Is JTAG Testing Right for Your Product?

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JTAG testing can represent a low cost solution for many low-to-medium volume products. Burton Industries’ latest whitepaper provides an overview of this test technology, along with its benefits and design considerations. Read the full paper here.

 

 

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Market Cost Drivers 2019

Overall, there has been a 3.8% increase in base metal costs in 2018 and these increases may continue in 2019, particularly if a positive change in the tariff situation results in increased automotive production. Increases in cost of base metals are most likely to impact capacitor costs. For 2018 cost increases by commodity were:

    • Ceramic Substrate 30% increase
    • Palladium 20% increase
    • Ruthenium 275% increase
    • Tantalite (Tantalum Capacitors) – Steady increases throughout 2018.

Component Lead-Time Updates 12/2018

Constraints relative to Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCCs) have subsided a littlDSC05362e, however it is still believed that there will be lead-time concerns and some allocation issues on some MLCC package sizes and values throughout 2019.

A major factor contributing to MLCC constraints was strong growth across automotive, industrial and telecom markets simultaneously. This increased consumption beyond manufacturers’ expectations. Additionally, there has been consolidation in the fabrication market and a relatively flat revenue trend. As a result, there was less incentive or return on investment for continuing commodity lines near end-of-life (EOL) or adding capacity.

The MLCC packages in North America that have the highest EOL risk are large case sizes above 0402 packages with low CV (below 1uf).

The team at Burton recommends that design teams consider what is “acceptable” when looking at alternate parts. For example, could higher voltage, tighter tolerance parts be used? Are analog electronic circuits an option? Where possible also consider smaller packages such as 0402, 0603 and 0201.

Resistor lead-times are reducing and stabilizing from 40-50 weeks to 12-20 weeks.  The worse constraints seem to be behind us.  The one exception is the Current Sense Metal Strip where market leaders are still at 50+ weeks.  This will subside through 2019 as Mexico factories are brought on line.  The difference between the capacitors and resistor shortage is that resistor companies did not consolidate or choose to EOL commodity lines the way capacitor manufacturers did.

 

The Tariff Situation and PCB Sourcing

DSC05355As we write this, the tariff situation seems to be improving. The 25% jump in tariffs planned for January has been postponed 90 days, pending the result of ongoing negotiations with China. That said, there is a 10% tariff on printed circuit boards (PCBs) fabricated in China. Even with the 10% tariff, in many cases, China remains the most competitive option. Should the tariffs jump to 25%, that would no longer be the case. The team at Burton Industries is in the process of qualifying Taiwanese PCB options to ensure our customers have a range of cost competitive options.

Burton Industries Q4 2018 Newsletter

Our latest newsletter looks at equipment additions, migration to the ISO 9001:2015 quality standard, our 40th anniversary open house and our annual food drive. View Burton Industries Q4 2018 Newsletter here.

Burton Newsletter Q4 2018

August 2018 Supply Chain Trends

We continue to see lead-times stretching out across a number of components. InAugust Trending Info general ceramic capacitors, we see allocation at many suppliers, increasing lead-times and price increases. In fixed resistors, RoHM is not accepting orders, PSC is heavily constrained and has 52+ week lead-times. At other manufacturers we are seeing lead-times range from 8-30 weeks. Tantalum capacitor lead-times have increased from 15 to 28 weeks. In MLCCs, Murata and TDK are on allocation. Lead-times in general are running 12-30 weeks. Automotive components are the most heavily affected. STMicro is increasing lead-times across the board on all their products. We’ve included a color-coded chart highlighting trends in all commodities as of end of August 2018.

Burton Industries’ customers can contact their CSR and request a current spreadsheet outlining these trends by component type and manufacturer.

Tariff Mitigation Case Study

 

DSC05352The first round of tariffs have kicked in on components originating in China. Our distribution partners are tracking this and billing the tariffs at the end of the month. We are auditing their charges against our records and are passing along these costs to customers.

We are also working to mitigate tariffs wherever possible. The software tools we have are helpful in identifying country of our origin and alternate sources. We are also identifying suppliers & quoting current custom parts not in China. Here is our most recent cost reduction example:

Tariff Mitigation Case Study

Recently a customer wishing to mitigate China-related tariffs asked us look at alternate suppliers. We were able to identify another Asian source outside of China. The end result was the part cost was reduced from 23 cents to 16 cents, which represented nearly a $35,000 annualized savings in addition to eliminating the tariff cost.