Confirmed: Raspberry Pi 4 suffers from significant USB-C design flaw

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi 4 is a massive upgrade over legacy models, while still coming in at the same price. One of the most significant moves is the switch to USB-C for power, but it turns out that this port has a rather interesting issue.

According to TechRepublic, Raspberry Pi co-creator Eben Upton has confirmed claims that the Pi 4 won’t work when used with certain USB-C cables. More specifically, it doesn’t work with so-called e-marked cables, such as those used on Apple Macbooks and several other laptops.

“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. 

The reason for the compatibility issue is due to the design of the USB-C port on the new computing platform. Blogger Tyler Ward first discovered that there was “incorrect detection circuitry” in the Pi 4’s connector. Fortunately, Upton says they expect the issue to be fixed in a future board revision. 

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Ward recommends that Raspberry Pi 4 owners use non e-marked cables for now, such as those used by many smartphone chargers. In fact, the blogger says the device should work fine with the $8 official charger.

In any event, you’re still getting plenty of bang for your buck. The Pi 4 starts at $35 but you get a quad-core Cortex-A72 processor, 1GB of RAM, dual 4K display support, 4K/60fps playback, and two USB 3.0 ports (in addition to two USB 2.0 ports). 

It’s also the first time that the foundation has launched a Raspberry Pi with different RAM configurations. In addition to the 1GB option, you can get a 2GB RAM variant for $45 or a 4GB RAM option for $55. Still like the idea of a Raspberry Pi 4? Then you can check out the website listing below.

Raspberry Pi 4 website

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