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Obsolete Devices and Package Types – A Solution

Ever need a part in a package that is no longer available? Many older products have designs with components in obsolete packages. Not only are packages like BQFPs almost impossible to find, more commonly used packages, such high pin count DIPs, PLCCs and PQFPs, are becoming rare or non-existent. It is expected the newer QNF style packages will make the availability of older package types go away even faster.

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Even if the silicon chip inside could be obtained, there may be no manufacturer willing to make the needed package anymore. Even it were possible to get someone to begin making the package again, it would be so expensive that it could not be used. It is just not in the interest of a packaging house to tool up for an obsolete package type.

So, are you stuck with the choice of re-engineering the printed circuit board or discontinuing the manufacture of a product that continues to sell? Most companies do not have the resources to allocate to redesigning older products. The expense of engineering for new part type is high. Even just redesigning a new Printed Circuit Board layout for a new package footprint, debugging the new board, and introducing the change to the factory is often so high that discontinuing the product seems the only option.

Tekmos has been providing a solution to this problem for many of its customers. The solution has two parts: redesigning a functionally equivalent silicon chip and finding a way to have a packaged silicon chip fit the same footprint as the original part.

packaging 4195 fixTekmos will redesign the function of the obsolete part into a new, functionally equivalent silicon die. Sometimes this is done from the original specification for the part, although it is significantly easier when the design files and test vectors are available. Of course, this does not solve the package problem but it does give a working, usable silicon chip.

The second part of the solution is the introduction of an adapter card. The Tekmos designed equivalent silicon chip is assembled in a package that is readily available in today’s market. A small adapter card is designed that has the same footprint and lead configuration as the original part. The new chip, in the new package type, is mounted on the adapter card. The adapter card is mounted on the original Printed Circuit Board in the same manner that the obsolete part was mounted. The result has the needed function in the newly designed silicon chip with the same mounting characteristics as the original part. It is the introduction of the adaptor card and the readily available alterative package type that makes the whole assembly usable in place of the obsolete part.

Tekmos has provided a variety of parts with adapter cards to fit the existing Printed Circuit Boards. If the problem of obsolete parts, even in an obsolete package, is a problem you face, Contact Us to see if we can help you.

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