessity, because the BOM cost will have plummeted way below RPF's original 10-30k batch values, and 512MB is at a pricing sweet spot now or very close to it.  It's probably a reasonable choice though, because most prospective Model A users are likely to be thinking of projects where power savings are beneficial.

                                  Unless the Model A ships soon, it will probably end up with 512MB as well.  Old timers here will remember that the Model A was originally to ship (in March 2012 ) with just 128 MB.  The inventory overhead of having two different parts will probably be high enough that they might as well do 512MB for both.

                                   

                                  I might consider a Model A if it comes with 512MB.  My display/keyboard/pointer for RasPi is a Motorola Atrix Lapdock, which has a built-in hub with two extra USB A ports.  Right now the RasPi Model B's LAN9512 doesn't get along with the Lapdock's hub, for example a USB Flash drive works in the RasPi's spare USB A port but not in the Lapdock's.  With a 512MB Model A, there's a good chance that the Lapdock's hub will work better.  Also, the Model A will use less power since the power-hungry LAN9512 with linear regulators will be replaced by the switching regulators in the Lapdock.

                                   

                                  But first I need to hear reports about how well browsers work with 512 MB versus 256 MB.

                                    • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                      wallarug

                                      But first I need to hear reports about how well browsers work with 512 MB versus 256 MB.

                                      I can report that everything is much faster on the 512mb model.

                                       

                                      I have not used a broswer specifically but I have used programs such as gparted - which loads twice as fast on the 512mb (even with no overclock).

                                      • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                        morgaine

                                        John Beetem wrote:

                                         

                                        I might consider a Model A if it comes with 512MB.

                                         

                                        I might consider a Model A for headless operation by plugging its single USB into an external Ethernet adapter.  That would probably overcome the Pi's USB hardware bugs, although not even that much is certain.

                                         

                                        My original Model B is destined for framing along with a suitably blunt caption.  The Model A had better work, or I'll have to find a frame large enough to hold both, and the caption will become a lot blunter.

                                          • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                            jamodio

                                            I'd not venture yet to say that the model A will work better USB wise since the problem is not the LAN9512 but the limitations imposed by the USB IP on the BCM2835 which is an OTG implementation than a full featured USB HOST, plus some other issues in the driver code.

                                             

                                            Without the LAN9512 will alleviate some power and thermal issues, still not really clear how much better things will work with an ethernet interface hanging from USB.

                                             

                                            Still power hungry (as any other ethernet PHY that sinks current through the ethernet transformer) one experiment I'm planning is to hook up a standalone ethernet controller such as the Microchip ENC28J60 (10BaseT) or ENC424J600 (10/100BaseT) via the SPI interface. These controllers are not for heavy duty networking stuff but may work well in many applications, I know that there are some Linux drivers for the ENC28J60, didn't search yet for the ENC424J600.

                                             

                                            Model A could be a good alternative for a headless WiFi configuration, the power budget gained by removing the LAN9512 can be used to power a decent WiFi USB dongle.

                                             

                                            About browser speed, I didn't play with it much, but didn't notice a huge difference using Midori with the 256MB or 512MB board, it runs awfully slow in both. Still X is not hardware accelerated so I don't know if that could be the root problem.

                                             

                                            My .02

                                             

                                            -J

                                              • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                morgaine

                                                Only experience will tell, but I'm hoping (for RPF's sake, not mine) that the Model A's single USB directly plugged into an external Ethernet controller with no hubs nor any other USB device in sight will manage to stay within the narrow bounds of what the crappy USB implementation on the BCM2835 can handle without errors.

                                                 

                                                We'll just have to wait and see.

                                                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                    jamodio

                                                    To be frank I didn't have the time to dig too much into the USB problems on the BCM2835, also I don't know how crappy Synopsys IP actually is, but what I can tell from previous experiences is that it will be very challenging to make USB OTG to fully behave as a HOST, I think that some people were working trying to put together some abstraction layer on the driver so Linux sees it as a host but I still think it is a long stretch and there will be some compromises/limitations, so Model A or B, USB host IMHO will still suck.

                                                     

                                                    BTW, there is a more recent thread about USB issues on the RPF Forum http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=23544

                                                     

                                                    And after the "pub" yada yada, there is only a single update from Gordon and it does not say much, or what it says is not much ...

                                                     

                                                    Edit: Ohhh and I just noticed another post from the "friendly moderator" essentially telling people to back off reporting problems they already know exist, what a nice gesture.

                                            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                              mynameisJim

                                              Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                               

                                              As usual the fanbois tried to deny everything and paint RS as the guilty party, but coder27's links above make the situation clear.  Not even RPF can obtain more SoCs for Model A, every one produced reduces the number of BCM2835 parts for Model B.  The posts indicate that the restrictions are entirely at Broadcom's end.

                                               

                                               

                                              Why are you talking as if the RPF has anything to do with the purchasing and distributing of the SoCs?  It's a very well know fact that they have 100% outsourced the production of the device to Farnell and RS.  Liz says "we" but knowing they don't actually produce the device, it would stand to reason that she is speaking for the business partners; something she's done often.  With a 30 week lead time, not purchasing enough SoCs would result in some crappy results like about 7 months of constantly running out of supplies because you didn't anticipate demand.  We've discussed this before, you certainly know a lot about general things and electronics, but you are out of your zone of knowledge when it comes to real life fabrication environments.  Not that I mean to absolve B-com from all responsibility here but RS started having backlog issues well within 7 months of the pi being released.  With the firm fact that there's a 30 week lead time for the SoC, it would be impossible for the problem too have been on B-com's end as all they were doing was filling the demand that RS had already requested.

                                               

                                              Edit: Also the comment would seem to indicate that the parts being reduced by making model As is referring to the parts on hand, which again would be an issue of the one populating the board purchasing a large enough supply 7 months ago and not a matter of B-com not making enough SoCs today.

                                                • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                  morgaine

                                                  You are completely missing the point.  RPF has said clear as daylight that every Model A that could be produced would result in one less Model B being produced.  Who orders what is irrelevant.  Not enough BCM2835 devices are being produced by Broadcom, period.

                                                   

                                                  If you are trying to suggest that Broadcom would deliberately switch a fab line off BCM2835 devices or run it at less than full capacity despite knowing full well that the Pi is back-ordered around the world then you are painting Broadcom as incompetent and deliberately holding back the Pi ecosystem and not being interested in selling product.   After all they know with 100% certainty that every BCM2835 manufactured would be sold tomorrow if it were available.  I find it incredible that anyone would think Broadcom is that stupid and willfully losing out on revenue.  The mind boggles.

                                                   

                                                  So no, no, no, no.  The scarcity has absolutely nothing to do with poor order planning by one partner, because that wouldn't alter the picture even if it were true (and indeed it might be true, I'm not saying it's not, but only that it's irrelevant).  You're listening too much to RPF excuses (which you should realize operate very much as an arm of Broadcom) and not thinking about what your interpretation would say about Broadcom's commercial interest.  They are in this to make money.  If they're not printing money by churning out chips faster than they are now when they know full well that they could sell every one instantly, then you can be certain that it has nothing to do with missing paperwork.  The only answer that makes commercial sense is that they don't have any more capacity.

                                                   

                                                  Morgaine.

                                                    • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                      mynameisJim

                                                      Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                       

                                                      You are completely missing the point.  RPF has said clear as daylight that every Model A that could be produced would result in one less Model B being produced.  Who orders what is irrelevant.  Not enough BCM2835 devices are being produced by Broadcom, period.

                                                       

                                                      If you are trying to suggest that Broadcom would deliberately switch a fab line off BCM2835 devices or run it at less than full capacity despite knowing full well that the Pi is back-ordered around the world then you are painting Broadcom as incompetent and deliberately holding back the Pi ecosystem and not being interested in selling product.   After all they know with 100% certainty that every BCM2835 manufactured would be sold tomorrow if it were available.  I find it incredible that anyone would think Broadcom is that stupid and willfully losing out on revenue.  The mind boggles.

                                                       

                                                      So no, no, no, no.  The scarcity has absolutely nothing to do with poor order planning by one partner, because that wouldn't alter the picture even if it were true (and indeed it might be true, I'm not saying it's not, but only that it's irrelevant).  You're listening too much to RPF excuses (which you should realize operate very much as an arm of Broadcom) and not thinking about what your interpretation would say about Broadcom's commercial interest.  They are in this to make money.  If they're not printing money by churning out chips faster than they are now when they know full well that they could sell every one instantly, then you can be certain that it has nothing to do with missing paperwork.  The only answer that makes commercial sense is that they don't have any more capacity.

                                                       

                                                      Morgaine.

                                                       

                                                      Again, we've discussed this before but I'll say it again.  That's not how fabrication works.  There is not a single line dedicated to each chip.  You'll have a line for each genre of devices (hard drive platters, CPU, etc), but you will not have a "BCM2835" line.  This is why they have such a high production time.  You schedule a period of time to produce a specific chip in, once its turn is done you move to the next.  B-com like any other fab out there will build only to meet what has been ordered, and while that might mean they build a little extra to fill out the line, odds are they have an order increment that forces the customer to fill the line.

                                                      • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                        mynameisJim

                                                        I'll also would like to point out again that the product availability being dicussed by Liz would quite logically being the amount they have in hand, a quantity that would have been ordered 7 months ago by the respective distributor and has nothing to do with how quickly or how much b-com could produce with an order placed today.  B-com isn't going to stop manufacture of its other chips just to alter an order for this "low cost" chip to meet the demand for it within the Rpi community.  That's just bad business practice.

                                                          • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                            morgaine

                                                            I'm afraid what you say doesn't make commercial sense for Broadcom nor for RS nor for RPF, so I don't believe it holds water.  But let me try a completely different tack to demonstrate that your explanation just doesn't work.

                                                             

                                                            Let's assume just for a moment that Broadcom has a mind of its own and is not just a fab contract house as you make it out to be.  Let's say that they have their eyes open and notice that the demand for BCM2835 is huge and that there is zero risk associated with producing devices not to order but for buffer stock.  And let's assume that they did so.

