Hello, I hope your March is heading out like a lamb. Did you see some of my earlier messages talking about the flash card market forecast this year? Well, it seems all of our prognostication has come to pass, and we’re experiencing some real supply chain constraints due to an industry-wide shortage of controller-ICs. I am following up to keep you informed and help you stay supplied as we work through this.
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. We will always do our best to advise you and help with planning. If you always buy a specific model, we recommend testing and selecting a backup model or two.
When one model is out of stock we can offer a substitute
Here is an example using our most popular card, the 8GB Class 4 SanDisk SDSDQAB-008G:
If SDSDQAB-008G is out of stock, or prices are too high, consider using:
- SDSDQAB-016G: this is the same card in a bigger capacity.
- SDSDQM-008G: this is SanDisk’s retail packaged Class 4 card, we can unpack them and put them in bulk trays for your convenience, just ask
- Toshiba Class 10 micro SD cards: we were able to load up on these before prices went crazy, so you can save a little money here.
- Our House Brand: this is our value priced card for cost-sensitive applications. We do recommend testing these before making larger purchases to ensure suitability.
If this is not a model you are using please reach out and I’ll help you contingency plan for your preferred product. I’m also here to quote pricing and availability whenever you need it.
I hope this information was helpful. Please contact me if you need support, I am at your service. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Until then, take care.