Industry May be Trending towards Faster Obsolescence

In a perfect world you’d design and build a product and every part--down to the tiniest electronic component--would be readily available for its entire production life. Unfortunately in the real world semiconductors and other electronic components have their own lifecycles and they may be shorter than the optimal life of your design. In the past few years, a number of industry trends may be pointing towards faster electronic component obsolescence.

  • Fewer companies are now manufacturing these parts after a wave of mergers and acquisitions swept the industry over the last few years.
  • Semiconductor manufacturers increasingly outsource chip production to a handful of foundries. According to a December 2016 article on, a perceived lower barrier to exit for redundant or underperforming products may make it easier for a semiconductor supplier to obsolete a part.
  • The constant pressure to improve speed and performance in all sectors may drive changes in the electronic devices that are the building blocks of modern technology, resulting in part numbers being discontinued sooner rather than later.
  • The lifecycles of products and systems are shortening to keep pace with internal and external pressures to constantly improve performance and add features, especially with the proliferation of IoT. Read September 2016 article.

Shorter lifecycles for semiconductors and other essential electronic components may lead to tough choices between costly redesigns and delayed schedules AND finding legacy parts you can trust are legitimate quality parts: either with full traceablility or that are at least sourced and screened to the latest and most appropriate quality and counterfeit mitigation standards.

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