The Silicon Shortage, From An Open Networking Manufacturer’s Perspective


Pica 8 and Edgecore Logos

Featuring Guest Authors Youngcor Shueh and Heimdall Siao of Edgecore Networks

Edgecore Networks is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) designing our own branded products of networking equipment. Our products can be found at every level of infrastructure, from small network WANs to the largest publicly traded enterprises. Like every other networking vendor in the industry, we have been contending with the silicon shortage and may have a somewhat unique take on viable solutions for a common headache many purchasing departments are having right now in procuring product.

While it is true that silicon remains a valued commodity amongst all network vendors, being a vendor of open networking products and solutions gives our customers a leg up on the competitors of closed networking systems.

Closed Systems vs. Open Networking: A Tale Of Two (Or More) Supply Chains

The market leading closed system vendors have all been reporting record lead times for product, in many cases reporting supply constraints more than a calendar year out. Some of this is due to the shortage of materials. However, there is an additional factor for these vendors: their supply chains tend to be vertically integrated, so a disruption in one part has consequences in availability down the line. Often, products are limited due to a single bespoke part being unavailable.

Open networking vendors, with multiple channels of suppliers building parts to spec, can also be hit by supply problems but the nature of product shortage in the open ecosystem can be relatively minor. A hiccup in supply in one channel can be mitigated much better than a closed system vendor, and supply constraints can be hedged and distributed across multiple vendors to open up product choice for designers.

Besides designing leading technology hardware platforms, Edgecore also has a strong reach and influence into the networking supply chain industry. Edgecore Networks has long established relationships and direct channels with chipset vendors. Edgecore also has the ability to leverage the supply chain from its large original design manufacturing operations. This direct supply chain visibility and influence allows Edgecore’s customer material to be more flexibly managed or buffered, leading to improved delivery for Edgecore’s customers compared to less flexible closed networking system providers.

While we have been cautious offering lead times for product like many others in the industry, we are confident that open networking offers a viable solution to product planners that can no longer afford to put installation or expansion plans on hold. In extreme limited market conditions like we are currently experiencing, open networking should be a tool in every networking professional’s bag of tricks.

Software Is Also An Important Secret Sauce To Open Networking

Designing and supplying switching hardware is just one part of the open networking equation. The software functions needed in today’s advanced enterprise is a critical component. Working with market leaders in networking software like Pica8 allows Edgecore to maintain a position as a best-of-breed networking products vendor. Industry standard support and software expertise alleviates the usual painpoints of open networking adoption. Single pane administration and automated network provisioning through a software application like Pica8’s AmpCon Network Controller makes the largest network installs literally a press of a button.

LAN, WAN, Thank You Ma’am

The underlying philosophy of Edgecore Networks is to provide professional wired and wireless solutions from the edge to the core.  With a strong focus on complete solutions that generate value for customers and assist with realizing the potential of a digital-network society, Edgecore Networks together with Pica8 offer a broad product portfolio spanning 400G/100G/40G/10G/GE switching, enterprise-level wireless, and network management tools.  We provide industry-leading products that address our customers’ network requirements in different market segments from network infrastructure, data center switches, core switches, access switches, and indoor/outdoor wireless access points.


Youngcor Shueh and Heimdall Siao are guest bloggers for Pica8.

Youngcor Shueh is Vice President of Sales of Edgecore Networks, with 25+ years of networking design and manufacturing experience.

Heimdall Siao is President of Edgecore Networks with extensive experience in supply chain management and network solution development.

Kelly LeBlanc is Chief Marketing Officer for Pica8.