Chip shortage: Canon sells toner cartridges without identification chips

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Canon says that it can no longer procure enough semiconductor components to equip all toner cartridges with the unfortunately common identification chips that are supposed to make the use of cheaper replacement toner more difficult. Such identification chips consist, for example, of a simple microcontroller with an integrated non-volatile memory which, for many manufacturers, also logs the fill level of the toner or ink cartridge.

Cartridges for dozens of multifunction printers (MFP) from the Imagerunner office series sells Canon temporarily without electronics due to the shortage. Because Canon’s printers do not recognize the so-called interim toners as original accessories, the manufacturer himself explains how to bypass warnings. Normally, a single keystroke is enough to hide the messages.

The interim toners show that the global shortage of chips no longer only affects PC hardware and consoles. Small components in particular, which actually only cost a few cents with old manufacturing techniques, are scarce these days and therefore expensive.

With the announcement, Canon is providing instructions on how one could alternatively use cheaper cartridges from third-party manufacturers. Compared to cheaper competing products, Canon can only promise to deliver better print quality – after all, the content of the interim toner remains identical to the normal cartridges.

Without electronic components, the cartridges do not report their fill level to the printer. As a result, the fill indicator can suddenly jump from 100 to 0 percent. In such a case, Canon recommends replacing an interim toner. If in doubt, users can also wait until there are interruptions in the printout. This is not a problem with laser printers.

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Automatic reordering of cartridges in offices works only to a limited extent without the fill indicator at best. In case of doubt, you should store a replacement for a short-term exchange.


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