                                                             

                                                            Now, assuming that this happened, what would be the result of Broadcom's sales department picking up the phone and dialing RS's number and saying "Oh RS, guess what, we have the N devices that you wished you had ordered 500 years ago in stock, do you want them?"  (There could even be a small markup over and above contract order pricing.)

                                                             

                                                            Now don't tell me that you think RS would say "Nah, not interested mate.  We're totally happy having our reputation dragged through the mud like it is now thanks, we'll talk to you again in mid-2013 for our next batch."

                                                             

                                                            It would stretch incredulity, so I can't believe that there is any possibility at all of such a response.  RS would love to slash its waiting lists to nil overnight if it could, and it would if given half a chance.  RS would win, Broadcom would win (through slightly more profit for them and a happier Pi ecosystem), and RPF would win massively by Model A not being delayed by the SoC shortage and by being able to strut around with a big smiles on their faces after proclaiming "No more delivery queues anywhere, order freely now."

                                                             

                                                            When everybody would win in this picture, why theorize that Broadcom is totally inept in business and thwarted by some missing paperwork?  It just doesn't make sense.

                                                             

                                                            I'm not often on the side of Broadcom because of their total dislike of openess, but I do believe that they have the business sense to print money when that option is available to them.  And it is.

                                                             

                                                            Morgaine.

                                                              • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                mynameisJim

                                                                Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                I'm afraid what you say doesn't make commercial sense for Broadcom nor for RS nor for RPF, so I don't believe it holds water.  But let me try a completely different tack to demonstrate that your explanation just doesn't work.

                                                                 

                                                                Let's just assume for a moment that Broadcom has a mind of its own and is not just a fab contract house as you make it out to be.  Let's say that they have their eyes open and notice that the demand for BCM2835 is huge and that there is zero risk associated with producing devices not to order but for buffer stock.  And let's assume that they did so.

                                                                 

                                                                Now, assuming that this happened, what would be the result of Broadcom's sales department picking up the phone and dialing RS's number and saying "Oh RS, guess what, we have the N devices that you wished you had ordered 500 years ago in stock, do you want them?"  (There could even be a small markup over and above contract order pricing.)

                                                                 

                                                                Now don't tell me that you think RS would say "Nah, not interested mate.  We're totally happy having our reputation dragged through the mud like it is now thanks, we'll talk to you again in mid-2013 for our next batch."

                                                                 

                                                                It would stretch incredulity, so I can't believe that there is any possibility at all of such a response.  RS would love to slash its waiting lists to nil overnight if it would, and it would if given half a chance.  RS would win, Broadcom would win (through slightly more profit for them and a happier Pi ecosystem), and RPF would win massively by Model A not being delayed by the SoC shortage and by being able to strut around with a big smiles on their faces after proclaiming "No more delivery queues anywhere, order freely now."

                                                                 

                                                                When everybody would win in this picture, why theorize that Broadcom is totally inept in business and thwarted by some missing paperwork?  It just doesn't make sense.

                                                                 

                                                                I'm not often on the side of Broadcom because of their total dislike of openess, but I do believe that they have the business sense to print money when that option is available to them.  And it is.

                                                                 

                                                                Morgaine.

                                                                 

                                                                If only that was the way fabrication worked!  It certainly would have made my life easier, but alas!  It isn't.  The fabrication people would get beat (sued) to no end if they called up someone and say "hey, your competitor is buying X times the amount you are.  Maybe they know something you don't, would you like to order more?"  That's both bad for business and breaking NDAs.  Now don't get me wrong, you have laid out some mighty fine logic there, extremely well thought out!  But it's obvious you've never worked in a fab plant because you keep talking nonsense in this area (no offense meant, it's just the plain truth).  Now I have real world experience in a fabrication environment, you can keep calling it crazy (which it most certainly is) and trying reject it, but it really is the way these places work! 

                                                                 

                                                                It also helps to keep in mind that B-com doesn't care about everyone winning, they care about b-com winning.  And B-com has most certainly won throughout this affair.  More importantly they have to keep winning by keeping their schedules with all their customers.  As crazy successful as the Pi has been, they're just a small part of their big picture their Q4 earnings were 1.82 Billion Dollars.  So far the pi has sold something in the range of .5 Million units (according to Liz's projections).  If they pay 5 dollars per chip that would only represent 2.5 Million, at 10 dollars a pop it would still only be 5 Million, heck if they made $35 of every board it will still only be 17.5 Million dollars in B-com piggy bank or what 1/100th of a percent of their Quarterly income?  B-com has bigger money makers than the pi and their version of winning is making sure that the big income makers stay on schedule.

                                                                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                    morgaine

                                                                    mynameisJim wrote:

                                                                     

                                                                    It also helps to keep in mind that B-com doesn't care about everyone winning, they care about b-com winning.  And B-com has most certainly won throughout this affair.  More importantly they have to keep winning by keeping their schedules with all their customers.

                                                                     

                                                                    But that's precisely the point that I've been making all along, that Broadcom has no spare capacity to fabricate more BCM2835 devices!  If you have no spare capacity at the plant then to make more capacity for a particular device would require giving other contract work the boot, and as you say that other contract work almost certainly pays better than the low-margin Pi manufacturers can offer.

                                                                     

                                                                    So we're actually saying the same thing, in different ways.  The problem is entirely at Broadcom's end through a lack of fab capacity.  The long lead times for BCM2835 result from this total lack of capacity requiring Pi orders to be slotted in after other contracts are fulfilled, which would not happen at all if they had spare capacity.

                                                                     

                                                                    How can this not be clear?

                                                                     

                                                                    [Addendum.  Of course this is all speculative since we'll never know what actually happens at Broadcom nor its relationship with its customers, but I'm interested in the core problem that is the root cause of the very long delivery times, and it seems very clear that the core problem is fabrication constraints, not paperwork.  The fact that devices are not available to RS now because an order was not placed many months ago is just a consequence of the lack of fabrication capacity.  The lack of fabrication capacity came first.  You can't blame the lack of fabrication capacity on the lack of an order being placed.  Orders don't create capacity, they just affect the scheduling of different orders in a capacity-limited fabrication plant.]

                                                                      • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                        mynameisJim

                                                                        Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                                         

                                                                        mynameisJim wrote:

                                                                         

                                                                        It also helps to keep in mind that B-com doesn't care about everyone winning, they care about b-com winning.  And B-com has most certainly won throughout this affair.  More importantly they have to keep winning by keeping their schedules with all their customers.

                                                                         

                                                                        But that's precisely the point that I've been making all along, that Broadcom has no spare capacity to fabricate more BCM2835 devices!  If you have no spare capacity at the plant then to make more capacity for a particular device would require giving other contract work the boot, and as you say that other contract work almost certainly pays better than the low-margin Pi manufacturers can offer.

                                                                         

                                                                        So we're actually saying the same thing, in different ways.  The problem is entirely at Broadcom's end through a lack of fab capacity.  The long lead times for BCM2835 result from this total lack of capacity requiring Pi orders to be slotted in after other contracts are fulfilled, which would not happen at all if they had spare capacity.

                                                                         

                                                                        How can this not be clear?

                                                                        Because it is ultimately the responsibility of the customer to factor in the lead time for the part and order appropriately.  If RS had ordered a large enough quantity to meet the demand of the device then the lead time wouldn't have mattered.

                                                                         

                                                                        Now I will make a caveat that the launch debacle (no offense to any R-pi peps) was a failing at all points, but beyond that there should have been some recognition of upcoming demand and ordered appropriately, Fanell did, RS didn't.

                                                                         

                                                                        I will further add that while we're specifically discussing the RS issue, I'll swing this back round (which is only appropriate since I swung us off course in the first place, lol) to the current issue at hand not enough SoCs for the model A and the Model B (which going back to the original post's link to Liz is actually an issue of we have enough parts to meet the current demand for the model B, but not enough to meet the demand for the B and add the A).  The issue there is also not that B-com can't supply the chip.  They'll supply what ever quantity the customer asks for which brings me right back to my first sentence.  B-com is not responsible for calculating the demand for its customers.  It's their job to meet the request the customer puts in and in the time frame they've been quoted.

                                                                         

                                                                        We might be arguing semantics at this point, but the crux of what I'm saying is Farnell and RS are the one responsible for ordering enough of the product to last them between productions of the chip, it's not B-coms job to offer more production times (unless demand for the chip exceeds production capacity) nor to keep a large amount of their chip "in stock" to be bought up by the suppliers whenever they want to make more boards than they planned for.   Whereas you are arguing, if I understand your position correctly, that it's entirely b-coms responsibility to offer more production times for the small time chip or bare the responsibility for not producing enough of the chip.

                                                                          • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                            morgaine

                                                                            mynameisJim wrote:

                                                                             

                                                                            Whereas you are arguing, if I understand your position correctly, that it's entirely b-coms responsibility to offer more production times for the small time chip or bare the responsibility for not producing enough of the chip.

                                                                             

                                                                            I'm not saying either of those things.  I'm saying that the root cause of all the delays is lack of spare capacity at Broadcom, and you've agreed with me but using different words.

                                                                             

                                                                            However, you prefer to place the blame on RS and somehow twist it to look as if an order placed by RS could magically create new fabrication capacity at Broadcom.  It can't.  At most it can affect scheduling of what is fabricated on capacity-limited equipment so that RS's devices get manufactured before those of another customer.  The restricted fabrication capacity remains restricted though, whether it is producing devices for RS or for someone else.  An order won't bring a new fabrication plant online, that costs billions.  It is accurate to state (assuming of course that our speculation is correct) that Broadcom's lack of spare capacity is the limiting factor.

                                                                             

                                                                            I am much more interested in technology than in paperwork, and hence blame has to follow root cause.by logical necessity, because the relationship between supply and fulfilled demand is directly causal.  Good timing of order placement can paper over shortages in the same way that a buffer can smooth flow irregularities, but order timing does not have the same causal importance as production capacity.  Indeed, the very need for buffering highlights that the supply is constrained in what it can deliver, so the analogy is apt.

