Updates - the global processor shortage and what we're working on
It's been about a year since I decided to take the GPS I made for my own race car and share it with others. Since then that design has seen time in HPDE cars that get driven every day, as well as full time rally cars. On top of all the excitement, my wife and I welcomed our daughter Natalie into the world!
It's always hard to tell what's going to happen when you put a product out in the world, but the most pleasant surprise has been our AWESOME customers. Thank you all for your support!
Unfortunately, a few months ago I was getting ready to order components for a build and found out the ST Micro processor on the GPS was backordered... by over 1,200 days. I had heard about this shortage on processors for graphics cards and consoles, but the spread to microcontrollers was fast and widespread.
Normally in these situations you can find a part with a little more or a little less memory, maybe a different pin count.. but no. Even parts with a totally different core are backordered.
With no real end to the shortage in sight, I've been working on switching to a different processor. It's been slower than expected (did I mention I have a baby now?), but I'm excited for what I hope will come. It'll take time, but we're working on
- Getting the GPS unit back into production with the new processor and FreeRTOS
- Releasing an app to control the GPS
- Developing Android AND Apple modules that can do things like plug into Analog, Flex Fuel sensors, etc.
The big caveat here is that everyone in the industry is in the same boat. As soon as a logical replacement comes up, it goes backordered. The new platform is pretty different from our existing one, but there's no guarantee that it will stay orderable for long. We may be able to scrounge up parts here and there, but it'll be tight.
The analytics project is still around, but it's looking like that product will be a more open source platform based on the ESP32. The team working on that project with me started doing some development with it, and I'm thinking that platform will be well received by those that want to take something and make it their own.
TL;DR In a nutshell, we're still here - but trying to work around the processor shortage and make the resulting product even better.
To wrap this post up, here's a photo of my kiddo in highly exclusive HAZE baby attire and my doggo