I come with good news and, as always in these times, some mixed news. The good news: I have completed the PCB review, changed the PCB stack-up and rerouted all components. Bad news: I received additional info from Mouser that two more parts of the device are being delayed. Both of them are in the circuit responsible for power switching between 5 V USB and the battery.
The upside here is, that it’s better to replace them with a single IC anyway. Actually, the engineer doing the review recommended to use a single power management IC for exactly this purpose. After looking into it and confirming all of them are unavailable until 2023, I’ve chosen to use the new BQ25181 from Texas Instruments.
This IC is due for mass production in Q3 2022, which means another delay in the final delivery date. The further delays from my initial order mean that ordering and using the new parts from TI will take about the same time as waiting for the older parts. As a nice side effect, we’ll get some additional features like multiple battery protection functions, setting charging current via software (so you could use smaller or bigger batteries), more deep sleep features and some additional space on the board itself. You can expect your devices to be shipped between late 2022 and early 2023. I am doing my best to ensure a pre-Christmas delivery.
Texas Instruments was nice enough to send out some pre-production ICs so I can test the new design and prepare for certification. This is the next big step before actual mass production can begin. If you want to get the chance to get a pre-production prototype for beta testing please contact me either via Twitter @unsurv or mail "bjorn at unsurv.org"
The plan for certification is already shaping up, as other Crowd Supply project creators have shared some tips where to actually do the certification. After soldering and validating the new design, I will start the certification process as soon as possible.
Hope you are all doing good.