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Chip Shortages, Part II

In my previous post, I talked about the ongoing chip shortages that are affecting the development and sales of just about everything these days, from toys to cars to appliances.

The latest shortage to affect Alan-1?

Voltage regulators.

Yes, one of the common, humble TI switching voltage regulators that’s used just about everywhere — including our Regulator/Audio II++, which is still on long-term test — now has a 26-week lead time.

For the non-electronics-savvy, this is like going to the store to buy a basic staple, like eggs, and finding out “We’re out of eggs, and we won’t have any until next summer. Oh, and if you want some then, you’d better pay in advance.”

Once again, this won’t stop us from building and shipping products. We may have found an alternative that’s in stock a few places, and if that doesn’t work out, we may have to redesign the board around an alternative part…

…and thus it will likely cost us more to build.

If this problem seems familiar, rest assured these same discussions have been happening behind the scenes at just about every manufacturer around the world, with the same consequences: increased prices. It takes time, effort, and money to redesign around available parts. (And it takes even more money to transport both raw materials and finished products in a world of $5+ diesel…but that’s a whole another topic and set of issues.)



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