THE CUSTOMER CHALLENGE
Products in industries like the military, aerospace, and industrial markets have longer life cycles than products in other markets. That’s because organizations in these markets seek to integrate these devices into mission-critical platforms and applications for decades.
But technology continues advancing at a rapid pace, meaning key systems components often become obsolete. When an original component manufacturer (OCM) declares a critical semiconductor “end-of-life” (EOL) there is suddenly a finite source of supply of the original device. That supply is soon depleted, and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are faced with having to redesign the entire equipment for the sake of a single obsolete component that was designed into their equipment while it was in active production.
It’s critical for military, aerospace and industrial OEMs to ensure they’ll have a continuous supply of these components so that they can extend their product lifecycles. It’s best to prepare for EOL products before a product becomes obsolete.
One telecommunications OEM faced this exact scenario when a critical device reached obsolescence. A field-programmable gate array (FGPA) part had been declared EOL by its OCM. The FGPA is a vital component of airborne radio systems and helicopter applications. It was no longer in production, and no replacement part was available.
This manufacturer did not want to risk purchasing a substandard or counterfeit device from an unauthorized source, and possibly endanger the safety of a mission critical application. This left the manufacturer few options for a high-quality, authorized replacement part.