Supply chain, shortages, and our first-ever price increase

As many of you know, global supply chains are in a state of flux as we (hopefully) emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. In our own industry, semiconductors are in high demand, and in short supply: the upsurge of demand for electronic products for home working and entertainment during the pandemic has descended into panic buying, as companies try to secure the components that they need to build their products.

At Raspberry Pi, we are not immune to this. Our own commercial team, our licensees, and our partners at Sony have done a great job keeping components coming in the door and products going out. But despite significantly increased demand, we’ll only end up making around seven million units in 2021: pretty much exactly what we did in 2020. The result has been a shortage of some products, notably Raspberry Pi Zero and the 2GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4.

We’re now expecting our supply chain challenges to continue through much of 2022. These challenges will fall most heavily on our older products, built on 40nm silicon: in practice, anything that isn’t a Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 400, or Compute Module 4. With this in mind, we’re making several changes to help our customers, many of whom are buying Raspberry Pis to power their businesses, navigate the next twelve months.

2GB Raspberry Pi 4 temporarily moves back to $45

In February last year, we announced that we were discontinuing the 1GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4, and moving the 2GB product to our signature price of $35. We’re still glad we did this, as countless young people made use of this device as they studied from home during the pandemic.

Unfortunately, cost increases caused by the current shortage mean that this product is not currently economically viable at this reduced price point. We are therefore moving it back to $45 on a temporary basis.

1GB Raspberry Pi 4 makes a comeback

To support the many industrial customers who have designed the 2GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4 into their products, we are reintroducing the 1GB variant at the $35 price point. This provides a degree of choice: less memory at the same price; or the same memory at a higher price.

Guidance for Raspberry Pi 3B+ users

In allocating our limited stocks of 40nm silicon, we will prioritise Compute Module 3, Compute Module 3+, and Raspberry Pi 3B, and deprioritise Raspberry Pi 3B+.

Users of Compute Modules will of course have made investments in carrier board designs and inventory. Raspberry Pi 3B has a single-band radio, without a shield can; many industrial users will have made significant investments in compliance testing. In contrast, Raspberry Pi 3B+ uses the same wireless chipset as Raspberry Pi 4, with the same FCC modular certification; we expect this similarity to translate into a lower migration cost.

Our guidance to industrial and embedded users of Raspberry Pi 3B+ who wish to optimise availability in 2022 is to begin migrating your designs to the 1GB variant of Raspberry Pi 4.

This is all temporary

None of these are palatable decisions. In the entire history of Raspberry Pi, we have never increased the price of a product, and have often been able to reduce prices between, and sometimes within, generations. Likewise, long-term availability of our products, from stock, is a core part of our value proposition to industrial customers. But this set of temporary changes is the best way we can see to support all our customers through these strange times.

The good news is that we’ve been able to hold the line on pricing for all but one of our products; that we expect to have enough 28nm silicon over the next twelve months to support both our existing Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 customers, and customers migrating from Raspberry Pi 3B+; and that we see early signs that the supply chain situation is starting to ease.

These changes in pricing are not here to stay. As global supply chain issues moderate, we’ll keep revisiting this issue, and we want to get pricing back to where it was as fast as we can.

We’re committed to supporting all of you who have chosen to build your products around our platform. Thank you for sticking with us: by working together, I’m confident we’ll get through the next twelve months in good shape.

65 comments
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Thanks for these insights and keep up the good work!

Reply to Dan

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Eben, can you please then extend planned avialability for Zero’s of all sort a couple years longer?
Because for now them absolutely impossible to get and often hard to replace.
Pico may be significant underpower in terms of software (full Linux OS vs bare metal apps) and sometimes CPU speed/RAM size too.
And higher Pi’s may be basicly overkill for simple tasks.
– Cheers!

Reply to na

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Thanks for the frank and detailed update. You do an awesome job and I can’t wait to see what future miracles you guys perform.

Reply to Ozz

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Well done for clear comms on what is an unpalatable but wise set of decisions.

Thinking ahead, would be great to see an updated Pi Zero with somewhat comparable silicon to Pi 4 (but with the inevitable compromises necessary for the form factor)

Reply to Neil

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Gotta say that eight days is a pretty fast response time :-)
I asked about this on 20th and then this morning there’s this: https://www.raspberrypi.com/news/new-raspberry-pi-zero-2-w-2/

Reply to Neil

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Why not bring out some good news like releasing the Pi 5??

Reply to Jeff

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Really Jeff? How on earth do you expect them to release the Raspberry Pi 5 when they are obviously struggling to keep up with current demand due to a global silicon shortage? I’d love to know.

Thanks for the update and transparency Eben, it’s greatly appreciated.

Reply to Really?

