Monday, April 12th 2021

Global Chip Shortage Takes Another Toll... Now Your Home Router?

The global supply of semiconductor processors has been at risk lately. Starting from GPUs to CPUs, the demand for both has been much greater than the available supply. Manufacturing companies, such as TSMC, have been expanding capacities, however, they have not yet been able to satisfy the demand. We have seen the results of that demand in a form of the scarcity of the latest generation of graphics cards, covering NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere, and AMD' Radeon RX 6000 series Big Navi graphics cards. Consumers have had a difficult time sourcing them and they have seen artificial price increase that is much higher than their original MSRP.

However, it doesn't seem like the situation will improve. According to the latest reporting from Bloomberg, the next victim of global chip shortage is... you guessed it, your home internet router. The cited sources have noted that the waiting list to get a batch of ordered routers has doubled the waiting time, from the regular 30 weeks to 60-week waiting time. This represents a waiting list that is more than a year long. With the global COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, there is an increased need for better home router equipment, and delays can only hurt broadband providers that supply routers. Taiwan-based router manufacturer Zyxel Communications, notes that the company has seen massive demand for their equipment. Such a massive demand could lead to insufficient supply, which could increase prices of routers well above their MSRP and bring scarcity of them as well.
Source: Bloomberg
Add your own comment

32 Comments on Global Chip Shortage Takes Another Toll... Now Your Home Router?

#1
lexluthermiester
Seriously? How often do people buy routers? This is an example of news being blown out of proportion.
Posted on Reply
#2
AleksandarK
lexluthermiester
Seriously? How often do people buy routers? This is an example of news being blown out of proportion.
Not really blown out of proportion. New installations happen every day and broadband providers, who are buying them in thousands, have a hard time getting them. Plus the consumer market where someone would want to buy a router on his own to upgrade their existing one.
Posted on Reply
#3
Wirko
lexluthermiester
Seriously? How often do people buy routers? This is an example of news being blown out of proportion.
More often if they hear about shortage of everything that has chips, har, har.
Posted on Reply
#4
Frank_100
How much of chip shortage is caused by defense spending?

Wait someone is knocking at my door . . .
Posted on Reply
#5
windwhirl
AleksandarK
Not really blown out of proportion. New installations happen every day and broadband providers, who are buying them in thousands, have a hard time getting them. Plus the consumer market where someone would want to buy a router on his own to upgrade their existing one.
I'd add to that that sometimes people don't really "recycle" old devices. I have moved houses a couple times and in both cases I found routers/APs/modems sitting in a closet because they were provided by an ISP and when the previous tenant moved out they basically left the devices to rot in that closet, while the ISP didn't bother to reclaim it.
Posted on Reply
#6
TheLostSwede
windwhirl
I'd add to that that sometimes people don't really "recycle" old devices. I have moved houses a couple times and in both cases I found routers/APs/modems sitting in a closet because they were provided by an ISP and when the previous tenant moved out they basically left the devices to rot in that closet, while the ISP didn't bother to reclaim it.
I'm sure that after a certain amount of time, the ISPs simply don't care, as the investment in the device was earned back a long time ago.
I recently got my ISP to swap out the device they provide (free of charge at that), as it was starting to play up. It was a combo cable modem/router/Wi-Fi AP device, but it was only a dual band 802.11n device and around 7-8 years old. It's not as if the ISP is going to refurbish that and give it to another customer at that point.

The issue when it comes to routers is most likely not down to actual chip shortage as such, but rather a shortage of some of the other components that are required to make a router, as even certain capacitors, resistors, transformers (no, not the robot kind) etc. are in short supply.
Posted on Reply
#7
sutyi
lexluthermiester
Seriously? How often do people buy routers? This is an example of news being blown out of proportion.
More likely the case of lots of people stuck at home with Home Office and Home Schooling finding that their old or ISP provided WiFi router is inadequate for the job of supplying stable connection for 6+ devices the whole day.
Posted on Reply
#8
billEST
lexluthermiester
Seriously? How often do people buy routers? This is an example of news being blown out of proportion.
million of people who have to work at home

there is law to force people work at home if possible

20 million of ps5 and xbox sold

logitech sold 300% more product this year.
Posted on Reply
#9
Kenjiro
True, many producers (i.e. Ubiquiti) has problems with quantity. Multiple popular models are unavailable with unknown delivery dates.
Posted on Reply
#10
Makaveli
lexluthermiester
Seriously? How often do people buy routers? This is an example of news being blown out of proportion.
Agreed.

