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Old 17th January 2008, 08:30 AM   #1
mobyd is offline mobyd  New Zealand
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Default Vanishing chips

Dontcha just hate it when your favourite flavours of chips disappear. One of my favourites - the Allegro UCN5832A (a 3 wire interface to 32 open collector outputs, just the bees knees for driving loads of LEDs, relays etc) simply ceased to be - it became a non chip. No warning (as a consumer of a few dozen a year, I guess Allegro didn't consider me in their calculations :-). Lots of boards designed for various small items that I sell, well tested driver code etc etc - all now useless. One is cast ito the awful wolves that are BROKERS - huge MOQs, silly prices etc. Googling for chips is a miserable experience. Moan over.
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Old 19th January 2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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I can sympathize. The company I work for used some Allegro drivers on some of our control boards for our machines. Same thing happened, Allegro discontinued the chip. The new one they recommend requires redesign. This isn't likely to happen, since we don't make the machine anymore, just support, and we don't even have enough engineering to design new products properly, much less revisit old stuff. From what I have seen and heard, Allegro has a habit of this. My personal advice would be when you redesign, avoid Allegro at all costs. If enough people/businesses do this, eventually the lack of business may convince Allegro to cure the cranial/rectal inversion they seem to suffer from.
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Old 19th January 2008, 08:58 PM   #3
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Same with Maxim, have had the same experience as Dave with them. When they get a large order for cell-phone chips they simply shut down a running production line for it.

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Old 25th January 2008, 08:04 PM   #4
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I would like to add to these rants my Mosfet experience. Vishay and Fairchild are the very worst at this.

The bad thing was, when their whole non-RoHS compliant lineup was replaced with RoHS compliant devices. Apparently it was a direct drop in replacement, only the plating changed to non-Pb. But upon closer inspection, a die shrink was also performed and many parameters changed, usually for the worse. Although the devices may appear to work fine, their derating was compromised and field failure rates increased. Quite a lot.

I can also add: when a large company gobbles-up a smaller one. They may carry the smaller one lineup for a while, but at the earliest opportunity will discontinue it. When Cherry Semiconductor was bought by OnSemi, that is exactly what happened.
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