The Electronic Component Shortage Crisis: A Veteran Engineer’s Perspective


Reading time ( words)

Most of us are familiar with the defense readiness condition (DEFCON) levels. If we could apply such a DEFCON level to the electronics industry and how it relates to the issue of component shortages, we would be sitting at a DEFCON 1, meaning nuclear war is imminent.

This issue has a huge effect on everyone who works in the electronics field, impacting schedules and how things are done. The problem began to hit in earnest about a year ago in 2017. It first appeared as longer lead times on multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) and tantalum capacitors. With longer lead times, the available stock began to disappear, and before we knew it, we had a perfect storm and an international crisis.

From where we stand now, at the beginning of 2019, we see lead times for some components in the short range of up to 16 weeks; medium-to-high is 32 weeks, and long lead times are as far out as 80 weeks. In other words, if we ordered a component today, it would arrive in over a year a half from now (maybe).

This all started with the capacitors (we will see why later), but we now see other component series being sucked into this problem.

With such volatility in the market, it has brought those who were not prepared for it to a standstill.

What Is Driving This Crisis?

It has come down to a simple principle of economics supply and demand. While the supply has gone way down, the demand for many components has exploded. The component manufacturers have not kept pace with the demand for several reasons.

There are three main sectors of the electronic industry driving these component shortages.

To read this article, which appeared in the January 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Footprints: A Distributor’s Perspective

02/19/2021 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
No issue on footprints and library management would be complete without input from a component distributor. I recently interviewed Geof Lipman of Octopart; as director of operations for part data, he’s one of the brains behind the entire site. Geof explains how Octopart functions and manages millions of component data points, and he also discusses the current landscape of electronic components.

Best Practices: Footprint Design and CAD Library Management

02/09/2021 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
The I-Connect team spoke with Altium’s John Watson about the hurdles surrounding footprints and footprint design. John talks about how being proactive and improving the CAD library can better QC processes and help protect against footprint difficulties.

Chapter 1 Excerpt from the Book ‘Thermal Management: A Fabricator's Perspective’

12/08/2020 | Anaya Vardya, American Standard Circuits
Heat cannot be efficiently exchanged with stagnant air surrounding a hot device; however, it can be transferred away from the electronic component to the PCB using thermal vias. A thermal via is a good conductor of heat that runs between the top layer and bottom layer of the PCB, dissipating heat through simple conduction. In simple terms, thermal vias are plated holes located under, or electrically connected to, a surface-mounted heat source on a PCB that allows heat transfer through the hole.



Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.