Lead Times Increase During Q12017

With summer in full swing, it is the perfect time to take a look at the lead times of electronic components. This year has, so far, been dominated by the quiet whispers that suggest there could be the widespread return of allocation within the next few months.

At the time of writing, those reports have proved to be false, though lead times have expanded during the first half of the year. From May onwards, there has been higher demand than expected from high-growth sectors, particularly industrial, automotive and automation.

We can also say with a fair amount of certainty that franchise distribution channels are struggling to keep up with demand from major OEMs.

Talking to the EPS News website, Michael Knight warned that this high level of market activity would continue, saying: “We are anticipating this summer things will get even tighter, particularly in resistor chips [and] inductors.”

Indeed, ECIA’s latest North American distribution report corroborates this statement, as to do comments from Vishay’s CEO, Dr. Gerald Paul who noted that “shortages of supply and long lead times….raise concerns.”

The market is also beginning to feel the consequences of the recent spate of high profile mergers and acquisition. With product lines being rationalised, both OEMs and franchised distributors have fewer options to secure necessary stock. After years of being able to play manufacturers off against each other, they now find themselves at a competitive disadvantage in what has become a seller’s market.

Additionally, the problems that have engulfed Toshiba this year has impacted the availability of components. Although confined to the ultra-competitive memory market, lead times have increased, and so too has pricing. To make matters worse, a number of Toshiba and Micron lines have been placed on allocation to help the manufacturers deal with demand.

As a result, we would advise all purchasing departments to expand their supply chains to avoid unfavourable price rises, shortages and the long wait to secure stock.

With lead times rising and demand remaining at historically high levels, the threat of widespread allocation cannot be discounted.

Atlantis Electronics has a specialist purchasing department that can lock down large quantities of electronic components – no matter where that stock is in the world.

Thanks to our procurement team and trusted network of suppliers, we can help OEMs avoid extended lead times, sudden price hikes and the threat of allocation.

Call us on +1 905 290 1563 and speak to one of our representatives today.

To view our latest lead time table, visit this link: Atlantis Lead Times (July)

Intel’s Boss Discusses Moore’s Law and VR

It is perhaps the most famous prediction ever made in the electronics industry but in recent months, industry expert had started to question the validity of Moore’s Law in today’s rapidly developing world.

Half a century, Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, declared that computer power would double every two years. For decades, Moore’s estimate rang true as technology companies were able to continuously improve the performance of their chips on a regular basis. That was until the entire industry appeared to reach a crunch point when physicists and technology giants came out and said it was no longer possible to keep pace, bring Moore’s Law to its knees.

Continue reading

U.S Researchers Develop Sabotage-proof Chip

Tamper-proof electronics?

A chip that can self-authenticate its own calculations is currently being developed in America.

In theory, the device, which is being designed by a team from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, will be to check if its performance is being compromised by the presence of a Trojan or other form of malware.

The chip verifies itself thanks to the addition of a second module that simultaneously carries out and compares calculations. If there is a deviation, it will report an error.

Continue reading

U.S Department of Defense Passes New Anti-Counterfeiting Measures

us-dod

A new guide published by the United States’ Department of Defense (DoD) earlier this month will add a further protective layer to the supply chains used to source parts for military projects.

Call the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFRAS), this new collection of rules look likely to create a stringent approach to purchasing when dealing with government contracts. It is hoped that the procedures will help prevent – or minimise – counterfeit components from entering key supply chains, ultimately benefitting both contractors and the U.S. government.

Continue reading

“We don’t want to come under the wing of a certain manufacturer,” Renesas boss says

Renesas

Shortly after being appointed the chief executive of Renesas, Bunsei Kure announced that the Japanese automotive chip maker would remain an independent entity, despite rumored interest from fellow electronics company Nidec Corp.

Renesas is believed to be a prime target for acquisition, as its main shareholder is the state-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) fund.

The INCJ was formed in 2009 as a vehicle to help drive investment in key technological areas – such as chip making. However, the fund is under an obligation to sell its stake before 2024.

“We don’t want to come under the wing of a certain manufacturer,” Kure told the press at a news conference in Japan.

Instead, he stated the Renesas “wants to be held by a wide range of investors.”

Nidic is thought to be extremely interested in acquiring a large stake in Renesas to help it challenge the likes of Robert Bosch and Denso Corp in the global automotive parts sector.