                                                                             

                                                                            It seems that although we're both blindly examining the same elephant, we're each feeling different parts and so can't agree what on what it looks like.  It's the same elephant though, and it can't stomp out enough BCM2835.

                                                                              • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                mynameisJim

                                                                                Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                                                 

                                                                                 

                                                                                However, you prefer to place the blame on RS and somehow twist it to look as if an order placed by RS could magically create new fabrication capacity at Broadcom.  It can't.  At most it can affect scheduling of what is fabricated on capacity-limited equipment so that RS's devices get manufactured before those of another customer.  The restricted fabrication capacity remains restricted though, whether it is producing devices for RS or for someone else.  An order won't bring a new fabrication plant online, that costs billions.  It is accurate to state (assuming of course that our speculation is correct) that Broadcom's lack of spare capacity is the limiting factor.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Aye yi yi, you just really don't get the way this works do you?  Turns out the explanation I typed up explaining how fab plants worked was far too complicated and long so it got trashed. I'll go from this approach.  RS had problems Farnell didn't.  If they had both had problems and the roku to boot than I'd be with you 100%!  If it worked the way you're suggesting it does than everyone would have issues equally.  Or at best it would rotate as each distributor got their share of limited capacity chip.  First RS would be short on supplies, then Farnell (then Roku).  Since this has obviously has not been the case, and since Billy has enlightened us that B-com is fabless and capacity would not be an issue for a company whose whole business model is getting the chips that have been ordered in the time frame they have been contractually limited to, then all signs indicate that the issue at hand was Farnell ordered enough to meet demand, Roku ordered enough to meet demand, and RS thought the Pi wouldn't be as successful as it has been and ordered a smaller quantity than Farnell.

                                                                              • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                BillyBob

                                                                                Hey I'm back from my hols ins Sunny SIngapore. Back to the grindstone mates!

                                                                                 

                                                                                First things first. People are forgetting the Broadcom are a fabless company i.e. they do not own any fabs, so they have to book fab time. Now, I also used to work for a fabless company, hence my sunny antipodean attitude, so I know that you only book fab time for order. You reallty really don't build stuff you don't have orders for. It cost a bloody fortune to store it, and then you might not sell it. I happen to know that a particular fabless company has been caught out in the past with excess stock, and lost a shit load of $. I cannot see Broadcom speculatively making batches of SoC's, that not good business sense. Even with some of the the Pi Foundations people working at Broadcom they weon;t have the influence to get stuff made specultively. Well, I reckon not anyway. Also, this is a minor footnote on their balance sheet - they made $2B turnover last quarter.

                                                                                 

                                                                                So what the mynnameisjim poster said is right - this is a problem with order quantities from the people making the stuff. Nothing to to with Broadcom. They could easy make enough chips - or at least TSMC could - if they got the orders. Just expect those orders to be delivered in 30 wks or whatever TSMC's current lead time is. (30wks sounds high)

                                                                                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                    morgaine

                                                                                    Billy Thornton wrote:

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I cannot see Broadcom speculatively making batches of SoC's, that not good business sense.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Making BCM2835 SoCs is speculative in what universe?

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Would you care to suggest some viable scenario under which manufactured BCM2835 devices would not be sold as quickly as buyers can click a mouse?

                                                                                      • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                        BillyBob

                                                                                        It's speculative right up to the point someone orders them - until then, they are  chips sitting on a shelf in a warehouse. And look, fabless companies don't like warehouses, they like to make stuff and ship it stright to the user - it's much cheaper. That's how they work. Now I reckon they can sell a shitload, but even Apple under order stuff just in case. And remember, there is a 30wk (still don't beleive that one) lead time - that's over 6 months, a lot can happen in 6 months.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Still, as I said, this is nothing to do with Broadcoms capacity as you have been arguing, since they don't actually have ANY capacity at all. It's all contracted out, and the people they contract out to have LOTS of capacity, and will make whatever you ask. So, rather than changing the subject, absorb that information, and explain how it's not the fault of RS and Farnell's ordering too few.

                                                                                          • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                            morgaine

                                                                                            Billy Thornton wrote:

                                                                                             

                                                                                            It's speculative right up to the point someone orders them - until then, they are  chips sitting on a shelf in a warehouse.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            It's not speculation when there is no uncertainty or risk involved, and you have not offered any viable scenario containing uncertainty or risk.  And the chips don't need to sit on any shelves, they can be offered in advance very trivially.  Indeed this is totally normal, no different to offering for preorder.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Still, as I said, this is nothing to do with Broadcoms capacity as you have been arguing, since they don't actually have ANY capacity at all. It's all contracted out, and the people they contract out to have LOTS of capacity, and will make whatever you ask.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            You can't have it both ways.  If Broadcom's capacity is all contracted out, and the people they contract out to have LOTS of capacity, and will make whatever Broadcom asks, then Broadcom's inability to produce SoCs at a higher rate and with less lead time is even less comprehensible.  Third parties would be falling over themselves to manufacture more BCM2835 for Broadcom given the demand for Pi worldwide, because "LOTS of capacity" that is twiddling its thumbs is very costly.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            That doesn't seem to be what is happening here.  Admittedly we're speculating, but some things look more likely than others, and a surplus of capacity on which to produce BCM2835 seems extraordinarily unlikely.

                                                                                              • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                mynameisJim

                                                                                                Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                You can't have it both ways.  If Broadcom's capacity is all contracted out, and the people they contract out to have LOTS of capacity, and will make whatever Broadcom asks, then Broadcom's inability to produce SoCs at a higher rate and with less lead time is even less comprehensible.  Third parties would be falling over themselves to manufacture more BCM2835 for Broadcom given the demand for Pi worldwide, because "LOTS of capacity" that is twiddling its thumbs is very costly.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                That doesn't seem to be what is happening here.  Admittedly we're speculating, but some things look more likely than others, and a surplus of capacity on which to produce BCM2835 seems extraordinarily unlikely.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                And that is where the ball returns to my court.  Fabs don't want to handle excess storage (of finished product) either.  So they won't keep a high capacity either (I was quite surprised to hear that B-com did not directly fab the chip themselves though).  You're logic is backwards though, the fact they don't have their own fab facility will actually increases turn around time as they become a middleman (so to speak) in the process.  They are bound by the fab's schedule which means they really can't adjust an order at the last minute.  Which again brings us full circle to the fact that it is the responsibility of the customer to appropriately plan for the demand of a product in accordance with the suppliers schedule. It should also be noted, again, that the pi is not some big ticket item so no, fabs will not be falling over themselves to manufacture the chip.  Besides, I'm willing to bet that B-com has some very specific NDAs and contracts that prevent them from doing just that in exchange for good deals.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                And you really got to get the idea that not making the BCM2835 = wasted time or a waste of capacity.  Fab plants will build no more and no less than what has been ordered.  Any time they're not making the BCM2835, they're making other chips.  Fab facilities wait for no one!  Which makes more sense to you?  Fill a big order for a customer to meet deadlines, or building some extra low cost chips in the eventuality that a customer might want some more of it before the next run?  That a waste of time material and storage space, plus the fab facility has no guarantees that the chip will still be in demand in the future.  As much as I like the pi, it could flop at any minute.  People could get tired of the USB issues, or decide they'd rather pay double and get a little bit faster android device for their media center needs.  It's insanely bad business for a fab facility to make an excess of a product that the customer hasn't ordered rather than moving things onto filling the next product that has a customer waiting right now to purchase it.

                                                                                                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                    morgaine

                                                                                                    mynameisJim wrote:

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    the fact they don't have their own fab facility will actually increases turn around time as they become a middleman (so to speak) in the process.  They are bound by the fab's schedule which means they really can't adjust an order at the last minute.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    That's not consistent with Billy's "the people they contract out to have LOTS of capacity, and will make whatever you ask".  Which is it, lots of capacity allowing Broadcom to enjoy a buyer's market, or very restricted capacity making fabrication a seller's market and giving Broadcom little to no options?

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    You're both attempting to substantiate the same conclusion from incompatible premises, so one of you is clearly wrong.  Even if each were true separately, they can't both be true simultaneously.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    In addition to one of you being necessarily wrong, you're both making out that Broadcom's business planners are incompetent at capitalizing on a massive demand for one of their chips, and that suggests strongly that you're both wrong.  I may not like Broadcom's secrecy practices, but I see no sign that they are incompetent at getting devices made cheaply and in vast numbers, under either of your premises.  If they could make money from this insatiable demand, they would, even if the profit is less than when producing other devices.  It's still profitable for them, and nobody has suggested otherwise (yet).

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    By Occam's Razor, the fact that they aren't making money from it at the rate for which there is demand suggests that they can't do so, because competent business people (which I believe they are) would find a way if it were at all possible.  They've had since the start of March to fully realize the scale of demand and react to it in a way that would capitalize on the world's hunger for an old chip on which their investment has already been recouped, so it's all straight profit.  I do not think they would look this gift horse in the mouth.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    So, you'll have to find a much stronger reason for the company's apparent inability to knock out large numbers of these SoCs than you have so far to be convincing.  They're not some 2-bit outfit like you make them out to be.  To suggest that they  ignored one half of this zero-risk profit stream because they got no order from RS is quite comical.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    Morgaine.

                                                                                                      • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                        gdstew

                                                                                                        I have bought three Raspberry PI's.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        The longest I had to wait was 3 weeks for one purchased from Allied Electronics. Original delivery was given as 6 to 8 weeks.

                                                                                                        While waiting for Allied, Element 14 advertised a 7 day wait so I bought one from them and it was delivered in 3 to 4 days.

