There are some pro-active solutions available to help manage die obsolescence, such as making project last-time-buys or use of long term storage/supply plans. Often however these approaches aren't possible either due to lack of budget allocation or simply not having a precise forecast as to when and how much component order coverage is needed to fulfill future orders or to service equipment support contracts.
Therefore the sourcing and use of obsolete bare die stocks can be a viable technique to solve obsolescence problem on a finite basis. There are pros and cons to this approach:
- Fast availability / lead-time into production
- MOQs that suit scope of need
- No design change or re-qual needed
- Higher cost per-se but still economic for lower qty usage.
- Premiums on unit price can increase with diminishing availability
- Provenance of die may lack proof of authenticity/traceability via paper-trail
- Older die face higher risk of oxidization at metal interfaces unless properly stored
- Based on above, bare die may require additional testing to prove out lot(s) = Cost+lead-time
- Not a long term solution to the problem.
At diedevices.com we carry a large inventory of our own obsolete bare die and if we don't have the die then we search the market to provide it. Any die we offer are 100% backed with our warranty and can either be probe tested or lot qualified by us where a customer requires additional guarantees of performance and reliability.
Other options to consider:
- Bare die re-engineering - As a rule of thumb if future need is greater than 5K PCS then the economics of bare die re-creation should be investigated by default (costs vary with technology and patent analysis must be undertaken)
- One-time fab run - We have good relation established with major semiconductor manufacturers. This combined with our backend die test capabilities can help to enable a one-time production of the original die wherever possible
- Cross-reference - We offer engineering support to find a compatible bare die replacement. Where a drop-in replacement isn't possible we focus on the key parameters that component contributes to the circuit performance.