Pre-Order Shipping Updates & Scaling Up C.H.I.P. Production


#1

Howdy C.H.I.P.sters,

It’s been an AMAZING and INTENSE year so far. We’ve shipped over 100,000 units to CHIPsters in over 100 countries and have seen our fantastic collection of Kickstarter backers blossom into an incredible community of hackers, makers, artists, teachers and young Linux humans on our BBS.

It’s been awe-inspiring to see such growth in the number of people pre-ordering C.H.I.P. and PocketC.H.I.P. Staggering really. We’re all super excited to add even more C.H.I.P.sters to our ranks. That being said, we’re still a tiny operation in the big ocean of electronics manufacturing. Handling the flood of orders takes us to the matter at hand:

Scaling Up: Good & Bad News

During our Kickstarter campaign, we manufactured C.H.I.P. and PocketC.H.I.P. in small, manageable batches of 5,000. Manufacturing in small batches gave us time to learn the ropes, build reliable forecasts, and wrangle a fiendishly-complex supply chain.

In response to overwhelming demand we’ve scaled our manufacturing and placed larger orders of components needed to build C.H.I.P. and PocketC.H.I.P. We’ve added capacity for 50,000 C.H.I.P.s & 20,000 PocketC.H.I.P.s per month. Larger component orders require longer lead times.

This means for some people there will be 4-6 week delay in getting your C.H.I.P.s and PocketC.H.I.P.s. Details follow below.

When Will MY Order Ship?

All Kickstarter rewards and Getchip.com Pre-Orders through January 31 with a confirmed address have shipped

If you have not yet confirmed your address via track.getchip.com, but are from a Kickstarter or early Pre-order batch, don’t worry. Your order will ship in the earliest possible grouping after you have confirmed where it should go.

If you pre-ordered, and have confirmed your address, your estimated ship date is as follows:

  • Pre-orders placed before April 30th, estimated to ship by Aug 31st (4961 pre-orders)

  • Pre-orders placed before May 31st, estimated to ship by Sept 8th (5368 pre-orders)

  • Pre-orders placed before June 30th, estimated to ship by Sept 15th (4116 pre-orders)

  • Pre-orders placed on or before July 22nd, estimated to ship by Sept 22nd (3883 pre-orders)

  • New pre-orders placed on or after July 23rd are estimated to start shipping in October

We are not happy about the delays and are doing everything we can to push production forward faster and make sure C.H.I.P. is widely available as soon as possible.

Going forward:

As mentioned in the schedule above, pre-orders placed now will start shipping after the current pre-orders are fulfilled, and are estimated to leave our warehouse starting in October.

Pocketchip will be $69
The 30,000 PocketC.H.I.P.s from our initial batches were available at the discounted price of $49. Now that we’ve sold through those units, and transitioned from small batches to large production orders, PocketCHIP will be widely available for its regular price of $69.

Adding people to NTC customer support
We appreciate hearing from you and read each and every message we receive to ahoyahoy@nextthing.co! We aim to answer each question personally, and thoroughly. Because of this, our response times have not been fast enough, and we know it. Many of you have been waiting to hear back from us – to reduce the waiting time from days to hours, we will be reassigning folks internally and expanding our customer support staff so that your questions are heard, and resolved faster.

Adding more shipping options with improved tracking, and decreased delivery times
We have begun working with multiple major shipping partners to increase our logistics bandwidth in key markets. We’ll share more details over the coming weeks. Our current logistics partner, Landmark Global, is aware of the ongoing shipping issues, and is actively working to address them.

More updates, more often
In the Open Source spirit in which C.H.I.P. is built, we’ll continue to make every effort to be transparent about our process as we scale up. We will be regularly updating the status of our manufacturing, and continuing to share stories from our production-adventures.

Your support means everything to us. We can’t wait for you all to join the vibrant community of CHIPsters sharing stories of success and failure, crazy hacks and helping make us better every day.

Please don’t hesitate to contact ahoyahoy@nextthing.co with any issues, shipping problems or concerns (extra support staff standing by).

Much much more to come!

Love,

Dave & the whole NTC Crew


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#2

#3

Does the “shipping in October” also apply to accessories and add-ons only orders (no CHIP or PocketCHIP in order)?


#4

@elevenarms totally appreciate everything you and your crew are doing! Keep up the good work! Although it sucks to be inundated with a backlof of orders and figuring out logistics issues, it’s also awesome that the CHIP and PocketCHIP are super popular!


#5

Likewise @xtacocorex! Awesome to have you aboard the BBS ship. CHIP_IO is fantastic. Keep it up! :muscle:


#6

Accessories should ship within 7 days of order. Plenty of stock in the HK warehouse.


#7

Dave, I’m still a little confused about what this update means. It’s great that production capacity has been added, but why is that causing a delay? :slight_smile:


#8

This makes me sad. I was really looking forward to seeing / playing with C.H.I.P. soon.
Reading this post has me confused.
You already gave us shipping estimates, I assume you’d use the manufacturing lead time for the estimated shipping time because that’s just common sense. So from my point of view you can’t blame lead times for missing the shipping estimates. So you either didn’t place the manufacturing order at the time you gave us the estimates which is crazy or maybe something else happened?


#9

Bummer. Me, my GF and my mates have been excited for months about getting ours. Preordering just rarely goes well for me so I rarely do it. Needless to say, I can’t see myself preordering anything again from NTC. You guys are well intentioned and I know it’s really tricky but it just seems like you don’t have the ability to keep your word to your customers.

I am looking forward to reading more about production, though, all the videos and stuff have been really interesting and insightful.


