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.
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: