Weathering the obsolescence storm

Rochester Electronics’ product and expertise options supervisor, Ken Greenwood

Rochester Electronics’ product and expertise options supervisor, Ken Greenwood, explains the worth of a dependable provide chain concerning mission-critical out of date parts


Semiconductor lifecycles proceed to shrink and product discontinuation notices (PDNs) are on the rise. With current provide constraints, unique part producers (OCMs) and the semiconductor manufacturing chain have been reassessing product profitability. Oftentimes the choice has been made to prune uneconomical strains.


Whether or not it’s third get together or OCM owned fabs slicing older geometries, packaging homes selecting to finish help of older package deal types (equivalent to PLCCs or small-SOICs) or the withdrawal of tester platform help, PDNs are rising and turning into extra unpredictable.


Producers should be capable to monitor and anticipate the lifecycles of their core semiconductors. Part databases, equivalent to IHS and Z2Data, can predict the remaining lifetime of a part and the anticipated end-of-life (EOL) dates. Untimely PDNs are, by nature, not simply anticipated by customary algorithms.


Part discontinuations pressure prospects to decide to a standard last-time-buy, whereby completed parts should be bought unexpectedly, to hopefully cowl any future wants. Together with the capital tied up within the inventory itself, there are extra prices for specialised IC storage. Beneath good circumstances, these prices are unwelcome, however manageable. Nonetheless, if market wants enhance, in-service upkeep timescales are prolonged, or an unanticipated EOL is introduced, what ought to be finished?


It’s a frequent false impression that after a PDN is introduced, solely non-authorised sources can meet extra product wants. Nonetheless, this route carries huge dangers and is patently unfaithful.


Any lively part scarcity or ongoing want for out of date parts supplies ‘incentives’ for unscrupulous sources to take advantage of the state of affairs and doubtlessly contribute poor high quality merchandise or counterfeits into the market.

The dangers of counterfeit and poor-quality parts from unauthorised sources signify a big threat to each manufacturing yields and imply time between failure charges (MTBR). Inferior or substandard testing by unauthorised third events supplies a false promise that authenticity might be examined. This testing is visible, x-ray or a poor partial copy of the unique producer’s check processes. Full tri-temp testing can not often be provided and the danger of commercial-grade parts being re-marked as industrial, automotive or navy elements is frightfully current.


There are additionally documented high quality issues associated to overseas chemical substances. Cleansing chemical substances used to get better, wash and re-mark used parts, slowly migrate into the merchandise, resulting in the shorting and corroding of bond wires and pads alike. Superficial testing isn’t assured to seek out these faults. Unauthorised parts might not solely cross these assessments, but in addition survive for a interval of service. Nonetheless, the parts’ inevitable failures will destroy MTBR figures, leading to lowered reliability and broken trade reputations.


Authorised aftermarket distributors and producers, equivalent to Rochester Electronics, present a risk-free long-term supply for semiconductors. They’re an indispensable authorised companion supporting:


  • Inventory to beat market shortages or lengthy lead-times


  • A trusted supply for out of date parts


  • Lengthy-term manufacturing from wafer of chosen product ranges


Rochester is 100 per cent authorised by over 70 main semiconductor producers.  Its manufacturing unit direct, AS6496-compliant, providing negates the necessity for costly redesign, requalification and recertification.

Moreover, partnering with a licensed semiconductor producer can mitigate the dangers of part EOL. A licensed producer can produce units now not equipped by the OCM. When a part is discontinued, the remaining examined wafer and die, meeting processes and unique check IP, are transferred to the licensed producer by the OCM. Which means beforehand discontinued parts are nonetheless accessible newly manufactured, and 100 per cent in compliance with the unique specs. No extra {qualifications} required or software program adjustments.

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