#10

@elevenarms I am sad that i have to wait 2 more months But it worth the wait thank you guys for makin it happens


#11

Getting rather frustrated. If someone has one spare with av cords hmu il buy it. Need to compensate while i wait for mine.


#12

So for months you have seen steady sales of 4-5k units but as recent as yesterday you were still selling units advertising that they would be ship in July with only a week left in the month. Today you update saying that those orders could take two months. How did you not know earlier that scaling up would cause this much of a delay? If you are selling 4-5k units a month why are you scaling up to 20k/month? This doesn’t add up.


#13

@asdf @dazoe Working on a deep-dive blog post into the technical details about how scale impacts component availability. Happy to answer any questions you all have. A quick summary of one of the main issues with scale and NAND below. WARNING - Supply chain nerdiness follows…

The increase in volume required is starting to bump into the production capacity of the NAND storage vendors for July, Aug and Sep. We anticipated this and started to buy up CHIP compatible NAND. Unfortunately, the NAND we were promised wasn’t available in time to keep everything on track.

If you’re interested in digging deeper here’s an article about what is causing the NAND shortage - http://www.dramexchange.com/WeeklyResearch/Post/2/4377.html

Buying NAND is a bit like buying stock, it’s price changes based on the demand day to day, so adding support for more NAND component vendors to Linux means we can avoid any impact on CHIP’s price.

We’ve also worked to add support to the Linux kernel for other brands of NAND starting in May. We’re still testing the driver updates to make sure that files written to CHIP don’t disappear. For some context: this is what NAND burn-in testing looks like here at NTC HQ:

Once the software is verified safe to use we’ll be able to add more brands beyond the 2 that we support now which will reduce the impact of the shortage and keep things on track moving forward.


#14

This are really sad news. I was really excited to get my PocketCHIP soon, but apparently I (and we all) have to wait more and more weeks. But what I don’t like, overall, is the fact that the day my PocketCHIP was supposed to ship, you announce this. I was already ready to get the shipment email and start celebrating. Couldn’t you inform this earlier? I understand there are thousands of orders, but guys, I think you had enough time to schedule this. By the way, you received over 2 million dollars on Kickstarter and more money thanks to preorders, wasn’t that money enough for logistics and manufacturing?

Regarding your intentions, your enthusiasm is clearly visible. You have put inhuman effort on this project, you uploaded videos, created websites, spent hundreds (or thousands) of hours working on CHIP and creating things, like the MEGA PocketCHIP and many other cool items. That’s the great thing about you people, your spirit and your awesomeness. I am neither expert nor professional, but I think you did not make the best choices. Anyway, you are going along the right path, and I can surely wait more time to get the things I bought. I know you are a brand new company, try not to mess up once you go live in stores worldwide! :wink:


#15

Up until this very morning getchip.com was advertising July delivery. This makes me thing that you waited until the very last moment to share the news (if you had promised August delivery, you would have had an extra month to hide it).

I’m happy to help with production ramp by cancelling my pre-order. Please let me know.

The linked article states “NAND Flash Prices to Stabilize in Second Half of 2016 as Demand Returns” and " Consequently, the global NAND Flash market will shift away from oversupply and reach a balance in the third quarter. By that time, NAND Flash prices are expected to cease falling and stay on a stable trend." That basically means that NAND is cheaper than ever and there is plenty available. 50k is really a laughable amount. CHIP is nowhere near the largest consumer of NAND in the world.


#16

If you haven’t tried to get multiple thousands of pieces of parts, you don’t really grasp how tricky it can be. 2000000 resistors just don’t magically appear out of thin air. :slight_smile:

My company has a dedicated staff whose whole job is to buy parts for everything we build and our lead times for our products are based on this information. Some of the stuff we buy is super specialized RF gear can take months to arrive. Planning for this takes skill sometimes and if the product doesn’t meet specs, schedules slip.

I imagine sourcing displays is another tricky area. Interesting about the NAND @elevenarms, I think we used some form of NAND on the last datalink I worked on, but I wasn’t responsible for dealing with that part of the integration.


#17

I appreciate the update. Thanks for making CHIP a reality!


#18

First the good: I’m still excited and eagerly awaiting my preorder, and a delay won’t change how very cool CHIP and PocketCHIP are. To the contrary: since lots of development is still happening, by the time my unit arrives it’s very likely the image be even cooler than it is now with improvements like GPU drivers (we all hope). :slight_smile:

Now the bad: It’s been a crappy week (after a crappy week last week too) and hearing about this delay quite frankly sucks. It’s further out than I had hoped, and I felt like my expectations were pretty conservative My birthday is in Sept and it seems questionable whether my PocketCHIP preorder will even arrive in time for that. Yuck. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh well, life goes on. Still waiting patiently for my cool new toy, even if the waiting makes me grumpy. grumble grumble

Thanks for providing an official update on expected shipping times! Better to know and be prepared for the delay than just keep waiting without a clue about when it will arrive.


#19

https://youtu.be/XarSCG2VDM4?t=14s

Seriously though… sucks for everyone all around. Keep your chin up everyone.


#20

Resistors do appear out of thin air if it’s only 2M units :slight_smile: For example, digikey has 29,559,443 RC1005F103CS resistors in stock (10k/1%): http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/samsung-electro-mechanics-america-inc/RC1005F103CS/1276-3431-6-ND/3903629. And Digikey is just a middle person. Can you imagine how many Samsung has in stock?

Yes, I agree that good supply chain managers are worth their weight in gold. I just think there is more to this delay than getting NAND.