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The Good Side of the Microchip Shortage

The microchip shortage has also been a positive for consumers.

Electronic circuit board

Foto: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Londoño

The shortage of microchips is one of the secondary effects of the coronavirus pandemic that has attracted the most attention. It has generated that, for example, the price of household appliances has skyrocketed worldwide. It has also made getting a new video game console virtually impossible. However, in recent days, we have seen the bright side of the short supply of microchips, with some changes that benefit the consumer.

Canon and third party cartridges.

For years, printer users have had to deal with one problem: their machines won't accept cartridges unless they're the same brand as the printer. This is a practice used by all companies that sell these items to guarantee a buyback.

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To force users to use their brand products, Canon used chips that authenticate the cartridges. A perfectly functional cartridge from another company would be read as empty by the device thanks to this technology. However, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, Canon has been forced to explain to users how to bypass this "barrier" as they cannot print their new cartridges with these microchips.

“Due to persistent global shortages of semiconductor components, Canon is currently facing supply issues for certain electronic components used in our consumables for our multifunction printers (MFPs). These components carry, for example, functions such as detection of the remaining toner level. To ensure a continuous and reliable supply of consumables, we have decided to supply consumables without semiconductor components until normal supply is restored.” the company reported on its customer support page.

The price of used cars increased.

The shortage of microchips has resulted in a strange phenomenon. At least in the United States, some people have managed to sell their vehicles for the same price they bought it for.

This is because automakers have had to stop making new vehicles, due to this very shortage of supplies. Many car models incorporate the chips to do everything from controlling windows to navigation systems. For this reason, now is the best time to sell a used car. The demand for these goods is greater than ever, especially if we consider that public transport is facing the coronavirus crisis.

It is not known how long this chip crisis will last, but what is certain is that we must take advantage of this trend of high-priced used cars while we can. The crisis could last much longer than expected.

Toyota itself said in a press release that came out this year: "Since we expect the shortage of semiconductors to continue in the long term, we will consider the use of substitutes when possible."