And its not the same as the cpu and gpu situation as someone that is technical can build a router and go PFsense, or repurpose an older machine into a router there are options. No one is building their own cpu or gpu.
Posted on Reply
#11
neatfeatguy
lexluthermiester
Seriously? How often do people buy routers? This is an example of news being blown out of proportion.
Every time I turn on the internets I change out my router. Gets expensive, but you can't put a price on good internets.
Posted on Reply
#12
Makaveli
AleksandarK
Not really blown out of proportion. New installations happen every day and broadband providers, who are buying them in thousands, have a hard time getting them. Plus the consumer market where someone would want to buy a router on his own to upgrade their existing one.
I don't think it will be a huge issue for ISP providers because they order in bulk they take priority. I have a friend who is a system builder right now and he has no problems getting GPU's. Why doesn't he because when you put in a order and spend $50,000+ they push you to the front of the list. He sent me a pic of the stack of gpu's they shipped him. He doesn't deal with any of the nonsense going on in the retail market.
Posted on Reply
#13
zmeul
Bad title
Not my home router, because my home router, actually it's a gateway, is in my home .. working
Posted on Reply
#14
Owen1982
pfsense in a VM for the win. I just need to virtualize the Modem and WAPs...
Posted on Reply
#15
TheUn4seen
lexluthermiester
Seriously? How often do people buy routers? This is an example of news being blown out of proportion.
Actually, seems like quite often. In US the situation is different, in most areas there is either a monopoly or a duopoly, so people tend not to change their providers simply because they can't. In my area there are no less than six major ISPs available and they compete quite aggressively, so some people change them every year or two (standard contract times). I stayed with my ISP for fifteen years now because they're actually great, and for many contract renewals they bump the speed up and give me a new DOCSIS bridge (which probably counts as a router in statistics). Nowadays they're moving clients to optical fibers and just last month I got an email that the rollout will be delayed, I guess because of the equipment shortages.
Also, when my personal router failed I had to use my old one for three weeks until replacement was available.
For me it's a very "first world problem" - big whoop, I had to use my old RB3011 instead of the RB4011 and will have to contend with my gigabit internets going through copper instead of lazors through glass, boo-hoo. For people who just moved into a new place and will have to wait for a few weeks until the ISP gets the ordered DOCSIS bridges or ONTs it might be actually an issue.
Posted on Reply
#16
Why_Me
Frank_100
How much of chip shortage is caused by defense spending?

Wait someone is knocking at my door . . .
About zero if you live in a EU country or Canada.
Posted on Reply
#17
windwhirl
Why_Me
About zero if you live in a EU country or Canada.
That doesn't matter in the current world. Chips are provided by a handful of companies, which serve worldwide customers. With a bunch of them asking for enough chips, you get global shortage.

Realistically though, it's a rather rare occurrence.
Posted on Reply
#18
1d10t
I didn't know if they also made on 7nm TSMC or 8nm Samsung.
Posted on Reply
#19
thesmokingman
Was watching cnbc and they had Pat on talking about how the US now only has 12% of global chip supply. I was lol'ing at that. Fuck Intel. They are part of the problem considering they killed off so many competitors and they're like the last guys that should be given money for new fabs. It was really rich imo Pat up there on the squakbox.
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
Blame this one on crypto, my dudes...

Global silicon shortage is global.
Posted on Reply
#21
hat
Enthusiast
R-T-B
Blame this one on crypto, my dudes...

Global silicon shortage is global.
We're now mining "internetscoin", haven't you heard?
Posted on Reply
#22
R-T-B
hat
We're now mining "internetscoin", haven't you heard?
Can't tell if serious or...
Posted on Reply
#23
Flyordie
AleksandarK
Not really blown out of proportion. New installations happen every day and broadband providers, who are buying them in thousands, have a hard time getting them. Plus the consumer market where someone would want to buy a router on his own to upgrade their existing one.
Exactly. My ISP uses Zyxel and they were only able to supply customers with their older 20/3 maximum routers for over a year before they could get their 100/20 routers in for their duplexed FTTN-DSL service. So its been a problem for years, its just now its getting to the point where ISPs are refusing new sign ups.
Posted on Reply
#24
watzupken
billEST
million of people who have to work at home

there is law to force people work at home if possible

20 million of ps5 and xbox sold

logitech sold 300% more product this year.
There is very weak correlation between what you mentioned and router sale. I feel most people don't change their routers whether you are forced to work from home or not. Most only get a router because current one is giving them issues or when they think its running slow. The problem is ISP may give a router away whenever someone sign up/renew their broadband contract, though most of these being low end routers/ mesh.
Posted on Reply
#25
Luminescent
I wonder, how much silicon is in a phone and why there is no shortage there, every day new phones get released.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment