Indeed, no other sector in the history of humankind, has lived for so long with such a harsh task master as the hi-tech sector.
This perpetual cycle, made possible by Moore’s Law, continues to crank out technical marvel after technical marvel. Such an engine drives all electronic innovation, and in particular consumer electronics.
As time goes on, this amazing eco-system will continue to mint fresh billionaires, give rise to companies that become household names, and lay waste to seemingly impenetrable iconic firms. Can you spell Kodak, Commodore, Netscape etc.?
But wait just a second?! What about sub-sectors within Hi-Tech that can’t live on such a rapid treadmill?
Think of fields such as: Medical; Aerospace; Industrial Control; Military; and the Telecom Infrastructure. Software validation alone (requiring something more robust than an ‘ALT-CTR-DEL’ resolution), across 10’s of millions of lines of code means that many applications within these fields – can’t migrate to the latest technology as fast as their Consumer Electronics counterparts.
Such is life on the ‘Trailing Edge of Technology’. Rochester Electronics (www.rocelec.com) originally defined this ‘Edge’ and has hammered it into a potent Supply Chain strategy for firms required to move slower than the latest technology might allow.
Three distinct solutions have evolved over Rochester’s 31 year history.
1) Finished goods – over 5 Billion factory sealed devices from over 60 semiconductor suppliers. Some of these devices are older than the company and all are fully traceable and stored in REI’s warehouses with full temperature/humidity control.
2) Packaged devices (referred to as Rochester Manufactured Devices) – As a Supply Chain/Sustaining solution, why not manufacture more devices from available die? Rochester boasts the world’s most extensive die/wafer bank with over 10 billion die. Their packaging expertise allows Rochester to use this wafer inventory to continue manufacturing more than 300K device types that were EOL’ed (End Of Life) and are no longer available from the original manufacturer. In some cases REI can even offer RoHS devices that may never have been available when the devices were ‘current.’
3) Full Device Re-creation – when no finished inventory or wafer inventory is available, Rochester Electronics is able to re-create devices by taking the original design archives and IP and building the exact same device from the ground up.
Rochester’s highly specialized engineering team has decades of experience in custom silicon design and has successfully re-created hundreds of devices with the full support and authorization of the original chip manufacturers. The Intel IXF1002 Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet MAC is one such example.
If you’re a Supply Chain professional within a vertical market that moves a ‘bit slower’ than Smart Phones or MP-3 Players – contact me at email@example.com and I would be happy to apprise you of Rochester Electronics’ products and services and demonstrate how they can play a vital role in your Obsolescence Management and/or Sustaining Engineering strategy.
Mark Tayles is the founder & president of EnablerTech (www.enablertech.com). A 7-year-old Canadian based, manufacturer’s representative. His experience spans over 20 years and includes 8 years with Intel and 14 years with Avnet. Read more of his blogs at: http://www.enablertech.com/tales-opinions-articles/