Raspberry pi 4
(Photo: The Raspberry Foundation)

During its launch, the Raspberry Pi Model B was touted by many as the new yardstick for single-board computing. Some of its exclusive offerings include upgraded RAM (up to 4GB), a beefier CPU (1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72), and USB Type-C, which, disappointingly, has a small power issue.

Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton has confirmed that some USB-C cables won’t power the Pi 4.

“A smart charger with an e-marked cable will incorrectly identify the Raspberry Pi 4 as an audio adapter accessory, and refuse to provide power,” Upton was quoted as saying by TechRepublic.

Apparently, the designers of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B failed to notice a USB-C design flaw involving a cc pull-down resistor on the USB Type-C connector.

It’s quite surprising that the snag didn’t show up in the product’s extensive field testing program. Upton says the issue will be fixed in a future board revision. In the meantime, you can use any of the following workarounds:

  • Buy the Official Raspberry Pi power supply. It costs $8.
  • Use a non-e-marked USB Type C cable – most cables that ship with smartphone chargers will do the job.
  • Consider an old AC charger, only if it can deliver 5.1 volts and 3 amperes, which is what the Pi 4 needs to crank its CPU.
  • Use a modern-day charger. Most modern chargers can satisfy the power requirements of the Pi 4, owing to new Fast Charging standards. You could combine an old UCB-C cable with a new smartphone charger.

Luckily, the magnitude of the problem is almost insignificant. Lets get back to building cool gadgets.

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