Pixblasters Video LED Controller

Combine LED strips to create a huge display that acts as a regular video monitor.

Available for pre-order

View Purchasing Options
Feb 22, 2024

Project update 18 of 18

Pixblasters Is Back on Track

by Gordan G

It’s been a long time since our last post, and it’s the right time to share some experiences and news with you.

First, let’s take a look at the past. The Pixblasters project started off very well. In a relatively short time, we delivered a couple of hundred Pixblasters MS1 Video LED Controller boards. The feedback from our solid user base was great proof of the board’s functionality and quality.

Unfortunately, that great start was quickly followed by the global COVID-19 lockdown and the total collapse of the semiconductor supply chain. The Pixblasters team has long and rich experience in the electronics industry, but something like that was previously unseen. For us, small manufacturers of electronics, it became practically impossible to get chips and run production.

Let us share an anecdote – As you know, the main Pixblasters chip is the AMD Spartan 6 FPGA. Today, that chip costs around $40 at Mouser, which is already noticeably more than before COVID-19. During the worst days of the supply chain breakdown, we received an official quote from a renowned supplier with the very same FPGA chip priced at around $2,500 per piece! Can you imagine that? The whole story was even worse because the indicated lead time was at the end of the year 2027 – in a very, very far future… The quote was based on data from the source – the silicon fab factories – and it just shows how everyone in the industry was suffering through very bad times. We were investigating replacement components, yet all possible replacement chips were available under the same or even worse conditions. This true story explains why the Pixblasters boards were unavailable for a longer period.

Luckily, this is now behind us. We are back on track, and production is now consistent. As a reflection of bad times and significantly increased costs, we have increased pricing throughout the whole chain. The market forecast is stable, and it means that Pixblasters controllers are readily available. A month ago, our last delivery of stock to Mouser’s warehouse disappeared instantly within two days. At the moment, the new lot of Pixblasters are in production and should be available through Crowd Supply and Mouser in April/May 2024.

This year, we plan to share several pieces of news with you, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, here is a great video example of Pixblasters’ use – a great light installation by artist @miauwz.visualz. You can find more from him on Instagram, including the photos taken during the build up of this phenomenal cat head!

Sign up to receive future updates for Pixblasters Video LED Controller.

Pixblasters Video LED Controller is part of Microchip Get Launched

Subscribe to the Crowd Supply newsletter, highlighting the latest creators and projects