I get a design job yesterday, in a bit of a hurry want prototypes in about2 weeks.
Infineon do a smart MOSFET highside switch which is an excellent match for the requirement. I have used it before sourced from a UK catalog supplier.
Before designing it in I thought I ought to check I could get some quick and on future availability.
I find 2 UK catalog suppliers have now dropped it, probably because it is not ROHS compliant and as a fundamentally automotive part there is no ROHS compliant version and it looks like no plans for one. My application is military and will be built in the States so f*ck ROHS.
So I phone round the 5 UK Infineon distributors, all were more or less tedious to deal with, all quoted the same 2.5k MOQ and lead times from 4 to20 weeks (which makes me think none of them actually know what the real lead time is).
So I phone Infineon UK and someone tells me for anything to do with parts I need to phone Germany and gives me a number.
I phone Germany trying to find out if and how I can get preferably less than 2500 parts in definitely less than 20 weeks.
The guy I speak to knows less about the part than I do and doesn't seem interested in finding out.
"Have to tried your local distributors" - Yes all of them "Perhaps it is a new part" - No "Perhaps it is obsolete" - No "Have you tried phoning some other distributors"? - Are you telling me the way I can find out if I can buy some of these parts in less than 20 weeks is to phone each of your world wide distributors till I do or don't find some?
I think he realised how stupid his suggestion was.
I ask can you tell me if any distributors have this part on order or that you have shipped this part to? - No I can't tell you he says.
Sensing I was not very happy and this wasn't going anywhere useful, or that he wasn't prepared to take it anywhere useful he suggested I emailed Infineon support about it (probably so I could be ignored at their leisure).
It is not like it is a real obscure part, searching the web gets plenty of hits on far east semi-clearing house operations, one even showed 1/4 of a million in stock. I think a UK clearing house place has found 1k somewhere in Europe, they are getting back to me.
Later in the day I want some Microchip parts, so I log on to Microchip Direct and find every part I look at is in stock with a choice of package, speed and temperature options. Prices are keen, delivery charges are reasonable and after a few mouse clicks the stuff will be on its way to me DHL from Thailand the same day. What a world of difference.
I wish more component manufacturers would wake up and realise their system of distributors is a failing obsolete relic which needs to be put out of its misery.