Component shortages?

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Anyone been caught out by this?
http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLNE64N01X20100524

And someone posted this on my forum:

"Northeast Electrical Distributors Reports
a National Ballast Component Shortage

June 23, 2010

Please be advised that there is a nation-wide shortage of Electronic
Ballasts due to a world-wide electronic component shortage including
capacitors and integrated circuits. Up until now this shortage has affected
mostly standard T5 output ballasts. However it has quickly spread to High
Output T5 and T8 ballasts as well. Regardless of ballast factor or starting
features (programmed rapid start, instant start, etc) these ballasts are now
all experiencing the same shortage. We have been told that it will spread
further into HID and compact fluorescent ballasts as well as LED drivers and
lighting control products.

Be advised that this shortage is not limited to smaller vendors. All major
vendors such as Acuity Brands, Sylvania, Cooper, Daybrite, and Lightolier
are experiencing the same shortages. We have been warned that the ballast
shortage is going to intensify over the next two months which is often times
the busiest months of the year for our lighting fixture sales. This will
cause significant delays in fixture delivery dates and will surely disrupt
project scheduling and deadlines. We have already seen delays in some
delivery dates as much as four weeks. As a result, we must anticipate
continued delays and plan accordingly and we recommend that you pass this
information on to your general contractors and clients.
It is critical that projects be released as early as possible. Fixtures can
always be released with a "do not ship before" date so that orders can still
be sent to the factories ahead of time for proper planning. Jobs that have
quick occupancy and fast turn over deadlines will be the most difficult to
complete. Using alternate packages or taking fixtures from your distributors
inventory of stocked fixtures can help combat some of those quick deadlines.
Still, there may be times when your distributor will not be able to provide
specific fixtures on time and delays will be inevitable."

Dave.

--
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Check out my Electronics Engineering Video Blog & Podcast:
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Re: Component shortages?


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Component Purchasing officers and Procurement offices (PO's) that are more
than 10 years in the business will remember these type of shortages and
production allocations issues. These PO's are well experinced and know how
to smoothly, echonomically and efficently gather compoents for production
long term.

PO's less than 10 year experince.... would  probably say,,, nah I can get
the parts on the internet anytime.

PO's that don't have a "relationship" with trusted suppliers will say
"bloody  xxx maufacturer has let us down"

PO's that do have relationships with their suppliers are often forwarnd by
the suppliers and can easily manage any shortages issues...


It's the old supply and demand.... and good management of supply,
relationships and early communication.


Suppliers... who needs them... only in a crisis... (it's too late).

Joe



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We can't put the onus on the purchasing folks alone. Yes, they need
experience, but so do design engineers. Don't use any fancy new part
unless you absolutely have to. Prefer parts where there are numerous 2nd
sources. Avoid parts from manufacturers that are known to prefer key
account. Make the component tolerances in your circuit as large as
possible. And so on. A lot of problems can be dodged at the design
stage, and only there.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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This is true on new products, but once a widget is in full production it's on
the PO or IC manager's head to make sure inventory stays right.  Of course he
has to have useful production forecasts, too.  Engineering can help over bumps
if tolerances can be loosened, or whatever, but that gets expensive.

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Also, engineers hear rumors first, usually. So when company X is about
to swallow company Y and company X has a reputation of throwing a
Molotov cocktail in there or screwing things up it would be good to
alert the purchasing folks.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Do you have a list to share?

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You've got mail :-)

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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I predict that sometime in the next 52 weeks, *many*
manufacturers will be very anxious to sell any
reasonable quantity of components.

Be patient, this wild economic expansion cannot last forever.


--Winston

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Expansion surely not, but certain categories of economic
actors have an interest in making waves, and I don't see
how that will ever stop.

Jeroen Belleman

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I should have included a smiley, for I was attempting
to suggest that any 'component shortage' has got to
be a product of imagination rather than real.

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I sometimes meet with vendors who fabricate stories too.
Those meetings tend to be short and singular.

--Winston

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In 15 years using Altera devices I've never had any problems obtaining them.

I've been kitting up for a prototype build and my FAE has had to pull
a lot of strings to get me 4 Stratix's that were fairly freely available
when the project started 6 months ago. It'll be October before I see any
more.

I also have an Analog Devices ADC designed in which was available from
Digikey and a couple of other distributors four months ago but I've
had to get Analog customer services to trawl their system to get me
4 for debug. Again it's November before these will be available.

The Altera FAE said that 15 smaller fabs closed last year so all the
big ones are working at more than capacity(?). Altera use TSMC which is
fully booked. They announced the Cyclone IV family in October but
so far only one device is out, the rest were due pretty quickly after
that but are now scheduled for the Autumn (because they can't build
them).

Shortages are real IMHO.


Nial



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Ah, so we're at _that_ point in the EE boom-bust cycle!

So when is there going to be a huge glut of chips on the market, I wonder?

--
Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting
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When all the purchasing agents who have double-ordered start cancelling
orders and all the companies who have hoarded parts slow down :-)

Seriously, try to get stuff like dual FETs in SO8 that can do 100V+.
Haven't looked this month but last month those were mostly non-stock.
Then there were situations where I designed in a part that had tons of
stock only to discover one fine Monday morning that it had dropped to
zilch everywhere.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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(...)

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OP Quote> Please be advised that there is a nation-wide shortage of
OP Quote> Electronic Ballasts due to a world-wide electronic component
OP Quote> shortage including capacitors and integrated circuits.

Without revealing anything proprietary, can you help me
understand the advantages of these high performance
FPGAs in electronic ballast design?  I'm also struggling
to imagine a role for the ADC.

Could you point out the location of these parts in the
diagram for me please?

http://www.eleccircuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/80w-flourescent-electronic-ballast-by-phe13005.gif


Economic Boom: "Everybody's using our product!
                You'll be on allocation and pay premium prices!"

Economic Bust: "We shut down all our foundries!
               You'll be on allocation and pay premium prices!"

Economic Uncertainty: A few folks are using our product!
               You'll be on allocation and pay premium prices!"

Day of the Week: Ends in the letter 'y'!
               You'll be on allocation and pay premium prices!"


Thanks!


--Winston

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Before you get all sarcastic, did you read the other link in
Dave Jones' original post?


Nial.



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I apologize for my excessive snark; I was surprised by the
'subject drift'.

The article mentions memory chips, transistors, resistors and
capacitors.

No mention of high performance, single source FPGAs,
which aren't quite the 'commodity' (multiple source) parts
exemplified by memory chips, transistors, resistors and capacitors.

I expect that parts manufacturers are just angling for
higher prices.  We'll pay, because China Inc. is the only
source.

For the right money, that 12 month commodity lead time would
magically shrink to nearly nothing.

It's the second oldest game in the world.

--Winston

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No problem :-)



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No fair enough, but in the last 15 years once Altera devices have been
released they have generally been easy to get hold of.

I know the FAE I'm dealing with very well and believe him when he said
that they had to scour the EBV European stocks to provide 4 samples
for prototyping.

Analog showed no stock on the web site. Customer support in the
States said they didn't have any of the ADCs, and all their
distributors were out too.

Both firms are quoting three or four months lead time.

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I'm not sure, the Altera FAE was genuinely frustrated. He said
the only thing saving their bacon is that Xilinx are in nearly
the same position.


Nial.







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(...)

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Still 'single sourced' 'non-commodity' parts, yes?

(...)

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I would love to know the 'back story'!
How is it even *possible* to have that kind of backlog in 2010
unless they discovered a significant design flaw and are re-spinning?

(...)

(WRT 'commodity parts':)
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I've been out of the game for a long time but I still wonder:
Is his response 'code' for "re-design using Lattice, Actel,
Cypress, Quicklogic, Silicon Blue, Achronix, etc."?


--Winston

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The real message is: Try your darndest to design it with discretes,
simple logic chips, maybe 80C51 and whatever else is needed. No more
FPGA. Which is what I generally do, then there are half a dozen sources
and never a shortage :-)

I know this sounds kind of Luddite but it has served my clients quite well.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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  The 80C51 is a bad mamma jamma!

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