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Semiconductor replication service offers better alternative to system redesign says Rochester Electronics

October 20, 2010 // Julien Happich

As the world's largest authorized manufacturer of discontinued semiconductors, Rochester Electronics has established a process that provides customers with a replica device that matches the original semiconductor's physical features, layer-by-layer and pin-for-pin, and is guaranteed to perform exactly as the original. The company says that the combination of semiconductor re-creation and continuing manufacturing is a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to system re-design when critical semiconductors are no longer available from the original manufacturer.

"Semiconductor re-creation is often times more cost effective than re-designing a system," said George Karalias, director of marketing and communications at Rochester Electronics. "One of our customers recently went through two multi-million dollar re-designs for the same helicopter project. Each time, the semiconductors that were used in the new design went end-of-life right after the new system was up and running. Subsequently, we were able to re-create the part they needed, and we are now manufacturing a continuous supply, supporting their production indefinitely.

In the future, they will be working with us to plan for end-of-life scenarios, avoid re-design where appropriate, and as a result, save millions of dollars."
Even when the IP is no longer available from the original manufacturer, Rochester's experienced design engineers can deconstruct and electrically analyze a device, re-design it, and re-engineer it onto a matched mature foundry process. Rochester can then test all circuit parameters with a collection of custom developed tools to analyze device characterization.

Rochester's unique Semiconductor Replication Process (SRP) guarantees that replicated devices perform as effectively as the original semiconductor devices. Rochester has successfully completed 83 semiconductor replication projects in the last 18 months and is currently engaged in more than 30 additional re-creation projects.

Customers should not be fooled by "emulated" devices, however, which are sometimes promoted as comparable to "replicated" devices. "Although these emulated semiconductors may be procured at an initial price that seems very reasonable," says Karalias, "they merely mimic the characteristics of the original device without any consideration to comparative performance analysis.

The cost of failure rates and trial-and-error foundry processes often make the investment fiscally irresponsible. As an alternative to introducing a questionable emulated device to the system, Rochester can provide the exact semiconductor through our SRP."
Additionally, emulated semiconductors are not always tested to the original manufacturer's specifications, so there is no guarantee that they will perform as required.
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