Project update 52 of 53
In response to the global electronics and chip shortage, we are marking LimeSDR Mini as end-of-life (EOL) and preparing to launch its replacement, LimeSDR Mini 2.0. Your action is required if you have an open order for LimeSDR Mini.
Since we first introduced LimeSDR Mini nearly five years ago, we’ve shipped tens of thousands of units to engineers around the world for use in everything from satellite ground stations to digital television. Whether you’re a hobbyist using LimeSDR Mini to learn about software defined radio, or a company integrating hundreds of LimeSDR Minis into your commercial product, we’ve been thrilled at breadth and depth of LimeSDR Mini applications you’ve come up with. Which is why it’s been especially difficult to watch all of this come to a grinding halt over the last year due to the global electronics and chip shortage.
Specifically, the Intel MAX 10 FPGA used in LimeSDR Mini has become unobtainium. The few pieces of this part we’ve been able to find were being sold at prices greater than the full retail price of LimeSDR Mini itself.
As a result, it’s been nearly a year since we last shipped any LimeSDR Mini units. We’d hoped, like many, that the supply chain would improve, but it hasn’t and we don’t have reason to believe it will. Rather than hang our hopes on such dismal prospects, we decided to officially cease production of LimeSDR Mini.
However, not all is doom and gloom. If you have an open order or were planning on using LimeSDR Mini in your project or product, read on.
LimeSDR Mini 2.0 is a drop-in replacement for the original LimeSDR Mini. The primary difference is that we’ve upgraded the FPGA from an Intel MAX 10 to a Lattice ECP5. This is great news for anyone who cares about open source toolchains and greater FPGA resources. We have prototypes in hand and are putting them through their paces. We’ll be posting progress updates and announcing its official release on the LimeSDR Mini 2.0 project page, so subscribe for updates there to stay tuned.
Creating LimeSDR Mini 2.0 isn’t just a matter of modifying the board design and layout. It also involves a complete migration of FPGA gateware from one vendor (Intel) to another (Lattice). Though the FPGA was our biggest supply chain hurdle, there is always a risk others will come up. Although the board redesign, gateware migration, and parts sourcing for LimeSDR Mini 2.0 are all going well, we don’t yet have a definite price point or launch timeline.
All open orders for the original LimeSDR Mini will be canceled and refunded. For some of you, this is an inconvenience, for which we apologize. But for others, we know LimeSDR Mini is a crucial link in your own supply chain, which is why we are taking great pains to offer an alternative in the form of LimeSDR Mini 2.0. We don’t take lightly the decision to cease production of LimeSDR Mini, which was our best-selling development board, and we’re making this announcement immediately after the EOL decision was made.
If you have an open order for LimeSDR Mini or LimeSDR Mini with Aluminum Case, you may need to contact Crowd Supply. All open orders containing either of those products will be canceled and refunded. Orders placed within the last 90 days will be refunded this week (by March 11). Orders placed more than 90 days ago will be refunded next week (by March 18). If the credit card account you used to place your order has been closed, you must contact Crowd Supply this week to arrange an alternative method of refunding your order. If the credit card used to place the order is expired, but your credit card account is still active (e.g., you received a new card), then your refund will go through as expected and there is no need to contact Crowd Supply. It may take up to ten days from the date the refund is issued to appear on your credit card statement. You can check the status of your order by logging into your Crowd Supply account.
At the same time we are ending LimeSDR Mini, we are also ending LimeNET Micro, for the same reasons - it relies on the same part that is no longer available.
All other Lime products remain in active production, albeit delayed. LimeSDR and LimeNET are based on a different FPGA than LimeSDR Mini, one we expect to be available again soon. A small quantity of LimeRFE is currently available and we hope to produce more soon.