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The shortage is related to compounding over-ordering by hysterical companies that rely on specific, already known/usually available components. That sort of demand will eventually drop like a rock. There could be mechanisms put in place to stop this, but none of that really matters… What are the specific, already known components that will power the Raspberry Pi 5? Whatever that happens to be, perhaps everything to build it doesn’t rely that heavily on current semiconductor supply chains….(?) For instance, what if the Raspberry Pi 5 is a credit card size, room temperature, universal Quantum Computing technology that relies on completely different materials than what are currently being stressed…? Like Borates for example…no one’s going nuts over Boron right now! Or, …how about Mercury amalgams? Not a lot of love for Mercury for a while now; maybe it’s coming back?! & I haven’t seen many vacuum tubes used in computing lately…? Maybe they’re due for some miniaturization & a complete comeback… Who knows..? What I do know, however, is that a little forward thinking, maybe a bit lateral too, a little extra effort, & the will to make it happen, …can, indeed, make it happen. And maybe that Raspberry Pi 5 is being mass produced right this very moment! On the other hand, the will to make it happen can also just end in catastrophic failure… It really is hard to say either way… but I’d give it a solid 50:50 chance there’s a spectacular success taking form in the background & headed for delivery on a shorter-term than you might think!

Reply to Jenkins

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To be fair Eben did said this about older product using 40nm manufacturing process: “These challenges will fall most heavily on our older products, built on 40nm silicon”

While in the same blog post he said this about model using 28nm chips: “we expect to have enough 28nm silicon over the next twelve months to support both our existing Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 customers, and customers migrating from Raspberry Pi 3B+”

As RP5 will use 28nm manufacturing process or better, then the supply would not be as constrained as the older 40nm ones.

Reply to AkulaMD

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I’m guessing the focus isn’t on a next-gen product in the current climate! Who knows, but I imagine we’ll see a Pi 5 further in the future, once the silicon crunch is over and they can get hold of a better chip on a smaller process node but maintain the same price points as the current Pi 4. Just speculating, but that’s my take on it!

Reply to Altrux

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I hope they bring out the pi 5 soon!

Reply to Hike

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Strange comment, asking for more at a time of shortage when less is available …

Personally, the *last* thing I want right now would be a Pi5 anyway. I think that needs to wait till availability of next process node to bring the power and thermal requirements down (I think the Pi4 is already a step too far in this respect, and I’d love to see the design goals for future model to keep the power and thermal needs down lower than the Pi4).

If we’re dreaming of products for 12 months time, to celebrate hopefully the end of scarcity, then what I’d like is some new higher spec Pi Zeros (including one with a DSI port), and a Pi40 (the Pi400 motherboard in a plain stackable and rackable box, without the keyboard).

Reply to Mayfin

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I agree about hoping to constrain thermal issues going forward, though that will be extremely difficult to do will still having ever improving performance.

That’s a big part of why I like Pi2Bs. No need to worry about keeping cool.

As for your wish list for an updated Pi0… DSI connector runs directly into the board real estate issue: the PCB would have to be bigger. A faster processor (lets not even think about a Pi4-class SoC) runs into the problem of…where are you going to find one? Pi0–to maintain the form factor–relies on PoP DRAM. That constrains both the SoC package size and that of the chip within it.

As for what an updated Pi0 should look like… I’d suggest a modestly faster (say Cortex-A53 at the same 1GHz), with either one or two cores. Could drop the node to 28nm to keep the die small enough (and hold down on thermal issues) to be able to support PoP DRAM. I don’t expect to see such a beast any time in the foreseeable future, in part because who would order such a chip so the price would be low enough to fit the Pi0 budget?

Reply to W. H. Heydt

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Regarding increasing performance while reducing power/thermals … that’s why I said the Pi5 ought to wait until there’s manufacturing capacity available at the next process node. A new BCM processor on 20/22 nm would be ideal for a Pi 5.

As for DSI on a Pi Zero-class board – you’re absolutely right there isn’t the board real-estate for both DSI and CSI. I’d like to see two models – one with CSI for camera applications, and one with DSI for display uses.

(And for a processor – an underclocked BCM 2837, as on the 2Bv1.2 perhaps ?)

But anyway, these are all dreams for 12 months+ ahead. For now, good luck and best wishes for the Pi team in navigating the road ahead

Reply to Mayfin

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We already have a good look at what a future Pi Zero could or should look like: the Radxa Zero with Amlogic S905Y2, quad-core Cortex-A53, 512MB/1GB/2GB/4GB RAM. On a 12nm node. If RPT can’t use that new of a node, maybe dual-core is the way to go.

Since the Pi Zero is remaining in production until January 2026, I wouldn’t expect a new one until 2025.

Reply to Anonymous

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Given the design of Pi 5 is probably already finished, with work happening on 6, and the chip shortage is going to last a year, we may not see a 5 at all!

Reply to Andy

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This is not temporary.
You can’t fight against money printing.

