These Raspberry Pi alternatives should soon be easier to find

RockPi 4
(Image credit: RockPi)

If you're a Raspberry Pi aficionado looking for alternatives to the sought-after microcomputer, you might be pleased to know that Rockchip-powered boards will now be available from the UK-based online store OKdo.

Rockchip, a manufacturer based in Fuzhou, China produces popular Raspberry Pi alternatives under the "Rock" brand name, such as the Rock Pi 4.

The announcement, revealed via eeNews Europe, comes as the longstanding relationship between RS Group, owner of OKdo, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation lapsed after almost a decade. 

What does this mean?

OKdo says the move will boost the availability of customizable single-board (CSB) computers as a result of its engineering expertise, technology, ecosystem partners, supply chain and global distribution channels.

The range of products includes the ROCK 4 SE, a cost-reduced version of Radxa’s ROCK 4C Plus board that uses the RK3399-T six-core ARM processor. 

The motherboard boasts two Cortex-A72 cores with a performance capacity of 1.5GHz and four 1.0GHz Cortex-A53 cores, as well as ARM’s T860MP4 Mali GPU with 4GB of 64bit LPDDR4 RAM.

Today's news could be music to the ears of hardware tinkerers or those simply interested in upskilling their python development, as Raspberry PI has suffered some serious shortages in the past year.

In an interview with The Verge, the boss of the trading arm of Raspberry Pi foundation Eben Upton described the shortages as "very bad".

He added: "We sold the same number of Raspberry Pis last year that we sold the year before, but we entered last year with about a half-million unit customer backlog, and we left last year with several million units of customer backlog." 

Richard Curtin, Co-Founder and CTO of OKdo, believes Raxa, a Rockchip design partner, is particularly well suited to weathering the storm of the supply chain crisis.

Curtin said: "Considering the supply chain constraints that Taiwan Semiconductors have had lately, there is a significant risk of stock shortages when the production of semiconductors is solely located in Asia or in one wafer fab."

He added that Rockchip's use of several different types of wafers "was one of the main attraction points when we initiated the design, manufacture, and distribution partnership with Radxa".

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.