                                                                                                        When the 512MB version was announced I bought another one from Element 14 that was also delivered in 3 to 4 days.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        When actual availability of the Raspberry Pi was first announced I signed up with RS to be notified when I could order one

                                                                                                        from them the next day (couldn't get anything done on the first day because the web site was totally slashdoted). To this

                                                                                                        day I am still waiting for that notification. In every web post I've read were some one has been waiting months for delivery

                                                                                                        and the name of the company they ordered from was mentioned it was RS.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        Most fabs usually have many customers. Some of the customers, like Broadcom have more than one type of device being

                                                                                                        made. Each customer has a contract for a certain number of all the devices it wants that the fab is expected to produce. If

                                                                                                        a fab is running at or near full capacity as you correctly say they try really hard to do they can't just magically turn on "more

                                                                                                        capacity" when one of their customers has a large unexpected increase in demand for one of the devices. Unless other

                                                                                                        customer(s) can reduce their needs, more time to adjust doesn't help either. Going to another fab to produce the device

                                                                                                        requires at least a 6 to 8 month time frame assuming of course you can find one with unused capacity that supports a

                                                                                                        compatable fabrication process and the tools you used to design the device.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        As for Broadcoms secrecy practices, they are not much different from all of the other ARM SOC sellers. There is enough

                                                                                                        information for most of the peripherals to write drivers for them. Graphics accelerators, multimedia accelerators, and DSPs

                                                                                                        tend to be the most highly garded because in many cases the IP for them is actually from another company and they are

                                                                                                        under a NDA to not release it. In some cases they may just be trying to not get sued for real or imagined (as in troll) patent

                                                                                                        violations. Finally, and what I consider the worst reason is for some perceived competitive advantage. As demand for ARM

                                                                                                        SOCs increase this veil of secrecy is slowly being lifted. Just a couple of days ago I read about a rumor that the PowerVR

                                                                                                        graphics accelerator was going to get oficial support for an open source driver. I have also read that there is official support

                                                                                                        from for an open source driver for the Mali graphics accelerator although I have not been able to find it with Google.

                                                                                                        • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                          mynameisJim

                                                                                                          Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          mynameisJim wrote:

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          the fact they don't have their own fab facility will actually increases turn around time as they become a middleman (so to speak) in the process.  They are bound by the fab's schedule which means they really can't adjust an order at the last minute.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          That's not consistent with Billy's "the people they contract out to have LOTS of capacity, and will make whatever you ask".  Which is it, lots of capacity allowing Broadcom to enjoy a buyer's market, or very restricted capacity making fabrication a seller's market and giving Broadcom little to no options?

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          You're both attempting to substantiate the same conclusion from incompatible premises, so one of you is clearly wrong.  Even if each were true separately, they can't both be true simultaneously.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          In addition to one of you being necessarily wrong, you're both making out that Broadcom's business planners are incompetent at capitalizing on a massive demand for one of their chips, and that suggests strongly that you're both wrong.  I may not like Broadcom's secrecy practices, but I see no sign that they are incompetent at getting devices made cheaply and in vast numbers, under either of your premises.  If they could make money from this insatiable demand, they would, even if the profit is less than when producing other devices.  It's still profitable for them, and nobody has suggested otherwise (yet).

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          By Occam's Razor, the fact that they aren't making money from it at the rate for which there is demand suggests that they can't do so, because competent business people (which I believe they are) would find a way if it were at all possible.  They've had since the start of March to fully realize the scale of demand and react to it in a way that would capitalize on the world's hunger for an old chip on which their investment has already been recouped, so it's all straight profit.  I do not think they would look this gift horse in the mouth.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          So, you'll have to find a much stronger reason for the company's apparent inability to knock out large numbers of these SoCs than you have so far to be convincing.  They're not some 2-bit outfit like you make them out to be.  To suggest that they  ignored one half of this zero-risk profit stream because they got no order from RS is quite comical.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          Morgaine.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          *sigh* let's start from the top of your statement.  First you're trying to juxtapose mine and Billy's statements and make them about the same thing when its not.  First you have Billy's statement which is to prove that the issue is not a matter of a lack of capacity to produce the chips.  Your argument has been that B-com lacks the ability to meet the demand of the chip because they cannot produce the chip fast enough, to which Billy has responded that no, they outsource their production to other places, places which can more than meet the demand of any quantity of chips you so desire.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          To which you made the response that a higher capacity would by default create shorter response times.  To which I responded no, since they're outsourcing the work it means you'd actually have longer wait times.  Or perhaps a better way of saying that is you have consistent wait times.  You get your shipment every X weeks and you prioritise your fab time to make you the most profit while still meeting customer demand.  Ergo their big money makes would have shorter turn around times and their 1/1000 of a percent of a quarterly earnings chip get's LONG wait times.  You tell your customers up front what the wait time for a product is and the customer orders the amount of product they believe they will need to carry them from one shipment to another.  This is the foundation of a business model.  You try to get enough raw material to meet demand until the next shipment of raw material comes in.  It's been that way with every job I worked with right down to Baskin Robbins.  If we ran out of Vanilla ice cream because we didn't ordered enough the corporate office didn't rush us an extra shippment at a higher price to keep getting that Vanilla revenue.  We had to make do with our poor planning.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          You can't just cherry pick statements out of context to try and support your complete lack of experience in this field with two people experienced in their respective areas. 

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          As for the necessity of one of us being wrong... that would only be correct if your basic underlying assumptions were correct, but unfortunately they are not as anyone who has worked in these lines of work can tell you.  Your line of reasoning would make sense if the chip being discussed was the breadwinner of B-com.  As I stated in an earlier post even if all $35 dollars the pi costs went to B-com, the entire sales of the pi for the whole year wouldn't equal but a hundredth of a percent of the earning b-com made for a quarter.  (based off a Q4 1.82 Billion listed earnings in 2011 on their site).  Of course the reality is I'd be shocked if they even made 5 dollars off every sale of the pi for their chip, ergo the pi sales for a full year represents something in the 1/1000th of a percentage of a lower than usual quarter.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          I will agree with you on one fact, and that is that I too believe that they are competent business people, which is why they order only a quantity of such a low revenue chip in exact proportion with what has been ordered.  You try not to overstock on your breadwinners let alone some outdated chip like the BCM2835.  And no, there's no such thing as a zero-risk profit stream.  You're using the wonderful thing called hindsight to see that the pi has been somewhat successful and trying to apply that as common knowledge foresight to the people who ordered the chips months ago.  It just doesn't work that way.  Farnell and RS both ordered chips based off how successful they thought the pi was going to be.  All signs indicate that RS didn't think it would be this successful while Farnell took a risk and invested the cash to give this pi thing a whirl.  Obviously this has worked well for Farnell.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          And again, your line of logic that B-com can't build chips quickly enough to meet demand would only work if both RS, Farnell and Roku (well maybe not Roku, but Farnell and RS) experienced equal shortages or if they had rolling shortages with each company have a period where they don't have enough to meet demand but the other company does.  This just hasn't been the case so it doesn't hold up.

                                                                                                            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                              morgaine

                                                                                                              I'm afraid we're not going to get anywhere in this discussion if you insist on reasoning that if a company has more fabrication capacity available to it through a buoyant fabrication sector then this implies that it will have longer wait times.  That's not logical, Sir.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              When there are many parties able to provide a service then your wait times are inherently shorter because for any given amount of fabrication load in the sector, that load is spread over more fab providers with less queueing, and when you are tendering for service then naturally lead times are one important bargaining point over which there will be competition.  You can expect the average lead times to be lower in a buoyant sector with many providers, not longer.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Now if you want to argue that it's not that simple because different fab providers deal with different technologies then of course I would have to agree with you, it will inevitably reduce the set of providers which a given fabless manufacturer can utilize, but that wasn't what you claimed as far as I can discern.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Our most important point of disagreement isn't really that though.  It's that you seem to insist that it makes perfect sense for Broadcom to do nothing about assisting the non-stop manufacture of BCM2835 devices despite knowing since March the overall levels of interest, despite having an inside route into per-partner demand information through RPF, despite knowing that every chip manufactured in the current months will be sold because solid order queues exist for them, and despite being able to discuss the Foundation's 2013 plans with Eben Upton owing to RPF's intimate interdependency with Broadcom to ensure that there are no surprises ahead.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Instead of noting these special circumstances which create an effectively risk-free environment for BCM2835 manufacture for a certain number of months which Eben can undoubtedly quantify, you insist on treating the SoC orders as some anonymous corporate purchase request over which Broadcom has no knowledge nor control and which therefore results in an unacceptable manufacturing risk.  This just isn't so.  Pi is special.  Pi is as close to being a Broadcom product without officially being one as it gets.  The Pi alpha boards even had Broadcom's mark etched on them.  It's not some anonymous 3rd party that wants these Broadcom SoCs.  It's a family member, pretty much, and you can be confident that communications between the two parties are very close and very good.  Hindsight was not required by Broadcom, they have something far better, a direct channel to the right people and to the information they need to manufacture appropriate volumes safely.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Now because you haven't done so, I'll hypothesize one theoretical risk that might exist, hypothetically.  It might be considered possible that RS would reject any faster supply of SoCs if they were produced and offered to them by Broadcom outside of contract, willing to let their customers wither of old age in the wait queue as long as they don't have to invest more than some predefined $X in Pi manufacture per quarter.  Yes it's theoretically possible, and maybe you were implying that this would constitute a real risk for Broadcom, but is it likely?  (Your allusions to risk did not make the sources of risk clear at all.)