Kure did not rule out strategic alliances with other chipmakers, however.

“It is possible that we will team up within the semiconductor sector to complement what we lack.”

The semiconductor industry is currently seeing a large number of mergers and acquisitions. Last year saw over $80-billion worth of deals go through, including NXP’s purchase of Freescale Semicondur Inc, and ON Semiconductor Corp’s deal to buy Fairchild Semiconductor.

U.S. passes the Secure E-Waster Export and Recycling Act

uscongress

The U.S. Congress has passed a bill in a bid to curb the amount of electronic waste that is shipped to China, only to re-enter supply chains in the form of counterfeit products.

Entitled the ‘Secure E-Waste Export and Recycling Act’ (SEERA), the legislation was a cross-party promotion, sponsored by Congressmen Gene Green and Paul Cook.

Previously in 2011, the Senate Armed Service Committee started their own investigation into the presence of counterfeit electronics that were uncovered within the Department of Defence’s (DOD) supply chain.

Continue reading

A Polaroid Moment for Printed Circuit Boards?

printedcircuitboard-blog

Be it a budget domestic appliance, throwaway gizmos or a state-of-the-art piece of research equipment, Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) lie at the heart of all our devices.

Normally, to make a PCB requires a fair bit of expertise and some specialist kit. However, thanks to the work of a Printem, a Canadian-based start-up, we could soon be designing and producing basic PCBs from the comfort of our own computers.

Continue reading

Electronics and Eyeballs

eye-691269_1280

In the world of electronics where advancements happen on a seemingly daily basis, a patent filed by Google could quite literally inject vision-and-life-enhancing electronics into the human body.

So far this year we have seen stories devoted to the development of flexible, wearable electronics known as ‘electronic skin’ and articles discussing how the contact lenses of the future could enable people to monitor their health and browse the internet.

However, Google’s idea takes previous prototype technologies one-step further. Instead of focusing their efforts on wearable electronic devices, the technology giants have begun looking into the feasibility of embedding electronics into our bodies.

Continue reading

DNA Diodes – The Future of Electronics?

This is the minuscule future of electronics.

A research team comprising of scientists from the University of Georgia (UGA) in the United States and Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in Israel believe that they have uncovered how nanoscale electronics can be constructed from DNA molecules.

It sounds like something from a science-fiction blockbuster, but it is just the next logical step for an industry that has been advancing at a remarkable rate.

“For fifty years, we have been able to place more and more computing power onto smaller and smaller chips,” begins Bingqian Xu, an associate professor at the UGA’s College of Engineering.

“But we are now pushing the physical limits of silicon. If silicon-based chips become much smaller, their performance will become unstable and unpredictable.”

So after almost exhausting the properties of silicon, scientists turned their attention to the predictability, diversity and ‘programmability’ of DNA.

In their study – that is available online through the journal Nature Chemistry – Xu and his fellow collaborators claim that they used a single molecule of DNA to create the world’s smallest diode.

In order to achieve this remarkable feat, the research scientists isolated a single duplex DNA of 11 base pairs and connected it to a minute electric circuit. They then inserted coralyne into the DNA and discovered that the current flowing through the string of DNA was 15 times stronger for negative voltages than positive voltages.

“Our discovery can lead to progress in the design and construction of nanoscale electronic elements that are at least 1,000 times smaller than current components,” Xu said.

The Israeli-American team plans to continue its work in this area.

Obama is on Board with the Battle against Counterfeit Chips

It has been suggested by President Obama himself that he will sign into law a customs bill passed by the US Senate that includes a provision to combat counterfeit semiconductors.

The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 mandates that US Customs and Border Protection share information and samples of suspected counterfeit parts, which will allow a more rapid identification of actual counterfeits.

Attention to Counterfeit Semiconductors has increased in recent years, and the battle to prevent them circulating the industry is ongoing. An example of this is organisations such as Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) who are constantly urging for policies and legalisation which are designed to improve identification of fake parts.

SIA also revealed that in 2011 alone, counterfeiting costs for US based Semiconductor companies was more than 7.5 billion.

With vast amounts of money being wasted every year on counterfeits, Semiconductor companies in the US are hoping that the customs bill Congress approved will help reduce this cost reduce risks and also root out counterfeit semiconductors.