News: Global Chip Shortage Threatens SBC Supplies

News: Global Chip Shortage Threatens SBC Supplies

A global shortage of electronic components has shuttered factories and set off fierce competition to secure supplies. Lead times on factory orders to produce many electronic products are presently exceeding 9 months, and it looks like these lead times might be increasing before they decrease.

Due to this shortage, we strongly suggest planning ahead and placing your orders as soon as possible to minimize delays.

We at ameriDroid are also feeling this supply concern in relation to the ODROID-H2+ and other products. According to the ODROID Forum post:

The H2+ is out of stock temporarily.

But, it is very hard to estimate when we can produce the H2+ next batch due to very serious component shortage problem these days.

Some key components (PMIC, 2.5GbE NIC and audio codec chips) need over 35 weeks lead time even we placed order last October though.

I think we have to wait 4~5 more months at least to sell the H2+ again.

Sorry about this bad situation.

Another of our manufacturers sent us this message recently (edited for clarity):

Just wanted to give you a heads up that there are severe component shortages happening globally now; this certainly is affecting all SBC manufacturers such as PINE64, ODROID, and also Raspberry Pi. We are trying to navigate this difficulty and minimize the impact.

It looks like this shortage can last a long time, possibly into 2022.

This shortage is also affecting flash memory. According to OEMPCWorld:

Every Flash Card, SSD and USB drive, regardless of capacity or form factor requires a controller-IC. The controller is the basic cpu of the flash card, and along with the plastic casing and the PCB containing the connector pins, makes up the normally cost stable set of components which go into flash devices. Flash prices tend to rise as the capacity of the NAND storage chip increases, and will rise and fall overall based on the supply and demand for this component.  

This time the controller is the scarce component, with prices skyrocketing recently. Since the same component can go in cards ranging from 32MB to 1TB, this price increase has the greatest impact on smaller capacity cards and now the controller is a bigger part of the total BOM cost. Also, because lower capacity cards tend to be less profitable to manufacturers they are not building as many. There just are not enough controllers to fulfill demand for all capacities of cards.

We expect this trend to last months.

Here is a story from Reuters highlighting Qualcomm's difficulties: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chip-shortage-qualcomm-idUSKBN2B32OO

More information (largely discussing the US Automobile sector which uses many of the same electronic components) can be read here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/business/economy/chip-shortage-semiconductors-manufacturing-biden.html

Our blog post was also picked up by CNX Software: https://www.cnx-software.com/2021/03/12/chip-shortage-and-high-prices-threaten-supplies-of-sbcs-and-other-maker-products/

And here is a great video from CNBC explaining the situation:

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Comments

Bo - September 7, 2021

@Chris Graham – yes, they were able to make more cases. In fact, we just received a large shipment in our warehouse this morning. We are shipping out all backorders.

Chris Graham - September 7, 2021

Any news on if they were able to make more cases for the HA Blue? Ordered in mid August based off the early September message, but might change to be without the case if they were not able to fix the mold.

Bo - August 11, 2021

@Tony Kolstee – The Home Assistant Blue bundle is based on the 4GB model. The hold-up is due to the factory inadvertently breaking the case mold, having to build a new mold, and then running into a shortage of material to make the case. It has nothing to do with the components of the unit other than the case. That’s why we can offer a plastic-cased version for immediate shipment.

Tony Kolstee - August 11, 2021

Is the HomeAssistant bundle unit a 4GB or 2GB ODROID-N2+ and is that component the one that’s holding up the pre-orders?

I’m wondering if it’s possible to partially fulfill the order or offer an upgrade from 2GB to 4GB for an additional fee, since the 4GB units seem to be in stock and the 2GB units are on back order.

Bo - August 4, 2021

@Praveen Madhavan – I did a quick search and found an order matching your name from July 17, 2021. I also took a look, and all backorders placed before June 7, 2021 have been fulfilled. We are expecting more units this month (August 2021). As soon as they arrive, we will ship out backorders in the order that the orders came in.

Praveen Madhavan - August 4, 2021

Hey Guys -

Just wanted to understand the status of my Order for ODROID-N2+ Home Assistant Blue Bundle. Placed it weeks ago (end of June). The portal says the orders will start shipping by August 2021. Now that it’s august, can some one confirm if it’s still on track?

Bo - April 29, 2021

@Ken Hicks – We would need an order number to determine that information. Please use the Contact link at the bottom of this page to inquire. We do not want irritated customers – depending on the product and other details, we may be able to cancel and refund your order if waiting is no longer an option.

Please read our Preorder page for more details: https://ameridroid.com/pages/preorders

Accepting preorders is a difficult balancing act between giving customers the convenience of placing an order to reserve a product for earliest delivery before that product is available, and the challenges of waiting for the product to be available in sufficient quantities to fulfill the preorders. We’ve been asked by many of our customers to allow them to reserve a place in line by placing a preorder rather than “fighting with the hordes” for a chance to buy a product each time some units arrive at our warehouse. This is especially true with our corporate clients.

Rest assured: We are collecting zero interest on any preorder funds collected as those funds are automatically allocated. Component vendors and the manufacturing facilities are working to the best of their ability to get these produced, and we can only ship preorders as the supplies come in. Due to the worldwide shortages, delays are inevitable, unfortunately.

In the past 7 years, we’ve thankfully been able to fulfill 100% of the preorders that customers have placed with us, and we aim to always fulfill 100% of preorders. Before this worldwide shortage event, the longest delay was 4 months from the time the order was placed until the preorder was able to be fulfilled. Unfortunately, we are bracing ourselves for potentially longer delays before this historic shortage is over.

We do have viable alternatives in stock for some of the products experiencing shortages. Contact us to inquire about your particular requirements.

Ken Hicks - April 29, 2021

Wow. and here you’ve been collecting interest on my $$ you snatched up 4 FEB.

Ease my irritation by telling me where I’m at on the pre-order list lol.

Bo - April 7, 2021

@Ronald Ramsay II – Our preorder list ranges from single-digits to several hundreds, depending on the product.

Ronald Ramsay II - April 7, 2021

Just curious to know… not sure if you guys will disclose this, but what’s the estimated amount of preorders? I preordered mines a week or so ago, so I’m assuming it’s going to be a while for me.

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