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Well I really doubt that even the strongest detractor of RS would claim that there is any significant likelihood of that occurring.  I don't have any particular knowledge of RS, but even if they have some weaknesses, they are nevertheless one of those companies with a long pedigree that gets lumped into "Best of British", and the likelihood of them turning down SoCs to vanquish their backorder queue is remote, in my view, and AFAIK nobody has suggested that that is a real danger.  So from where does the risk and uncertainty that you've implied actually come?  It's really just FUD.  There can be no uncertainty nor doubt about any BCM2835 device manufactured not ending up on Pi boards and getting sold when this is done in concert with RPF as coordinator, and fearmongering about it is not helpful.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Lastly, I want to address your point about how come that Farnell and Roku have not been hit with major shortages as far as we know, but RS has been.  This is the only actual numerical evidence before us whereas everything else has been speculation, even if reasoned speculation, so this is important.  Well of course I don't know, and nor do you, we can only speculate again.  We have however been speculating about it for many months here, and a number of scenarios have been suggested in the past in various threads.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Deliberate under-ordering by RS despite full awareness that the length of its preorder queue would grow has of course been a leading candidate, but it was far from being the only one.  We also noted that because both manufacturers' websites collapsed when Pi was launched and remained in deep trouble for a lengthy period that spanned hours or days depending on who you asked and their location, the rate at which the two services picked up expressions of interest was more in the lap of the gods than balanced.  As a result, it's a very possible scenario that RS picked up many more registrations than Element 14 --- someone had to pick up more than the other after all.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Given an initial imbalance, we then discussed here various possible scenarios under which manufactured Pi boards were allocated to the two partners.  The favoured "equal numbers to both" scenario would have the consequence of  emptying the preorder queue of the partner with the shortest queue first, hence exacerbating an already bad situation.  In contrast, an allocation proportional to the length of each partner's preorder queue would empty them both in the same amount of time, but it was considered unlikely.  In other words, the partner that performed best in the chaos of the launch week and obtained the most registrations would suffer worst from the most likely allocation policy.  Well we know that the initial allocation policy from the first batch was equal numbers to each, so at least initially we know that this very thing must have occurred.  Do we know that it was RS that suffered most?  No, but it seems likely given that RS has always had the longer queue sizes.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              So, things are complicated, and I wouldn't rush so fast to the conclusion that RS's problems are entirely a product of their failure with ordering.  It may have all started as a product of their comparative success with registrations, at least initially.  Once their own manufacturing got under way then of course they would have exacerbated their own predicament if they under-ordered or late-ordered, and it's never been denied that that is possible.  Despite RPF's chequered history with information release, nobody here automatically rejects information released by them (at least I don't), but only if there is additional cause to view something with suspicion, and I'm not aware of any such in this case.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Even if RS's problem was entirely a product of their own mis-ordering, it still doesn't eliminate the point that I was making earlier about Broadcom being a joint partner in all of this, and that the good business sense which they possess could have harnessed the extensive third party fabrication capacity that exists in the ARM ecosystem to help reduce backlogs further (not just for RS) without impacting on their more lucrative contracts, given that we've agreed that there is no shortage of external capacity.  I expect we're going to have to disagree on that because you don't want to embrace even tentatively the possibility that Broadcom's involvement with Pi is special and carries litte risk.  So be it.

                                                                                                               

                                                                                                              Morgaine.

                                                                                                                • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                  BillyBob

                                                                                                                  Almost everything in Ms Divonas post isn't right. I can't be bothered to quote all of it because its late, but most of her statements would need the use of a crystal ball to make a decision. And I've never got those dingers to work properly.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  Face it Morgana, you are wrong here. I know you are finding that difficult to accept, but you have two people who have worked in the industry telling you stuff, and yet you still don't beleive them. Why are you so confident you are right, and the experts are wrong, in the face of so much contrary evidence? You are working from heresay and speculation, and have people giving you facts, and yet, still you thing you are right. That's mucho dingo dudette.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  Actually, one point is worth adding - that of excessive capacity in the third party fabs industry. There is a lot of capacity for sure, but not SPARE capacity. If there was spare capacity, there wouldn't  be a long lead time - you could just get in there and use it now. So you can make a hell of a lot of chips, if you book ahead. Which means the alledged shortage now is due to an order not being big enough 3-4 months ago. Since fabless companies in this area are not in the game of making stuff in advance and storing it just in case, the ordering decision back them was underestimated. Which is understandable - who would have expected the demand to still be so high a year after launch. That's pretty unusual.

                                                                                                                    • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                      morgaine

                                                                                                                      Billy:  Look up "argument from authority" and "logical fallacy".

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      Then come back to us with solid reasoning instead of your repeated "It's like this because I'm experienced and I say so."  It's not convincing in an engineering forum.  If you're truly experienced then it should be easy for you to provide a reasoned argument rather than your standard line.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      mynameisJim and I have exchanged reasoned arguments without name-calling nor arguing from authority.  We may not agree but it's a logical exchange of views.  Try it, it will stand you in good stead.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      Your last paragraph might even have qualified as logical if you hadn't incorporated another logical fallacy, a simple straw man.  "fabless companies in this area are not in the game of making stuff in advance and storing it just in case" is the straw man because it's not "just in case", it's to fulfil the solid and well-known back-orders for Pi held by the manufacturing partners.  I stated that plainly in the preceding post to which you were replying, so you're countering a premise that was never made.

                                                                                                                        • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                          7point62

                                                                                                                          Arguing bitterly over conjecture and idle speculation is surely a sign of a species with too much time on it's hands...

                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                          From a manufacturing point of view I have to concur that it makes little sense for a manufacturer (especially one with no actual manufacturing capability) to push an obsolete, low profit item to the head of a carefully planned queue. I would imagine that the main value of the 2835 / Pi thing to Broadcom is in terms of public relations, so possibly a beancounter in a Cambridge office knocked out a cost / benefit analysis a long time ago, while other grey suits got on the trumpet to their pet fabrication subcontractors - only to be given the option of being bent over a barrel. One has to look after one's important customers (and shareholders) first, so unless one can conjure manufacturing capability out of thin air and defy the laws of physics to shrink lead times, somebody is going to have to wait (especially if they didn't order enough in the first place). In fairness, it would have taken a crystal ball rather than a spreadsheet to predict the level of sustained demand that the Pi has seen.

                                                                                                                            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                              morgaine

                                                                                                                              Jonathan Garrish wrote:

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              From a manufacturing point of view I have to concur that it makes little sense for a manufacturer (especially one with no actual manufacturing capability) to push an obsolete, low profit item to the head of a carefully planned queue.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              I agree with that, but once the game has started, we are where we are and it has to run its course.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              When Eben was designing the Pi, issues of whether Broadcom would be interested in longevity of the BCM2835 should have been discussed.  Perhaps a chip in which they have more interest would have been a better choice.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              It's a bit late to talk about that now though.  We are where we are, and Broadcom is lumbered with continued fabrication of an old SoC.  If they're unhappy about that then the best thing they could do is to get these blasted preorders out of the way by accellerating BCM2835 manufacture and at the same time work in concert with Eben to design the next version of Pi around a more modern SoC.

                                                                                                                            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                              BillyBob

                                                                                                                              Pretty shonky attitude there, Morgan.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Nothing I've said is wrong, or a straw man argument. And I reckon my experience actually working in this sector and actually knowing what I am talking about  trumps your inconsistent arguments. Don;t give me nonsense about reasoned argument  - you dont need to argue when presented with actual facts. You lost, admit it, or are you incacable of accepting you could be wrong about something. That's not reasoned argument, that being bloody minded.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              For example, my statement "fabless companies in this area are not in the game of making stuff in advance and storing it just in case" is completely true and contains no straw shaped man. You in an earlier post stated Broadcom should make a load of chips up front without receiving  orders. I told you this is not the way they work. They make according to the backorders they are told about i.e by the people who actually know the numbers ie RS and Farnell.  They don;t make stuff that hasnt been ordered. They might make stuff up front if they are told by the manufacturer they expect to sell a particular number, but that owuld need to be a multi million chip order, not the small change orders fom the Raspberry Pi foundation. Some chip companies do make to fill warehouses, not companies like Broadcom, that's not their business. I dunno specifics, as I don;t work for any of them, but the only way Broadcom could know the actual order numbers required in the backlog is if RS or Farnell told them, and they way they do that is by ORDERING THEM. So they order enough for the backlog, plus the extra they expect to sell between receipt and the next order time. My guess is the RS completely failed to anticipate the demand would still be high and failed to order enough. Broadcom has exactly the same number of working crystal balls as anyone else, so without numbers from orders, they ain;'t gonna guess how many to make.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Jesus, its the middle of the night and I'm still arguing. People who cannot accept they have lost an argument do my blood pressure no good at all. Dunno why I bother. Must be the beers!

                                                                                                                                • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                  morgaine

                                                                                                                                  Billy Thornton wrote:

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  Pretty shonky attitude there, Morgan.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  Every single post of yours is full of personal comments like that.  Try sticking to the subject and not attacking people but dealing exclusively with what the people say.  Don't refer to me, refer to what I am saying.  This will only cramp your style if you don't have a solid line of reasoning in the first place and therefore rely on abuse and ad hominem.  But if you do actually have something logical and reasoned to say then it will not cramp your posts at all.  Try it.

                                                                                                                                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                    morgaine

                                                                                                                                    Billy Thornton wrote:

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Nothing I've said is wrong, or a straw man argument.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    I gave the precise details of your straw man argument, and it's not a matter of dispute because it was in your own words in black and white.  If you try to knock down an argument by adding a premise of your own that was not given and knocking down this new premise then that is the exact definition of a straw man argument.  It isn't a logical counter to what was said, but only a logical counter to the premise which you invented.  Don't do it.

                                                                                                                                    • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                      morgaine

                                                                                                                                      Billy Thornton wrote:

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      For example, my statement "fabless companies in this area are not in the game of making stuff in advance and storing it just in case" is completely true and contains no straw shaped man.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      I've gone over this before, but to help you along, I'll repeat what I already said.  The "just in case" was not what I suggested.  I very clearly suggested that they could work with Eben Upton and everyone else concerned to ensure that there was no risk by virtue of fabricating only enough parts to cover existing solid order backlogs.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      If you put "just in case" in your counter then you are countering with a straw man argument.  It does not matter that the statement you are making is true when expressed without reference to a previous argument (in that case you would just be making a hypothesis yourself and debunking it).  When used in a counter to someone else's argument then it becomes a straw man because it does not deal with that person's argument but only with the premise you introduced yourself, and yet attributes the "success" in debunking it to the failure of the other person's argument when it is only a failure of your invented argument.  It exactly matches the fallacy type.  Don't do it.

