The lawsuit between FPGA supplier Xilinx and American supply chain solutions company, Flextronics, has brought to the surface several points of contention.
Originally, it seemed as though this lawsuit was initiated due to Flextronics reselling Xilinx electronics components in the open market in order to profit from their advantageous pricing. However, the fact that the Xilinx electronics parts were faulty, and possibly even counterfeit, seems to be the reason this lawsuit has come to fruition.
Profiting from top tier pricing may be why the Xilinx FPGA’s were substituted with substandard parts, but this new information seems to show that it is not the reason for the dispute. If the parts did not fail, would Xilinx, and potentially other manufacturers, try to stop the large contract electronic manufacturers from these types of profit making activities?
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There are few companies that exist today that can match the record of innovations from the pioneering minds at Texas Instruments. As the founders of the first working integrated circuit (designed by renowned physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Jack Kilby), the first transistor radio, and the very first electronic handheld calculator, Texas Instruments has played an undeniably important role in the advancement and growth of technology.
Today, TI’s core business is in producing semiconductors. Since its foundation in 1951, TI has grown to become the third largest manufacturer of semiconductors, the second largest supplier of chips for cellular handsets, and the largest producer of digital signal processors (DSPs) and analog semiconductors. Serving industries including digital communications, entertainment, medical services, education technology, automotive systems, and wide-ranging applications in between, Texas Instruments’ advanced products permeate daily life in many different ways.
American Electronic Resource has a reputation as one of the most reliable and customer oriented independent electronic components distributors in the world. As a trusted supplier of high quality obsolete electronic components, AERI carries a wide selection of hard-to-find Texas Instruments parts to suit as vast array of technological needs. Click here for more information on Texas Instruments electronics, or how to find AERI electronic components.
Xilinx Inc. is an American technology company in the business of designing and developing programmable devices for some of the most reputable companies in the world.
Established in Silicon Valley in 1984, the Xilinx co-founders set out to be the leading company designing, manufacturing, marketing, and supporting user-configurable logic arrays for the application-specific market. After introducing a groundbreaking new technology to the masses – the field programmable gate array (FPGA) – Xilinx quickly paved the way for innovation in the semiconductor industry.
Three decades later, Xilinx is the preeminent supplier of programmable logic devices, owning more than 50 perfect of the digital logic design market. As the world’s leading provider of all FPGAs, SOCs, and three-dimensional integrated circuits, Xilinx has been lauded by EE Times, EDN, and other distinguished electronics industry publications for their superior innovation and market impact.
Xilinx’s products and services are distinguished by their quality and reputation for customer satisfaction. Each of their industry-leading products serve equipment manufacturers in a broad range of markets, including:
- Aerospace and Defense
- Video and Broadcast
- Data Processing
As a trusted supplier of high quality electronic components, AERI is your one-stop shop for a wide selection of obsolete and hard-to-find Xilinx parts and components. Click here for more information on Xilinx electronics, or how to find electronic components.
When it comes to buying parts from the open market, organizations must set up a line of defense against counterfeits in their QC departments. This goes for OEM’s, CEM’s, Brokers, etc. The number one way to catch substandard or counterfeit parts is with a well trained QC inspector. There are all kinds of good tools out there to detect counterfeits (Decapsulation, XRF, Curve Trace, X-RAY, etc.), but the well trained inspector with minimal tools remains the #1 way to catch counterfeits and poor quality parts. The use of more expensive tools catches the 1% of counterfeits that as good as the real thing.
How can you assure that your inspectors are well trained and can catch the fakes? Most importantly they need to be an apprentice of a great QC inspector for months. The IDEA-ICE-3000 certification program is an integral part of the inspector training. The certification requires that an inspector is well versed in all of the conditions you can expect when purchasing parts from the open market. The QC inspectors bible is the IDEA-STD-1010, which is full of great pictures, descriptions, and techniques to combat this unique problem. The IDEA certification training includes relevant JEDEC standards as well.
At AERI, all of our inspectors are certified to IDEA-ICE-3000. If you would like to learn more about how to prepare your QC team to catch the fakes, follow the link.
SMTA and CALCE are putting on an updated seminar to help keep us all up to speed with the latest threats and measures to counteract counterfeit components. AERI will have a booth displaying our techniques and capabilities to assist manufacturers with their component needs. Please visit us to so we can help to keep your production lines moving with high quality and authentic components. We will be there to hear your component issues first hand so that we might be able to help you address some of your biggest challenges purchasing from the unauthorized supply chain, For more info click here
How much would it cost to make your iPhone 5s able to track your emotions? Less than $1, Freescale Semiconductor’s Kaivan Karimi said at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference Thursday. Read more
There does not seem to be any slowdown in the rate of counterfeits we receive. Even with our strong vendor approval process, the fakes keep on coming in. We see at least a few groups of counterfeit parts each week. Thankfully we have not had a counterfeit slip through our counterfeit electronic component detection processes for years.
With this continued rate of counterfeit product entering the market, it’s scary to see the continued lack of good counterfeit detection processes at the majority of suppliers in the world. When meeting with new customers, it often surprises us to find out that they have not thoroughly vetted their current suppliers countefeit detection processes. In this market, it is essential that manufacturers select just a few independent distributors/brokers, audit their processes, and check their references. Manufacturers do not need more than a few electronic component suppliers in the independent market. The majority of the inventory that they have access is available to all electronic component brokers.
Below is a typical example of what we see. We received these this week. You can easily see blacktopping under the microscope, there are chips on the package from being removed from a board, and the leads have been re-tinned to make them look new.
When working with many of our customers, they share with us their date code restrictions for electronic components. Sometimes it’s 18 months, sometimes 3 years, you name it. We located the following guidance document produced by Maxim Integrated electronic components. It states that with today’s manufacturing standards and materials, older date codes are no longer an issue. This is great news for many product manufacturers. They can loosen unnecessary purchasing restrictions, which will allow them to have more access to electronic parts, and at much lower prices. To see Maxim’s document please click here datecode_policy
A fire has erupted at Hynix’s plant in Wuxi, China. Hynix is the #2 maker of DRAM chips and this plant is responsible for for 40% of its output. There are different reports, some stating not much damage has occurred and others stating that it was a massive fire. We will have to see what the reality is to determine how much of a supply problem this will be. To read more click here.
Peter Picone, owner of Tytronix and Epic International Electronics, has been charged for selling counterfeits to both military and commercial companies. This is just one of a few different cases brought against electronic component brokers over the last few years. There are so many companies out there doing the same thing as Picone, but it takes years to build a case and prosecute so they are not brought to justice often enough. At least this tells the broker community that they better think twice about selling counterfeits or even suspect counterfeits. To read the Department of Justice’s detailed statement click here.