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[Video] ARM's Stake in Raspberry Pi Ltd is Part of a Trend of Large-Scale Corporate Ownership, Less Community Role

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Nov 07, 2023

Video download link | md5sum 95ea33b4df48cbf6e96402b58a598489
A Corporate ARM
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Preview for A Corporate ARM

THE video above deals primarily with the ARM investment in Raspberry Pi Ltd.

For those who have not paid close enough attention, as per the official statement from the official site and some media coverage (e.g. [1-3]), ARM has planted a long stake in the territories of Raspberry Pi Ltd.

Many of the reports (below we have just a subset of Daily Links) did not add any new information; they mostly parroted a bunch of official quotes and did not dig any further.

This latest development, alongside Google "sponsorship" or "partnership" as announced some days ago, can sort of add up. Then add up the unrest caused by the Sony partnership, which apparently caused supply shortages and this meant higher pricing for the rest of us. Going back to 2021 there's the Microsoft spyware (a blunder we were first to expose) and despite me owning and currently using two Raspberry Pi 4 devices (one is a 400, i.e. keyboard-enclosed) I am a little hesitant to order another. Sony, ARM, Google, and the 2021 Visual Studio Code "deal"... a bit too much.

While I cannot figure out the true motives of ARM (what they say in the open is usually "optics" or nice-sounding PR) this reminds me that a decade and a half ago Microsoft (MSFT) bought about 5% stake in FB (now Meta). There were speculations about this in Wall Street circles as they said it was supposed to prevent a takeover by Google (GOOG) when it was growing fast and later popularised Chrome, making it a gateway to the Web (most major browsers are now based on Chromium).

Raspberry Pi used to feel like a 'family business' with a large community of enthusiasts around it (like Ubuntu at the very start), but if it lets itself be controlled or financially steered by DRM pushers, then it might end us like OLPC.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Arm makes strategic investment in Raspberry Pi

    Arm has just acquired a minority stake in Raspberry Pi through a strategic investment in order “to deliver critical solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) developer community.” Paul Williamson, SVP and GM, Internet of Things Line of Business, Arm explains the rationale behind the investment: [...]

  2. Arm picks up a minority stake in Raspberry Pi

    It seems that Arm wants to gain more of a foothold in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. "With the rapid growth of edge and endpoint AI applications, platforms like those from Raspberry Pi, built on Arm, are critical to driving the adoption of high-performance IoT devices globally by enabling developers to innovate faster and more easily," Paul Williamson, senior vice-president and general manager of Arm's IoT division, said in a statement.

  3. Arm grabs a minority slice of Raspberry Pi • The Register

    Since 2012, the maker of the currently best-selling British computer has released a number of Raspberry Pi models in different form factors. Last month, it launched the Raspberry Pi 5, which brought several notable improvements – including a much faster quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A76 processor running at 2.4GHz, better graphics and more robust I/O.

    Over the past few years these devices have also become popular for use in industrial applications at the edge. As of 2020, more than half of all Raspberry Pi units were being deployed in industrial and commercial settings. This no doubt factored into Arm's decision to invest.

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