                                                                                                                                    • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                      mynameisJim

                                                                                                                                      Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Billy:  Look up "argument from authority" and "logical fallacy".

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Then come back to us with solid reasoning instead of your repeated "It's like this because I'm experienced and I say so."  It's not convincing in an engineering forum.  If you're truly experienced then it should be easy for you to provide a reasoned argument rather than your standard line.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      mynameisJim and I have exchanged reasoned arguments without name-calling nor arguing from authority.  We may not agree but it's a logical exchange of views.  Try it, it will stand you in good stead.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Your last paragraph might even have qualified as logical if you hadn't incorporated another logical fallacy, a simple straw man.  "fabless companies in this area are not in the game of making stuff in advance and storing it just in case" is the straw man because it's not "just in case", it's to fulfil the solid and well-known back-orders for Pi held by the manufacturing partners.  I stated that plainly in the preceding post to which you were replying, so you're countering a premise that was never made.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      First off I agree with Mogaine, there is no need for name calling.  Secondly, "argument from authority" (from wikipedia)

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      The strength of the [argument from authority] depends upon two factors:

                                                                                                                                      1. The authority is a legitimate expert on the subject.
                                                                                                                                      2. There exists consensus among legitimate experts in the subject matter under discussion.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      The two factors — legitimate expertise and expert consensus — can be incorporated to the structure of the statistical syllogism, in which case, the argument from authority can be structured thus: [2]

                                                                                                                                      X holds that A is true.
                                                                                                                                      X is a legitimate expert on the subject matter.
                                                                                                                                      The consensus of subject-matter experts agrees with X.
                                                                                                                                      Therefore, there exists a presumption that A is true.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Fallacious appeal to authority

                                                                                                                                      Fallacious arguments from authority often are the result of failing to meet at least one of the required two conditions (legitimate expertise and expert consensus) structurally required in the forms of a statistical syllogism.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority#cite_note-salmon-1

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      (end of Wikipedia quote)

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Now there is a consensus on this matter between two legit experts on the subject matter (plus Garry and Jonathan but they have not stated their experience in the matter so I didn't count them), and persons X are holding that A are true, therefore the breakdown must resolve around the belief that X is a legitimate expert on the matter which I freely admit that I cannot prove my expertise in the matter (or anyone else for that matter) any more than you can prove you are a mid-aged black haired woman named Morgaine.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      The fallacy around appeals to authority revolves not around multiple experts being wrong (though it can happen, it becomes increasingly unlikely) nor around "I can ignore anything said by someone claiming to be an expert because their expertise doesn't count", but around giving added weight to experts on things they shouldn't be given extra authority on (such as giving extra weight to an airlines pilot claim of seeing a UFO because they're trained observers of the sky.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Now I admit, I'm not much of a philosopher and if you want to take this argument into the realm of philosophy of possibilities rather than realities of engineering (like arguing that a resistor won't behave in manner X despite never having done anything with resistors and stating all my years of working with resistors is wrong because it goes against how you think the ideal world scenario of resistors should operate) then I'm going to loose, hands down.  But it seems to me that the basis for your argument has some fallacies of its own.  "Association resulting in causation", "Ad ignorantiam", (side note a straw man argument is attacking a side issue to hide the fact that you're wrong about the main issue), and while I don't know the proper term for it, an unsound premise (namely, B-com wants to keep the BCM2835 in constant production despite the fact that all the sales for the raspberry pi don't amount to 1/1000th of their quarterly earnings)

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      The Association resulting in causation is Eben working for B-com will result in B-com producing more units (which is a double fallacy because it also implies that Eben can somehow know how much demand is upcoming for the pi, when it's been stated from Liz that they have to wait to hear from the distributors just to find out how many have been sold a month ago.)

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      The Ad ignorantiam is the repeated phrase "it's all speculation" with the rest of the post going on to say therefore I'm right. (This is also a double fallacy because it attempts to equate your speculation about how our fields of expertise work with our knowledge of how our fields work and nullify both as meaningless, indeed it actually tries to trump expertise with strong opinion).

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      I'll throw in one last one and that's the fallacy fallacy (you might want to google it).  Where you say the "just in case" is a straw man (which doesn't really fit the mold of attacking a weak position to hide the fact you can't attack the main one)

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Finally, and I don't know the name for this one either, but there is a fallacy where you try to claim that an engineering forum doesn't care about experience.  That's all an engineering forum cares about.  If I have problems with a circuit I don't want some wet behind the ears kid with a head full of text book answers from circuits 101 trying to tell me how the part of the circuit I've tested could never operate because of thing "x". I want someone with lots of real world experience to say "oh yeah, I've been here"

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      *whew* that post took forever, I'm really no good at this philosophy crap!  lol.  I don't know what else to tell you Morgaine (This might be ad hominem), but if you want to dig your heels in and shout that your opinions trump my experience.  I don't think there's anything I can do about that.  I've worked with enough children to know that's a battle lost when you first step foot on the battlefield!  I just wish you'd stop pushing these opinions of your as such strong facts, not only for the sake of people who are equally unaware and believe you, but also for your own sake and image with people who do know better. 

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      With that I've said all I can say about the matter and I promise you can have the last word and prove how you're right about all this and I won't say anything back

                                                                                                                                        • Re: new RPi model B planned soon

                                                                                                                                          > despite the fact that all the sales for the raspberry pi don't amount to 1/1000th of their quarterly earnings

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                          you would do well to look up the definition of "earnings"

                                                                                                                                            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                              7point62

                                                                                                                                              When quotes from Wikipedia (which isn't in itself the most authoritative of sources) start getting bandied about then surely it demonstrates that the thread needs either some tlc or a whack over the head with a shovel. Lectures about "logical fallacies", "arguments from authorities" and other meta-argument piffle are just hot air filling the vacuum formed by a lack of proper discussion and posturing by people who just have to win, even when there's no criterion for "victory" and no prizes either...

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                              Jesus, somebody will be invoking Godwin next - and likely providing a Wikipedia link to more self-indulgent and / or plagiarised guff.

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                              C'mon folks, stop baiting each other, calm down a bit and try to stick to interpreting the facts and numbers. It is Friday, after all.

                                                                                                                                                • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                                  morgaine

                                                                                                                                                  Jonathan Garrish wrote:

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  C'mon folks, stop baiting each other, calm down a bit and try to stick to interpreting the facts and numbers. It is Friday, after all.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  That's well said (even if it weren't Friday), but careful what you ask for.  If you let people "interpret the facts" not using logic but with universally known forms of illogic then the results of "interpreting the facts" will be hogwash.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  Fortunately this is an engineering forum and because of our engineering, scientific and technical backgrounds, pretty much everybody uses very good logic here, simply because it comes natural to us.  After all, if we didn't reason properly then the products we engineer probably wouldn't work.  So, thinking and arguing logically is totally second nature in this community, and it's rare that a red flag has to be raised because logical discussions are being derailed by flawed forms that are more common in political debating than in technology.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, I've just got back in and only had time to briefly scan mynameisJim's post, but it looks good and deserves a reply.  Rest assured that baiting isn't happening on my part, and I don't see any in mynameisJim's posts either.  We're having a good (and very logical) discussion, and it's not really about philosophy at all, but about Broadcom and how their BCM2835 manufacturing might be affected by their relationship with RPF.  The short detour into logic won't last long because there's almost nothing to discuss there since the subject is very well known.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  'Hope you're having or had a good Friday night out, or at least by the fire.

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  Morgaine.

                                                                                                                                                    • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                                      mynameisJim

                                                                                                                                                      Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                      Jonathan Garrish wrote:

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                      C'mon folks, stop baiting each other, calm down a bit and try to stick to interpreting the facts and numbers. It is Friday, after all.

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                      That's well said (even if it weren't Friday), but careful what you ask for.  If you let people "interpret the facts" not using logic but with universally known forms of illogic then the results of "interpreting the facts" will be hogwash.

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                      Fortunately this is an engineering forum and because of our engineering, scientific and technical backgrounds, pretty much everybody uses very good logic here, simply because it comes natural to us.  After all, if we didn't reason properly then the products we engineer probably wouldn't work.  So, thinking and arguing logically is totally second nature in this community, and it's rare that a red flag has to be raised because logical discussions are being derailed by flawed forms that are more common in political debating than in technology.

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I've just got back in and only had time to briefly scan mynameisJim's post, but it looks good and deserves a reply.  Rest assured that baiting isn't happening on my part, and I don't see any in mynameisJim's posts either.  We're having a good (and very logical) discussion, and it's not really about philosophy at all, but about Broadcom and how their BCM2835 manufacturing might be affected by their relationship with RPF.  The short detour into logic won't last long because there's almost nothing to discuss there since the subject is very well known.

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                      'Hope you're having or had a good Friday night out, or at least by the fire.

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                      Morgaine.

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                      You know you can just call me Jim, it is my name lol!  Also, I was looking at my post again, and at the very end I realized that my statement could be misinterpreted.  I don't mean to imply you're acting childish nor that you're the only one digging in their heels, but merely trying to illustrate the pointlessness of my continuing to debate the matter, sorry for any offense the statement may have caused.

                                                                                                                                                        • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                                          morgaine

                                                                                                                                                          mynameisJim wrote:

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          You know you can just call me Jim, it is my name lol!

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          Jim: It's generally an error to infer anything from a username, but of course I will if that's good with you.  Signing off as "Jim" would of course tell people immediately how you'd like to be called.

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          Also, I was looking at my post again, and at the very end I realized that my statement could be misinterpreted.  I don't mean to imply you're acting childish nor that you're the only one digging in their heels, but merely trying to illustrate the pointlessness of my continuing to debate the matter, sorry for any offense the statement may have caused.

