of Potential Obsolete Semiconductors Problems
Solitron Devices, Inc. is committed to provide viable alternative
solutions to current and aging defense and aerospace
systems that suffer or may suffer from obsolescence and/or
diminishing supplier base. Solitrons product offering is
expanded constantly. Thus, all past, current and future products will be supported throughout the life of the Company.
The Company will never cease manufacturing its products. It will maintain its capability to design and manufacture
"sunset" (diminishing) power components and circuitry which are used by
the defense and aerospace industries.
Sample Case Histories of Solving
Solitron, a major manufacturer of military transistors, rectifiers
and hybrid circuits and qualified to MIL-PRF-19500 and MIL-PRF-38534
, has a unique position as a wafer fab operation as well as an assembly
facility. As a result, we
have solved many obsolescence problems by designing and fabricating
die which had been procured from other manufacturers, designed into our
Power Hybrids, and then dropped by the original manufacturer. Some specific
cases are described here.
Solitron also manufactures many of the packages used to produce its
ALLEGRO (SPRAGUE): We made extensive use of complementary
NPN and PNP small signal transistors originally made by Sprague and then
taken over by Allegro. When Allegro dropped these products, our wafer
fab people designed and
fabricated equivalent devices which replaced the discontinued
GENERAL SEMICONDUCTOR: The GSI GSRU20040 NPN power
transistor was designed into several critical hybrid circuits made by
Solitron. Then GSI went out of the transistor business. Several years
later, we were approached by the
government to supply a quantity of these circuits. In order
to do so, we designed and fabricated an equivalent device which allowed
the hybrids to be manufactured.
MOTOROLA: The Motorola SJC1131 NPN power transistor
was designed into a Solitron manufactured hybrid circuit. This part was
discontinued by Motorola and Solitron was able to continue supplying
the hybrid circuit by designing
and fabricating an equivalent part.
ADVANCED PLANNING: Since we are extensive users of
rectifier die of all current and voltage levels, we have anticipated
possible obsolescence problems by our outside suppliers and increased
product line of rectifier die.
Obsolete Semiconductors Strategy
Solitron regularly reviews all of the potential requirements for direct material for
parts made for its customers with respect to their possible obsolescence.
The Solitron strategy is based on the following:
- Anticipation of potential obsolescence problems.
- Utilization of lifetime buys.
- Use of Solitron die fab as a source for parts.
- Having multiple vendors for all parts wherever possible.
Anticipation of Potential Obsolete Semiconductors
This requires close contact with manufacturers and die processors to keep informed of their intentions with respect to
maintaining production of parts we have designed into products. Solitron engineering and procurement personnel are in
continuous contact with die manufacturers and die distributors and the subject of possible parts obsolescence is
frequently brought up. Some of our major die distributors maintain a data bank of all parts previously purchased
by Solitron (cross referenced by manufacturer) and send us written notices of parts that are scheduled to be discontinued.
They then work with us to find appropriate substitute vendors for these parts. Our die distributors are often anticipating
parts obsolescence and are continually seeking out alternate vendors for parts. Mergers and buyouts of any of these vendors
should be regarded as a potential supply problem. The customer should be advised on a regular basis of any anticipated
problems so that a joint course of action can be pursued.
When it is determined that a purchased part is scheduled to be discontinued by a vendor, the possibility of a lifetime
buy should be investigated. This will have to be done in close coordination with the customer to determine future needs,
the financing of the buy and ownership of the material. This will be most critical for sole source items.
Solitron Die Fab:
Solitron is committed to use its die fabrication facility as
another source for semiconductor die which are within its manufacturing
capability. At the present time this consists of NPN and PNP bipolar
power and small signal transistors of
frequency up to about 200 mhz, J-FET transistors and current
sources, low power MOSFETs and medium and fast recovery rectifiers. A
program is under way to develop Schottky rectifiers.
In situations where it is not feasible to reproduce obsolete items, Solitron has the capability to do internal redesign
of hybrid circuits to make use of available materials.
Solitron has an ongoing program to develop alternate sources based on supplier capabilities.
Obsolete Semiconductors - Solitron Statement:
Solitron is committed to maintain active sources for all parts used in product made for its active customers. Various
means of accomplishing this have been described above and Solitron will pursue each of them as is appropriate to a
specific situation. Solitron will keep its customers informed of all activity in this effort with the full understanding
that customer approval may be required for certain changes in sources.
Solitron can produce and test many components that are no longer available from the original manufacturers.
Click here for a list of items that Solitron Devices, Inc. can Produce.