The chip shortage affected our ability to fulfill Starlink orders, Starlink came out in beta, but silicon shortages delayed production

SpaceX, the official Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is on a mission to provide consumers around the world with fast Internet connections at no cost.

SpaceX has already begun testing its Starlink service, starting with company employees as early as the summer of 2020. The first speed tests that appeared online, and were later confirmed by SpaceX, showed internet speeds which is impressive, even with less than a tenth of the planned number of satellites; At that time, from an initial fleet of 12,000 planned satellites, the company had only launched about 800.

Kate Tice, SpaceX’s chief certification engineer, said the test results were excellent:

The results showed very low latency and download speeds in excess of 100 Mb/s. This means that our latency is low enough to play the fastest online video games, but our download speeds are fast enough to stream. multiple HD movies at the same time, “Tice said. He also pointed out that the network the company has deployed is very advanced, and SpaceX expects to unlock the full capacity of the Starlink network as it continues to launch satellites.

In October 2020, SpaceX began sending email invitations to the Starlink audience. The service is far from perfect, as trees can interfere with line-of-sight connections to satellites and satellite antennas go into thermal shutdown in hot areas. But for people living in areas where wired ISPs have never deployed cable or fiber, Starlink remains a promising alternative, and the service should improve as SpaceX launches more satellite and refines its software.

SpaceX says it serves more than 100,000 Starlink users in a dozen countries from more than 1,700 satellites. The company took pre-orders for the post-beta service and said in May that more than half a million people had ordered or deposited for Starlink. . In fact, in the same month, Musk said the first 500,000 people will likely get the service, but SpaceX will face a bigger challenge when we reach several million users. Musk said capacity limits will primarily be an issue in urban areas with densely populated areas, so farmers should have a good chance of getting the service.

The effect of flea scarcity

In September, Starlink announced that it would be leaving its beta phase in October. It is now: the word beta was removed from the descriptions on the Starlink homepage at the end of October. The website has also been updated to advertise download speeds between 100Mbps and 200Mbps and latency as low as 20ms in most locations, an improvement from 50Mbps to 150Mbps and latency of 20ms. 40 ms in most locations.

However, if you ordered Starlink broadband service and you haven’t gotten it yet, the global chip shortage could be one of the reasons for your situation.

In the section on when I will receive my Starlink, you will read:

If we cover your address and there is availability, you will receive a confirmation email with an order number, a service address, a delivery address, and you will see your details appear in your customer account. . Typically, a Starlink kit is shipped within two weeks after ordering.

If you ordered in a region not yet covered by Starlink, and/or not available, you can see the estimated date of coverage in the “Order” pane or on the home page of your customer account. . When Starlink covers your region, you will receive an email allowing you to change your delivery address, your service address, payment information, or cancel your order. Orders are processed on a “first come, first served” basis by zone. We will be able to serve more users in each area as we launch more satellites into orbit.

Silicone shortages have slowed our production and our ability to receive more orders. Please go to the home page of your account where you will find the estimated processing date of your order .

Moving from beta to general availability does not mean general availability. It should be noted that the expected shipping time for Starlink has been extended until late 2022 or early 2023 to other locations in the United States. The Starlink website reports expected service hours in early to mid -2022 in other regions.

My account still says mid to late 2021 for me but I went to the homepage and entered my address as if I should order again and it now says late 2022 there, wrote a user.

Satellite capacity and demand are important factors

The lack of chips is probably not the reason why some areas have later coverage periods than others, as this difference is explained by the capacity and demand of satellites in each region. Starlink mainly focuses on rural areas without good wired internet access, and Musk has repeatedly said it will not be able to serve everyone in areas with large populations. Wait times can be restored if registrations in a particular area exceed the number of open spaces.

If you place your order where we have coverage and capacity, you will receive a confirmation email with your order number, service and delivery address, and you can view your delivery details on your order page. account. We usually ship Starlink kits within 2 weeks, says the FAQ on the Starlink website.

While that two -week time frame seems promising for completed orders, you’ll only get the service if there’s both enough satellite capacity and an available user terminal that SpaceX can ship to you.

SpaceX makes 5,000 terminals a week

In early September, SpaceX chief financial officer Bret Johnsen said the company makes about 5,000 user terminals per week and production will increase by most of it over the next few months, according to SpaceNews. Given SpaceX’s new statement on the chip shortage, it’s unclear what the current production rate is for the new user terminals.

According to SpaceNews, the new terminal also features changes to address supply chain issues in some parts. “We’ve had supply chain barriers, like everything associated with consumer electronics, over the past few months at the current flat,” he said. We changed the nomenclature where we needed it so we had no hurdles when the new dish came out in the next few months.

Musk seems confident that the chip shortage will be resolved, saying it is a short -term problem: There are a lot of chip factories being built and I think we will have good capacity next year, ”Musk said. at a tech event in September.

While the lack of the chip hasn’t greatly hindered satellite dish production in the long run, the fast -paced Starlink satellite launches should facilitate entry into service.

Executives at Intel, Nvidia and TSMC estimate that the chip shortage could last until 2023

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said the world could face this shortage within another two years. He clarified, however, that this is an estimate of how long it will take his company to build capacity to deal with any supply shortages. Gelsinger made the statement at a time when Intel was proposing to strengthen two supply chains particularly affected by the silicon shortage: medical supplies and embedded computing systems.

In previous statements, he featured Intel’s current $ 20 billion plan to build two factories in Arizona. Additionally, he praised President Joe Biden’s proposed $ 50 billion chip -making infrastructure plan, even though Gelsinger said Biden should be willing to spend more there. TSMC CEO CC Wei presented the same appalling estimate to investors, saying the Taiwan-based company hopes to deliver more capacity to meet retail and manufacturing demand by 2023.

According to U.S. media, TSMC is moving forward with building its own manufacturing plant in Arizona, which could cost up to $ 12 billion. However, regarding this factory, the company would have clarified that it intends to give priority to research, development and production in its country of origin. Producer of graphics cards and information processing systems Nvidia also joined the club of “sad” estimates on Friday. The company agreed, but added that it would have enough supply to support successive growth beyond the first quarter. [fiscal] [2022] .

“During that time, we expect demand to continue to exceed supply for most of this year,” said Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress. But while tech companies are scrambling to cope with natural disasters, exponential consumer demand and the construction of new facilities, some questions remain unanswered. How about raising so many new factories? Will they meet construction deadlines and be as effective as advertised?

Sources: Starlink FAQ, Starlink homepage, SpaceNews

See also:

SpaceX received permission to start providing Starlink internet in France, as Elon Musk said Starlink’s internet speed will double this year to 300 Mbps
SpaceX has confirmed that the private beta of Starlink is underway with low latency and speeds of over 100Mbps
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that the Starlink internet service will come out of its beta phase in October, with 100Mbps download and 20Mbps download speed.

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