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          I still haven't had the opportunity to examine it in depth, but I will later today.  If it does imply any such thing then not only is it wrong, but blatantly wrong.  My exchange with you is being done as professionally (in the sense of engineering and academic professions) and as accurately as I can, and if there is anything you write that I dispute then I've simply been pointing it out, with clear reasons given, as precisely as I can.  The fact that I find some of your conclusions erroneous in the context we're discussing is hardly a faux pas (they may still be accurate in a different context).  It just means that we are arguing slightly different points, or based on different premises, and therefore partly "arguing past" each other.

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, that's getting very "meta", so let me save my energies for answering your long post later on.

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          Morgaine.

                                                                                                                                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                    John Beetem

                                                                                                                                    Billy Thornton wrote:

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    ... And remember, there is a 30wk (still don't [believe] that one) lead time - that's over 6 months, a lot can happen in 6 months...

                                                                                                                                    The source on the 30 week lead time is liz herself.  Last September (2012) I heard Rob Bishop say 23 weeks, so it's gotten worse.  As you say, >6 months is a long time and fads can be short-lived.  For example, Richard Lester made A Hard Day's Night (1964) on a very short schedule since nobody knew how long the Beatles would be popular   So I can see why neither distributor would want to be stuck with unsellable BCM2835 inventory.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Interesting that the fab times are getting worse.  Maybe it's Apple booking up prime fab time so they can peevishly distance themselves further from Samsung.  Or the fabs are swamped making Allwinner A10s and A13s.

                                                                                                                                      • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                        BillyBob

                                                                                                                                        Used to work in the industry - times vary according to what's popular - probably new models of phone coming out soon - Christmas tends to cause a rush of new product hitting the market, so the fabs will be backed up which would result in longer lead times. Probably not Apple, although their production is moving away from Samsung, so might be going to TSMC or similar. The sort of volume there would dwarf the raspberry pi, so it's not surprising that's backed up. If I were a manufacturer I'd be building the high profit chips, not low profit stuff like the 2835 (or the Allwinners, but they would be in Chinese fabs anyway). Which is exactly what is happening.

                                                                                                                                          • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                            John Beetem

                                                                                                                                            Billy Thornton wrote:

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            ... Probably not Apple, although their production is moving away from Samsung, so might be going to TSMC or similar. The sort of volume there would dwarf the raspberry pi, so it's not surprising that's backed up. If I were a manufacturer I'd be building the high profit chips, not low profit stuff like the 2835 (or the Allwinners, but they would be in Chinese fabs anyway). Which is exactly what is happening.

                                                                                                                                            According to this Allwinner press release, the A10 is manufactured by TSMC, one of the fabs used by Broadcom.  So lots of competition for a limited amount of fab.

                                                                                                                                          • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                            mconners

                                                                                                                                            John Beetem wrote:

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            For example, Richard Lester made A Hard Day's Night (1964) on a very short schedule since nobody knew how long the Beatles would be popular

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            Ahh, the Fab Four

                                                                                                                              • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                jamodio

                                                                                                                                The Rpi is like a toy, despite the hype in terms of mass market is in nobody's radar screen, it is still really unclear what's the relationship between RPF and Broadcom besides the intersection with some full time employees contributing to RPF, the agreement between RPF and the manufacturer/distributors is a mistery secret, then in the worst case scenario if demand keeps constant or growing we may have to wait much longer to get a board.

                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                PS. Don't feed the trolls

                                                                                                                            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                              jopaji

                                                                                                                              Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              RPF has said clear as daylight that every Model A that could be produced would result in one less Model B being produced.

                                                                                                                              But nearly every Model A produced and sold is a Model B that would not be needed instead.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              I think it is clear the reason As have not been made is that the distributors are not enthusiastic about them. 

                                                                                                                              Why make the even cheaper device and risk being left with waste stock of 9512s.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              They have been very careful never even to gauge demand for the Model A so they can cling to the "too many people still ordering Bs" excuse.

                                                                                                                                • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                  morgaine

                                                                                                                                  jopaji wrote:

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  But nearly every Model A produced and sold is a Model B that would not be needed instead.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  I think it is clear the reason As have not been made is that the distributors are not enthusiastic about them. 

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  That's a pretty good point you make.  Even if one were to dispute the "nearly every" part, it's certainly the case that a proportion of Model A sales will replace Model B sales, so it's not plain sailing for the distributors.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  Yes, I can see the disincentive for them.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  [Addendum:  That said, the margin on Model A might be a bit higher, which would make them happier.  Perhaps we can estimate that.]

                                                                                                                • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                  mynameisJim

                                                                                                                  Oh, and I don't trust anything they say for timing.  No matter who well intentioned their estimates are something always goes wrong and we're left waiting for another 6 months.

                                                                                                                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                    Roger Wolff

                                                                                                                    Guys, one thing that seems to be forgotten is that the RPI foundation apparently got stuck with a batch of 256Mb POP memory chips. Those are going on the model As that hopefully hit the streets soon.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    When you are a supermarket, people walk in and expect to be able to buy things immediately. "1L milk, yes madam, I'll order it right away, it will be delivered here next wednesday. Goodbye madam!". Not acceptable.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    Also many shops have the hopes of selling MORE if they keep stock. Someone somewhere might be looking for a product and go somewhere else if you don't have it NOW.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    However in other markets, notably the BCM2835 market, are different. A chip fab is very very unlikely  (and probably contractually prohibited) to keep stock. Then there is broadcom. They apparently live in a market where they don't know in advance how many chips of an item will be sold. So they keep maybe enough stock to provide samples, but for production quanitities, they have a lead time. So they can schedule making about as many chips as have been sold, and/or shift production ratios between chips as the demand requires.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    As I believe that Farnell has sold about 430k raspberries, they apparently correctly estimated such an amount of BCM2835's and ordered them in time for august/september/october/november delivery.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    RS however started delivery of raspberry pi orders number 130k and up somewhere late october, early november. At the point those orders were taken, the one-per-customer rule hadn't been lifted yet (or not for long anyway).  So at that point in time, they either had sold 130k or 30k (if they started the orders at 100k).

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    For Farnell to order 300k extra BCM2835's before they had sold them that too is a leap of faith. A gamble that has paid out well.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    Now in hindsight you might say that this was not a gamble. But it was. At first the expected salesvolume was 10k. But on launchday that number probably needed adjustment to 100k. Fine. But if you order 300k more chips will they be sold? Maybe, just maybe, someone comes out with a $30 board with better specs than the 'pi and all of a sudden sales drop. Then, what are you going to do with those extra BCM2835s?

                                                                                                                      • Re: new RPi model B planned soon

                                                                                                                        > Guys, one thing that seems to be forgotten is that the RPI foundation apparently got stuck with a batch of 256Mb POP memory chips. Those are going on the model As that hopefully hit the streets soon.

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        I don't think anyone's forgotten that.  But so far there are more questions than answers.

                                                                                                                        Why would RPF get stuck owning chips if the distributors do all the manufacturing?

                                                                                                                        Do the distributors buy their ram chips from RPF?   If so, do they buy the SoC or other chips

                                                                                                                        from RPF as well?  Do they buy unpopulated boards from RPF?  Or populated boards?

                                                                                                                        Does this shed any light on why RS boards have the Sony "made in the UK" silkscreen?

                                                                                                                        Does this shed any light on why both distributors started shipping 512MB boards on

                                                                                                                        the same date?  If RPF is in the middle of things, does RPF's limited capital restrict

                                                                                                                        the production rate?   Did the distributors balk at making Model A's?

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        >RS however started delivery of raspberry pi orders number 130k and up somewhere late october, early november. At the point those orders were taken, the one-per-customer rule hadn't been lifted yet (or not for long anyway).  So at that point in time, they either had sold 130k or 30k (if they started the orders at 100k).

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        They are reportedly up to around order number 169K.  But as Jim Manley famously

                                                                                                                        pointed out, these are order numbers, not units shipped, because there have been

                                                                                                                        quite a few reports of cancellations.  I think the Allied order numbers are separate,

                                                                                                                        although probably not very large.

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        The lead time seems to be different every time it is reported, and it isn't ever clear

                                                                                                                        whether the chips being delivered now were ordered 30 weeks ago, or the chips

                                                                                                                        ordered now will be delivered 30 weeks hence.   I don't think either distributor

                                                                                                                        would have any boards to sell today if they were just now getting chips ordered

                                                                                                                        30 weeks ago. If RPF starts accepting orders for Model A's in March, does that

                                                                                                                        mean they won't be delivered until October?

                                                                                                                          • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                            morgaine

                                                                                                                            coder27 wrote:

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            The lead time seems to be different every time it is reported, and it isn't ever clear

                                                                                                                            whether the chips being delivered now were ordered 30 weeks ago, or the chips

                                                                                                                            ordered now will be delivered 30 weeks hence.   I don't think either distributor

                                                                                                                            would have any boards to sell today if they were just now getting chips ordered

                                                                                                                            30 weeks ago. If RPF starts accepting orders for Model A's in March, does that

                                                                                                                            mean they won't be delivered until October?

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            Indeed.  The information we've been given just doesn't hang together at all.  And now it has to be reconciled with:

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            Lizwrote:

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            Farnell told us yesterday that they've shipped 429,000 so far, and I don't have current figures for RS, but they'll be only a little lower)

                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                            which of course means that RS could not have been ordering a lot less than Farnell on average, since at the current date they've shipped nearly as many as Farnell (+/- Liz's phrase "little lower").  Any claim that RS were underordering initially by a huge amount has to be met with acceptance that RS were ordering vastly more than Farnell later on, otherwise they could not have shipped roughly similar amounts by today.

                                                                                                                            • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                              Roger Wolff

                                                                                                                              [sorry if the formatting comes out badly. I tried editing it in the "full editor", couldn't do what I wanted,

                                                                                                                              I then edited some parts in the HTML, and got what I wanted, according to the "full editor". But

                                                                                                                              the final result shows it quite badly again. Sigh. ]

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              coder27 wrote:

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              I don't think anyone's forgotten that.  But so far there are more questions than answers.

                                                                                                                              Why would RPF get stuck owning chips if the distributors do all the manufacturing?

