PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Jan2019

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34 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 telecommunications, military, aerospace, and automotive, we're in a very robust part of the cycle where more electronics being put into more applications. However, I would say what's putting the strain on the infrastructure as much as anything is automotive." In John Watson's recent article for the January 2019 issue of SMT007 Magazine titled "The Electronic Component Shortage Crisis: A Veteran Engineer's Perspective," he does the math for us. "It is estimated that approximately 1.5 billion smartphones will be manufactured in the upcoming year, and each flagship model contains roughly 1,000 capacitors. The current estimate is that there is a worldwide production capacity of three trillion MLCC capacitors. By those numbers, nearly 50% of the MLCC capacitors produced are already designated and used strictly in the mobile cellphone sector." Watson continues, "A standard combustion engine car requires somewhere between 2,000–3,000 capacitors. An electric vehicle has up to 22,000 capacitors required in a single car. Furthermore, the higher temperatures inside the control circuits of electric vehicles mean that traditional plastic film capacitors are no longer suitable, so ceramic MLCCs are increasingly being used." These two market trends alone start to put the situation into perspective. Martin characterizes it this way, "Typically, the market follows some new must-have device—whether it was a pager, cellphone, or laptop computer—but this market cycle is very different. This one is not any single device; this market segment is really what we're calling the electrification of everything. There's a huge change going on. All of the devices, the internet of things, and smart devices in general, as well as automotive content and cellphones are hitting us at the same time." "There is a huge technology shift that's happening right now," notes Dave Doherty. "We're at the beginning stages, and I think it's going to accelerate. The industry is going smaller. Designers need to look at using the smallest size parts that they possibly can. Designers tend to use the parts that they're comfortable with. It is not unusual when we see a brand-new design that it has obsolete components." Working Its Way Downstream With the design completed, the design team passes the bill of materials, including components and the fabricated board, etc., to the procurement folks. The job is done for the design team, right? Not so fast. Some of those little component decisions—especially the ones to go with a tried-and-true, always-been- there, two-cent passive—may actually be little bombs waiting to go off in that BOM. As procurement takes over and begins to go through the BOM line by line, they may discover that some parts are no longer able to be sourced (at least not through primary suppliers). Those time-honored, big-package discretes that the design team has relied upon forever have gone end of life! Procurement can't find anything in that size! By the time the buyer finds something that fits the performance specifications, chances are it's in a 0201 package—not the 0804 that the engineer's BOM specifies. The net effect is that the procurement team is now sending two memos: one to the design team to alert them to the sourcing stalemate, and one to the product managers to tell them Common parts in short supply with typical lead times.

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