Reply to Bitpaint

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It’s disappointing, but understandable. I hope the parts shortage eases sooner than we expect, because even with the adjustments, it will probably be a while before stocks are good for many of the products, especially the Zero (which often has “zero” in stock now!).

I thought I’d be less affected having a Micro Center nearby, but even they have been out of Pi 4s in any variety for a few weeks now :(

Reply to Jeff Geerling

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Stop Red-shirt Jeff from chopping any more IO. ;-)

Reply to Lewis Cowles

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Thank you for the information.

Reply to Lester Balladares

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I wondered when the semiconductor industry shortages would effect the Raspberry Pi. For several years we’ve expected inexorable progress – and I was wondering when we’d have a 22nm processor!
It’s only recently that we’ve been told how much the Auto Industry relies on ‘old nodes’ and that 28nm is going to be mainstream for some years to come.
The price strategy seems sensible given the circumstances. My sadness is that fewer young enthusiasts might get the Pi bug as it’s definitely the natural successor to Sinclair and the BBC micro.

Reply to Paul Miilligan

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Don’t forget, we still have the 1GB Pi4 at the $35 price point, so there is still the entry level option for those with limited budgets. Its only the 2GB device that has gone up in price (back to where it was originally)

Reply to jamesh

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Sorry to hear about the need, but no especially surprising. Good that you’re willing to be open about what’s going on and communicate (clearly) both action and intent. Not many companies do that.
I suppose this also means that Pi2Bv1.2 boards will be pretty much non-existent until some time in 2023.

Reply to W. H. Heydt

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for many years I would go to micro center and buy very affordable raspberry pi zeros , and raspberry pi 3a+ devices. I have enough stock at home to keep experimenting and learning. I feel bad for the kids that right now are trying to find a raspberry pi and can’t find it. Hopefully next year things will get better and raspberry devices can be found again at affordable prices. Thank you for all your hard work and everyone working on this computing platform. We appreciate the update and transparency.

Reply to Marco Maldonado

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You’re so far below most price points, it feels like a self-imposed hardship to keep to the old prices.

I Paid £100 for my Nvidia Jetson nano’s and I feel like raspberry Pi shipped a superior kit in my Pi’s 1-4, including zero. Nvidia shipped broken trash where I had to compile my own kernel to use the thing according to their docs. You’re all doing fantastic work.

Reply to Lewis Cowles

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Well there WAS reasons for Linus flying a birdie and dropping an F-bomb NVidia’s way…

Reply to Frank Earl

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Hi, Thank you for this report. When are you bringing out the raspberry pi 5?

Reply to Hike

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Raspberry Pi never announce new product like that in advance. And why ask on what is clearly a thread about something completely different? It doesn’t make any future Pi5 appear any faster!

Reply to jamesh

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How about fixing the firmware bug on the 3b+ and 3 wifi chip? Just like the 4, the 3 suffers from random disconnects and firmware crashes.

Reply to Alex

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Hi Alex, we do not have access to the firmware of the wireless chip, so have to rely on the supplier to fix issues. We can only get them to do that if the bug is reported with a full set of instructions on how to replicate the issue. Please check our github issue tracker to see if it has already been reported, and if not, please add an issue, along with data on how to make it go wrong.

Reply to jamesh

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Hi, where can I buy some CM4 ? It is out of stock here in europe for more than 6 month …

Reply to toto

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They are in stock at welectron, I have cm4 arriving from them tomorrow.

Reply to Graham

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I see Danish reseller Jkollerup.dk has some stock as well.

Reply to Anders

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Thank you for the honest explanation of all of this. If we can lay hands on the 1GB 4B’s easily enough, it’s rather a win if you pause to think. And as long as we can still fairly easily lay hands on the 4GB and 8GB configurations of 4B and CM4 units, this is still more than acceptible.

Reply to Frank Earl

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Found this out, 3b+ backordered to Feb 2022! :-(

Reply to Joseph Tannenbaum

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Introducing our first ever customer purchasing decrease

Reply to private

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Do you have a timeline when compute modules 3B+ will be available again?

Reply to Gerry

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The first time ever that i even read a public statement like this. Thank you for the communication and the insight. You’re doing great work!

Reply to Frank the german

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We are one of the companies that has invested in a custom carrier board for the CM3, and so we very much appreciate your focus on getting more CM3 stock available.
Do you have any updates on when you might expect more CM3 stock to arrive?

Reply to Richard Williams

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No idea if it would help but you could try emailing info@raspberrypi.com

Reply to Jimbo

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Hi Richard – I just passed this on to the commercial team. Someone will email you later this afternoon. :)

Reply to Liz Upton

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Hello Liz,
I am in the same scenario, could you also contact me to the commercial team?

