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Canon has become an unusual victim of the global semiconductor shortage, as its printer cartridges do not ship with chips to confirm they contain genuine company ink.
The global shortage of semiconductors has led to a low supply of chips used in many different industries, leading to delays in shipments and increased costs of the scarce devices for consumers. While computer components, mobile devices and automobiles are believed to be the main industries affected by the chip shortage, it appears that suppliers of printer ink are also struggling.
Camera and printer producer Canon has come across a situation where it has to ship printer cartridges without its usual collection of chips. As Mario W. On twitter, this means that Canon is producing ink cartridges without what he calls “copy protection measures” and is beginning to reach out to customers to find a solution.
The chips included in a printer cartridge provide some functions, including help in determining how much ink is left to use. It is also generally used to ensure that users use original company cartridges, to try to avoid the use of unofficial and uncertified third-party inks.
TO Support page The Canon Europe website lists numerous imageRunner MFPs that use ink cartridges affected by the shortage. Canon advises that “there is no negative impact on print quality when using consumables without electronic components”, but features such as “the ability to detect toner levels” could be affected.
The page goes on to explain how to use one of the company’s affected toner cartridges, including instructions for bypassing a warning about a cartridge that may not be working properly.
It’s unclear how long the problem will last for Canon, nor is it known if other printer manufacturers are experiencing the same supply issues.
The chip shortage is affecting many industries and device vendors, with Apple apparently feeling the pressure in September, while rivals are failing worse. Chip companies like TSMC have been announcing major investment initiatives to ease pressure on chip supply chains, but the situation is unlikely to be fixed anytime soon.