Centennial, Colo.—Component obsolescence is a fact of life in the electronics industry. While it used to primarily affect OEM customers in long lifecycle industries that is no longer the case. In a move to help OEM customers better manage end-of-life (EOL) semiconductors, Arrow Electronics, Inc. is collaborating with Resurgent Semiconductor to provide its customers with access to certified semiconductor components previously discontinued by their original manufacturers.
In an exclusive partnership with Arrow Electronics, Resurgent, launched in 2014, acquires the rights to the original component manufacturers’ (OCM) products, enabling them to continue producing the part. This eliminates the need for either a last-time buy or a redesign, which can gobble up a company’s resources in both time and money.
Resurgent’s deep product and deep production capabilities are very complementary to what Arrow does, said Tyler Moore, director of Arrow Supply Assurance. “In this partnership, we’re able to bring the strengths of the two companies together.”
“Arrow’s great strength is global market visibility so for some kinds of discontinuances this information is helpful and we’re able to work together to make these investments so Resurgent can continue to build the parts in their current form within their current manufacturing and test environment,” he added.
The real differentiating factor about Resurgent is that they preserve the actual manufacturing and test environment as it exists today, said Moore. “That is important because that means a customer’s requalification process is much simpler and avoids long-term gaps in availability through that requalification process.”
In many ways, Resurgent is a unique tool that Arrow can use to “help bridge this gap in the market that protects customers from availability issues, and, of growing importance, the issue of counterfeit,” he added.
Resurgent said it maintains the same supply chain as the OCM and ensures that all parts are fabricated based on the OCM’s specifications. The company produces the parts through a fabless manufacturing strategy.
As part of the partnership, Arrow is authorized to market and sell the OCM products that Resurgent produces. All parts purchased from Arrow are shipped with full certificates of compliance, eliminating any counterfeit risk, said Arrow.
Resurgent will initially manufacture two Freescale proximity capacitive touch sensor controllers (MPR031EPR2 and MPR121QR2), which will be available exclusively through Arrow’s Supply Assurance group. The group will eventually carry a broad range of Resurgent-branded discontinued or soon-to-be-discontinued components, said Arrow.
In many cases, OEMs in military, aerospace and industrial markets face a bigger challenge when parts go EOL due to the long product lifecycles in these segments. Their options are typically a tradeoff between a last-time-buy of the discontinued parts or a redesign.
But Moore explained the challenge is growing and he sees demand for EOL support from every market sector. About half of the group’s portfolio is commercial products and more than half of its customers are in the commercial sector. “We see discontinuance accelerating in certain segments driven by the fact that most semiconductor companies now are dependent on outsourced fabs. Most semiconductor manufacturers have a huge content of fabless production.”
Two key factors - accelerating dynamics around outsourcing of fabs and customers inevitably wanting to buy product longer than a lot of suppliers want to build them – will continue to drive demand for these types of services for a long time, said Moore.
Arrow Electronics also partners with other companies, including e2V and Silicon Turnkey Solutions, a division of Micross Components, which provide services when semiconductor companies are unable to preserve original production processes. These companies recreate products based on the original manufacturers’ silicon.