The ongoing silicon shortage, caused by a perfect storm of market conditions, COVID-19’s impact on manufacturing capacity across the world, and the increased demand for connected devices, has created an unprecedented and uniquely challenging industry environment for OEMs and product creators. Shortages to key materials have driven extended lead times, high component prices, and sudden changes to availability that have led to production shortages across a range of products from cars to computers to IoT devices.
Industry experts predict that this shortage will continue through 2022 and into 2023, forcing companies unable to adapt to these challenges to shut down product lines left and right.
Companies with hardware products are reacting to this external crisis in different ways. Leading companies like Tesla are mitigating the negative impacts on their supply chains by swapping out components and re-designing products as needed to keep shipping product. Others are stuck with whatever inventory they can get and have been forced to shut down production and slash their forecasts.
To keep our customers in the first group, Particle has designed a new portfolio of products that are “Supply Secure”. Every legacy hardware component in our portfolio has been updated and replaced with components that our supply chain team can confidently deliver to our enterprise customers. This will enable our customers to continue shipping product and gaining market share relative to their competitors. But it’s not just about hardware availability. We’ve also taken every step possible to ensure our customers will face minimal disruption by ensuring that our new Supply Secure hardware is as similar as possible to our legacy components. Our hardware roadmap will always prioritize customer needs and continuity above all else.
We want to take this opportunity to introduce our latest product enhancements and upgrades across our Supply Secure Hardware Portfolio, and explain at a high level the migration path for our customers.
The Particle Supply Secure Hardware Portfolio
Particle’s new Supply Secure products are:
- The P2 Wi-Fi module and Photon 2 Development Kit are a new Enterprise Wi-Fi product line and successor to the P0/P1 and Photon/Argon, respectively. In addition to providing supply security, the P2 and Photon 2 add support for Bluetooth, a more powerful processor, more memory, and broader support for enterprise Wi-Fi configurations including 5GHz and 802.1X networks. The P2 is API-compatible and footprint-compatible with the P1. The Photon 2 features a Feather form factor and is API-compatible with the Photon and Argon, as well as footprint-compatible with the Argon.
- The E404X LTE module is a footprint compatible replacement for the E310, E313, and E402. In addition to providing supply security, the E404X adds support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), more memory, and support for EtherSIM, our new global SIM powered by 350 cellular carriers worldwide. The E404X is API-compatible and footprint-compatible with all other E SoMs.
- The B404X LTE SoM and Boron 404X LTE Development Kit are drop-in replacements for the Boron LTE and B402, respectively. In addition to providing supply security, the BRN404X and B404X add support for EtherSIM, our new global SIM powered by 350 cellular carriers worldwide. Both of these new products are API-compatible, footprint-compatible, and electrically compatible with the products they replace.
- The T SoM T404X and T524X tracking modules are drop-in replacements for the T SoM T402 and T523, respectively. In addition to providing supply security, the T404X and T524X add support for cutting-edge cellular and GNSS IoT chipsets as well as EtherSIM. Both of these new tracking modules are API-compatible, footprint-compatible, and electrically compatible with their predecessors. Tracker One, our asset tracking reference product, will also be updated with Supply Secure variants of our tracking module (T404X and T524X).
These new SKUs will join the B SoM LTE CAT 1 (B524) in our Supply Secure hardware portfolio.
Enterprise customers purchasing Particle’s Supply Secure products will also be eligible for a Supply SLA (Service Level Agreement). Customers who sign up for the Supply SLA will receive guaranteed delivery of hardware from Particle on a pre-determined schedule according to your 52-week forecast.
Note: Our Supply SLA only applies to our portfolio of Supply Secure products. To take advantage of our Supply SLA, you must be an existing customer. Please contact our sales team if you’re interested in learning more.
Migrating to Supply Secure
Particle has made it as simple as possible for new and existing customers to migrate their designs to our new Supply Secure hardware. All designs are API-compatible and footprint-compatible with the products they replace; many are electrically compatible and require no mechanical or electrical changes at all.
Samples and Availability
The majority of Particle’s Supply Secure modules and products will be available as engineering samples in Q2 and mass manufacturing in Q3 and Q4 2022.
Existing customers can request access to samples by contacting their designated AE or CSM. Particle will also make Supply Secure hardware samples available through our retail and wholesale stores.
Legacy Product Discontinuation
In order to ensure supply continuity for our customers, all Particle customers will be required to migrate to hardware products included in our Supply Secure Hardware Portfolio (see above). Particle is discontinuing all legacy SKUs that are not part of this portfolio. A complete list of all discontinued SKUs and supporting information can be found in our product lifecycle notice, here.
As a part of discontinuing our legacy products, we will be accepting requested orders for legacy SKUs via PO (enterprise customers) and our wholesale store as a part of a “Last Request to Buy” program. Eligible orders for non-Supply Secure SKUs must be submitted before June 30, 2022 with a requested delivery date before June 30, 2023.
For more information on our Last Request to Buy program, please review our product lifecycle notice or contact your designed AE/CSM.