> Smart Chip
Smart Chip in Printer Cartridges
What is smart chip? What does smart chip do? How
does smart chip technology affect the consumers?
Smart chip is a small
chip that some printer manufacturers put into their inkjet or toner
cartridges. It lets printer cartridge and printer communicate and
informs the user before the cartridge runs out of ink / toner.
Smart chip records
droplet count data and tracks ink usage. It may have unique ID and
brand name signature of which the printer recognizes. Some smart chips set
an expiration date (relative to the date of manufacture) and disable the
printer cartridge even if it is full.
claim that the smart chip technology adds value to their cartridges so the
customers will be warned of low ink. This ensures that print quality
can be maintained. Consumer advocates think otherwise. The
sole purpose of smart chip is to attempt to limit the competition from
third party cartridge manufacturers, so that consumers have to buy
overpriced OEM cartridges from the original manufacturers.
Smart chip makes it
difficult or impossible to refill the printer cartridges. Even when
the cartridge is refilled, the smart chip would tell the printer that it
is still empty and refuse to print.
Smart chip recognizes
third party cartridges and gives a warning message when the 3rd party
replacement cartridge is installed. It makes the users believe that
installing a 3rd party cartridge may damage the printer (but in reality,
this rarely happens).
Smart chip also
disables printer cartridge on expiration date even if the cartridge is
The use of smart chip
technology is highly controversial. Manufacturers such as HP, Epson,
Lexmark and Dell have incorporated smart chip into their printers. Some even
expand the use of smart chip to all new printer models. To protect
their market of OEM cartridges, some of these manufacturers have filed
lawsuit against replacement chip manufacturers, hindering the use of
compatible and remanufactured cartridges.
On the other hand,
lawsuit has been filed by consumers too. There are reports that smart chip
delivers false messages that ask the users to replace their cartridge
when it is far from empty and can continue to print
hundred pages of documents. Some consumers plainly said that they
will not buy a new printer that uses the smart chip technology.
Parliament also approved a law that directs the printer OEMs to remove
smart chips from their cartridges. Their major concern is not to
provide cheaper replacement cartridges to the consumers, but rather to
encourage recycling and reduce waste.
Consumers can beat the
smart chip technology and keep on buying cheaper compatible cartridges or
refill kits instead of the expensive OEM cartridges. One method is
to use chip resetter to reset the cartridge once it is refilled or when
the cartridge is close to the expiration date. The other method is to buy
100% compatible cartridges which have a new replacement chip installed**.
Without this chip, your printer software thinks that the cartridge is
always low which may cause problem when printing.
cartridges are 100% compatible cartridges with new replacement chip.
So they are good with printers using smart chip technology.