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Supply Chain

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:59 pm
by ToniB
Hi everyone,
I new to this, so please be gentle with me.
My company is developing a new product which includes the Raspberry Pi Zero W as a major component.
If we are as successful as we anticipate (one has to be optimistic!) we will be needing to procure thousands of these at a time, but are currently limited to one per order, which is fine for prototyping, but will be a real problem once we start production.
Our product offers a strong social benefit and we would be heartbroken if we had problems with the supply chain.
We need to start a conversation with someone about volumes, but have no idea where to begin.
We have considered alternative single board computers, but there is nothing on the market that matches the price/performance ratio.
HELP!

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:03 pm
by jamesh
RPF(T) do not recommend using the Zero or ZeroW in commercial product due to the production limitations. We have the CM or indeed the Pi3 and Pi3A that have no such restrictions.

We are looking into ways on increasing production to suit industrial requirements, but this is a way away, and may not suit everyone.

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:34 am
by ToniB
Hi again,
Thanks for that. We were already using the bigger brother/sister, for one of the components. Having certainty that the Zero W is out of the question for the smaller units, means that we have to reassess the approach... there are always multiple ways to achieve the same result. Our design is so modular that we will be able to slot it in at a later stage.
I am most grateful for your prompt reply
T

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:36 am
by ToniB
ps... can you tell me if the CM includes USB functionality?
Ta.

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:38 am
by DougieLawson
You should look at the CM1, CM3 or CM3 lite. Its reason for existing is industrial use. You can add whatever external hardware you need. That can include a SMSC9514 if you need a four port USB with ethernet.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... /README.md

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:29 pm
by W. H. Heydt
ToniB wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:36 am
ps... can you tell me if the CM includes USB functionality?
Ta.
The CM series exposes every interface available on the SoC. To use it, you need to design a "carrier board". If you want to test it, get a development kit. Pricey--about $150 to $200, depending on what is included--but it will get you started.

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:31 pm
by W. H. Heydt
jamesh wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:03 pm
...Pi3A that have no such restrictions.
Is that an incipient launch announcement? (Hope springs eternal...)

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:34 pm
by CarlRJ
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:31 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:03 pm
...Pi3A that have no such restrictions.
Is that an incipient launch announcement? (Hope springs eternal...)
I... wondered about that too. :)

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:57 pm
by jamesh
Typo. Soz. No idea about a PI3A, meant the original A.

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:42 am
by W. H. Heydt
jamesh wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:57 pm
Typo. Soz. No idea about a PI3A, meant the original A.
Okay...I'll be gentle. The original A is pretty hard to get these days. You *probably* mean the A+. If so, I presume that the problem with the "smart display" companies gobbling them all up has been resolved.

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:10 am
by jamesh
Basically, I mean whatever the current A model is.

Brain is too full of other exciting future stuff to worry about what we sell at the moment!

Re: Supply Chain

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:32 pm
by bitbank
ToniB wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:59 pm
We have considered alternative single board computers, but there is nothing on the market that matches the price/performance ratio.
HELP!
The IoT market is constantly in flux and this statement is no longer true. I don't bring this up to take away anything from the fine work the RPF is doing, but there are commercially available boards which compete with the ZeroW. Here's one example:

https://it.aliexpress.com/store/product ... 91224fRkqJ

I've used various boards from OrangePi and they're certainly not as well supported as RPi's boards, but they do work. In general, these boards support the Linux I/O drivers for I2C, GPIO and SPI, so you have standard ways of talking to peripherals. If you're project currently depends on some Python wrapper for a RPi-specific API (e.g. PIGPIO), then you'll have to do a little coding to adapt it.