The ‘A’ Word

Screaming Circuits is seeing more and more components in short supply or on allocation these days. A while back, we took a survey of our customers and found that on average, an engineer would spend about 16 hours sourcing parts for a prototype design.

Schottky top My question is has that changed? There are a few chip companies with a lot of parts in short supply, but what I hear the most about is the passive components. If you’ve designed a very specific power or radio chip, for example, I can see how a twelve week lead time can be a very big issue. But if it’s just a 47pf, 6V cap, a resistor or diode, is it really that difficult to find a sub quickly?

How much of an issue is parts availability today — really? Is it something that has a lot of visibility and little impact? Or is it something where the visibility and the impact are both pretty big? How much of a hassle and time sink is it for you now?

Duane Benson
I’ll trade you a pair of .022 for one .047

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About Duane

Duane is the Web Marketing Manager for Screaming Circuits, an EMS company based in Canby, Oregon. He blogs regularly on matters ranging from circuit board design and assembly to general industry observations.

2 thoughts on “The ‘A’ Word

  1. in the past .. only Maxim would make an engineer’s eyes roll – when talking about delivery.

    last 2 months.. Texas Inst… has developed a lead time issue with a large percentage of it’s parts… (told they had major shutdown/shift in their testing services I am told)…
    Created a really good quarterly result for their stock holders (because of major layoffs) .. but with up turn in business are far behind in building back up their inventories (lost a large number of experienced people during layoffs).

    I am hearing large CMs ( Foxconn) are having problems with suppliers – across the board (lead time)…. from a different source.

    all pointing to creating additional problems with secondary (grey) market sources.. providing bogus parts into the supply chain.

    Yes .. all this means a lot more research for engineers in selection of parts for anything to be built in near term.

  2. Ditto on the TI parts. I can find the TI parts I need all over Asia, Tiawan, Malaysia, etc. but NOTHING on US soil or Europe. Why? Interesting.
    Try looking for a TAS1020BPFB (stereo audio uController) – 3 months lead time!
    What’s up TI?

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