Reply to Wim Braekevelt

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I’ve passed on your email. Thanks for letting us know.

Reply to Liz Upton

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Helllo Ms Upton
My company started a project with the CM4104016, in early 2021 as our dev I/O board was in final inspection for prototype production, we learned that the world was out of stock of the CM4. None of the US Distributors had any information to share with us at the time, and still to this day. Could RPI share some production plan details we could then base some hope for a future on? Please

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Hi Mike – I’ve passed your message on, and someone should get back to you soon.

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Hi Richard,
We also have some CM3, which may be available to you.

Reply to Anthony Wang

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We have also heavily invested into a cm3 carrier board. Could you also contact me to the commercial team?

Reply to Maarten

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That’s done. Someone should be in touch soon.

Reply to Liz Upton

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Hello Liz, We are also one of the companies that has invested in a custom carrier board for the CM3, and so we very much appreciate your focus on getting more CM3 stock available.
Do you have any updates on when you might expect more CM3 stock to arrive?

Reply to Geert

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I’ll ask someone in the Commercial team to drop you a line. :)

Reply to Liz Upton

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Hi Liz! My company has several products on the market which are based on a CM3+ with a custom-designed carrier board. We would love to have some guidance from the Commercial team; if you could pass my email on to them, I would greatly appreciate it.

Reply to Dan Phillips

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Cheer up. We love you.

Reply to Eduardo Moreno

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Solution: Release a Pi Zero with new 28nm CPU :)

Reply to Noxi

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We bought 5 RPI 4 2gb from local Micro center store $30 each around 2 years ago then did a lot of fun projects, and we did need more. A few months ago we went to micro center store again, we were told 2GB has been out of stock for one year, so had to buy 8gb one to build a mine craft server and 6 pieces of CM4.

Reply to Raspberry PI girls

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That’s odd; while there has been limited stock of 2GB this year, there has definitely been some, and Micro Centre has definitely been getting and selling that stock. Which is your local store?

Reply to Liz Upton

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Is there any incentive to retailers like micro center to limit purchases? I live in Columbus Ohio right near their flagship store and we typicallly need 1 or 2 rpi 4 with 4gb per week max and MC will get them and before they even make it to their site someone buys the whole lot.. likely a big industrial company. We are small business trying to get through like many. Only place we been able to get any is importing then 1 at a time from the UK from a retailer that thankfully does limit quantities.

Reply to Christopher

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Hi,
thank you Eben for keep us upto date. You guys are doing a fantastic job.
Its manufacturing in the 21st century with gigafactories. eg silicon chip factories.
there is no room for flexibility.
There is an English company called Arrival, a automobile micro factory with modular manufacturing. Its new but it will change the way we think of manfacturing.
This is not the answer for the problem we have now. but hope we learn from it.
flexibility is the key!
The Raspberry Pi Foundation as done it the right way.
not like poor Clive Sinclair.
I bought my first pi in 2012 now I have 8 pi’s to help me run my smart home.
what is analogue switch. havn’t used one for 3 years now.
LIke everyone im waiting patiently for new products.

Reply to Martin Harvey

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I appreciated you transparent information politics … go ahead :-D
Best regards
Bernhard

Reply to Bernhard

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Thanks for the upfront info. The supply chain for boards in the USA has been abysmal for many months and now there appears to be no stock of the 3B(incl +) at any of the listed USA suppliers with no idea on when any stock will be available. Yikes – this is going to mean my business basically is truly at risk. I don’t currently see any stocks for the Model 4 (any version) either. Some availability via Amazon/Ebay for kits and some boards but usually way above regular cost. Trying to stay positive – but this is really bad.

Reply to Liam Kennedy

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Thank you very much Eben Upton for these enlightening clarifications, I am expecting prices to return to what they were before, especially here in Brazil I was forced to reduce my projects with Raspberry Pi due to the high dollar against our local currency (R$ Real ). Raspberry pi forever!

Reply to Erivando Sena

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Frankly, I think it’s amazing that you have held the price for all these years. I have several Rpis and use one as my daily computer. Twister OS is my desktop. I’m looking forward to the 5th iteration to see what amazing rabbits you can pull out of your hat.

Reply to Randy

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Any ideas when the Pi5 will be available in the UK?

Reply to Peter

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Thanks for the honest update. I understand the struggles you’re facing. Keep up the good work! I’m happy I’ve chosen the Pi 400 as my new PC. Regards

Reply to Ad

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Hello good peoples,
I am in dire need of getting a CM3 or CM3 + (any GB capacity). Is there still someone, who can help a little in these difficult times? :

Reply to Damian

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Hi, my company has invested in a custom carrier board for the CM3, and so we very much appreciate your focus on getting more CM3 stock available.
Do you have any updates on when you might expect more CM3 stock to arrive?
Thanks

Reply to Piero Pischedda

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