                                                                                                                              The foundation made the first batch. It is unlikely that the minimum order quantity of all chips exactly line up at 10000 units.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Or, someone at the Foundation had the smarts to think ahead and order some long-lead-time memory chips.

                                                                                                                              Do the distributors buy their ram chips from RPF?

                                                                                                                              No.

                                                                                                                              If so, do they buy the SoC or other chips from RPF as well? 

                                                                                                                              No.

                                                                                                                              Do they buy unpopulated boards from RPF? 

                                                                                                                              No.

                                                                                                                                Or populated boards?

                                                                                                                              No.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Does this shed any light on why RS boards have the Sony "made in the UK" silkscreen?

                                                                                                                              No. I suspect that Pete Lomas provided the new 2.0 CAD files to Farnell (who were going to make them in UK) and expected to redo them (just the silkscreen) for RS when they needed a new batch. He forgot, didn't have time, didn't bother.

                                                                                                                              Does this shed any light on why both distributors started shipping 512MB boards

                                                                                                                              on the same date?

                                                                                                                              No. I think that's a contractual obligation between RPI foundation, Element14 and RS. Remember when the "one per order" limit was lifted? RS still had an order queue of about 5-6 months, while Farnell was down to a few weeks. 

                                                                                                                              If RPF is in the middle of things, does RPF's limited capital restrict the

                                                                                                                              production rate? 

                                                                                                                              No. They have been offered capital and refused: we have enough of that. Recently Liz has said they have plenty of money.

                                                                                                                                Did the distributors balk at making Model A's?

                                                                                                                              No. They might be a bit reluctant to take it up. Especially if their markup can be a bit higher on the  $35 version. Even from the beginning I've thought that is a steep markup: $10 for an ethernet/usb chip. Right now the ethernet USB adapters (including PCB and connectors!) sell for $1 on ebay. The Lan9512 sells for EUR 3.41 at mouser if you buy 1000. So price pressure is bigger on the model A. 

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              >> RS however started delivery of raspberry pi orders number 130k and up

                                                                                                                              >> somewhere late october, early november. At the point those orders were

                                                                                                                              >> taken, the one-per-customer rule hadn't been lifted yet (or not for long

                                                                                                                              >> anyway).  So at that point in time, they either had sold 130k or 30k (if

                                                                                                                              >>> they started the orders at 100k).

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              >They are reportedly up to around order number 169K.  But as Jim Manley famously

                                                                                                                              > pointed out, these are order numbers, not units shipped, because there have been

                                                                                                                              > quite a few reports of cancellations.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              I skimped over: Any multiple-units-per-order would probably cancel the cancelations. It's a rough estimate anyway. And has the 100k uncertainty if nobody can remember wether or not someone reported an order number of under 100k.

                                                                                                                                I think the Allied order numbers are separate,

                                                                                                                              although probably not very large.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              The lead time seems to be different every time it is reported, and it isn't ever clear

                                                                                                                              whether the chips being delivered now were ordered 30 weeks ago, or the chips

                                                                                                                              ordered now will be delivered 30 weeks hence.   I don't think either distributor

                                                                                                                              would have any boards to sell today if they were just now getting chips ordered

                                                                                                                              30 weeks ago.

                                                                                                                              I expect that the lead times vary according to demand.  So somewhere may/june, farnell snatched all the BCM2835s that were available for delivery august/september. 8-12 weeks lead time. And the next available batch of BCM2835s would be delivered october.

                                                                                                                              If RPF starts accepting orders for Model A's in March, does that mean they won't be delivered until October?

                                                                                                                              Nah! I don't think so. First: the "march" date comes from a post from Liz saying you'd surely be able to buy them in March. Implying March 2012, as she said that in Feb 2012. Secondly I have the impression that the BCM2835 situation is clearing up. Reasonable stock levels are now in place in the places where they are needed.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              There is this "game". There are several teams (1 to 5 people per team). Preferably about 5 or 6. The first one is the factory. They have to decide how many goods they are going to produce. Next there is an importer, wholesaler and finally a chain-of-retailers. Everybody is told not to tell their suppliers how much they sold, everybody pays cost on keeping stock etc. The factory is started off with "Last month you sold 1000, how many are you going to produce for the next month?". Similarly the importer is started with: "Last month you sold 1000, how many are you going to order for the next month?". And so on down the chain. But nobody knows what the others have been told. Everybody submits their order for the next (virtual) month, and the game continues.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              From the outside with full information everybody would benefit from everybody ordering 1000 units for the next month. But people want to "bet" on sales increasing and shy away from having to say no to a customer. So they want to build a small stock, so first the demand exceeds production. Then to prevent that from happening again, they order more from their suppliers, who start thinking sustained demand is higher than it really is. You get enormous dynamics before things settle down.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              In the "real world", the actual numbers are dynamic as well. Demand is not the stable 1000 units as in the game. So people in control have been playing the game for a while already and at the factory they know that they will obtain the best profit if they keep low stocks. Chips go out of fashion really quickly.

                                                                                                                                • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                  BillyBob

                                                                                                                                  I'm really struggluing to understand why you all find this so interesting and keep going on about it. Analysing the Foundation and their distributors sales, orders and all that fluff is all rather pointless I've decided. SO many conspiracies theories being banded about, so many almost certainly rubbish  assumption, when if people just took a quick look, took everything at face value, its all seems fairly bloody obvious. Trying to attach all the other nonsense it really a waste of time. - perhaps people time woudl be better spent actually doing something interesting, like using the damn thing?

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  It all comes down to...

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  Unexpected popularity, bad order forcasting by the manufacturers, long chip lead times. Add on a few minor contractual arguments behind the scenes (I thinking the Foundation having the 256's for the Model A) , and you have explained everything.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  There, I've simplified it all for you. No need to thank me, although a tinny wouldn't go amiss.

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  Bill

                                                                                                                                  • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                    morgaine

                                                                                                                                    Roger, a formatting hint.  The way I overcome the idiosyncracies of both forum editors that you've experienced is as follows.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Use the Quote Previous Message (QPM) button to bring in the whole post, and delete everything below the line to which you want to respond.  Add your comment below it.  (This is what you did, once.)

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Then for each new section of the post to which you want to reply, use QPM again, delete the top section (including the "XXX writes:") which you already included earlier, and delete the section below the next block to which you want to respond, leaving only the part you want to reference, and write your stuff below it.  Rinse and repeat.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    The referenced blocks then come out nice and tidy, which seems to be impossible if you just use QPM once.  The quoted blocks don't react well to being split.

                                                                                                                                    • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                      John Beetem

                                                                                                                                      Roger Wolff wrote:

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Did the distributors balk at making Model A's?

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      No. They might be a bit reluctant to take it up. Especially if their markup can be a bit higher on the $35 version. Even from the beginning I've thought that is a steep markup: $10 for an ethernet/usb chip. Right now the ethernet USB adapters (including PCB and connectors!) sell for $1 on ebay. The Lan9512 sells for EUR 3.41 at mouser if you buy 1000. So price pressure is bigger on the model A.

                                                                                                                                      I would suspect that the magjack would cost at least as much as the LAN9512, and then you've got three LEDs, a crystal, a double-size USB jack, the cost difference between 256MB and 512MB, and a bunch of discretes.  So it's hard to say which is more profitable to make.  I suspect you're right and it's still more profitable to make a Model B, or distributors would be more enthusiastic about selling Model As.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Regarding formatting, I would suggest using italics for questions rather than attempting nested quotations.  I've used Morgaine's trick a couple of times myself, but it's pretty tedious if you have a lot of quotation blocks.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      Speaking for myself, I find this activity of trying to understand RPF and distributor behavior from the few tidbits of actual data to be quite interesting.  There are clearly serious problems with how RasPi has been distributed and understanding such problems in detail help prevent future RasPi-like projects from repeating them.

                                                                                                                                      • Re: new RPi model B planned soon

                                                                                                                                        I wrote:

                                                                                                                                        >> Why would RPF get stuck owning chips if the distributors do all the manufacturing?

                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                        Roger wrote:

                                                                                                                                        > The foundation made the first batch. It is unlikely that the minimum order quantity of all chips exactly line up at 10000 units.

                                                                                                                                        > Or, someone at the Foundation had the smarts to think ahead and order some long-lead-time memory chips.

                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                        I don't think these are ram chips left over from the first batch.  I think the first batch

                                                                                                                                        was Hynix, and these are Samsung.  Based on the chip markings, I think they are

                                                                                                                                        rather recent Samsung.

                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                        > Any multiple-units-per-order would probably cancel the cancelations.

                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                        I think the single-order rule was lifted right around the time of the orders that

                                                                                                                                        they are currently delivering, so I don't think multiple orders is a significant factor,

                                                                                                                                        although it may be in the future.  I think Allied was somewhat lax about the

                                                                                                                                        single-order rule, so it may have more effect on their orders.

                                                                                                                                    • Re: new RPi model B planned soon
                                                                                                                                      morgaine

                                                                                                                                      Roger Wolff wrote:

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      At first the expected salesvolume was 10k.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      No it wasn't.  10k was merely the quantity for which RPF could afford to buy BOM components.  The interest was at fever pitch on the web site/mailing list almost from the start, and they knew very early on (long before launch) that 100k+ would be wanted immediately under one-per-person rules, and more once the restriction was lifted.  That wasn't speculation, but direct feedback.  No hindsight needed.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      In addition, all rational analyses were predicting that a vastly greater pool of interest existed beyond the techies that typically inhabit online venues.  That was speculation, granted, but very well informed speculation, and the way the Pi was continually being promoted was ensuring that this extra interest would just grow and grow.  The promotion was done in ordinary news channels after all, not just techie ones, and media centre functionality was so frequently mentioned that the promotion was clearly targeting people outside of techdom as well.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      So no, it's not reasonable to claim that only with hindight could the level of demand we see today have been known.

                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                      And of course, a few weeks after the chaos of launch day, any doubt that might have been held about the levels of demand disappeared completely, so suggestions that the level of demand was unknown at any time after the first weeks of March are completely erroneous.