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15 June 2018

Electronic Component Lead Time Report (June 2018)

"The global semiconductor industry has posted consistently strong sales so far in 2018, and the global market has now experienced year-to-year growth of greater than 20 per cent for 13 consecutive months," said John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, in a press release.

For those with their ears to the ground, this will come as no surprise. These strong sales figures across the board have been driven by unforecasted demand from semiconductor-heavy sectors. Because of this, the availability of many products has decreased and lead times – especially for commonly-used items – have trended upwards, with capacitors, discrete devices, optoelectronics and microcontrollers (MCUs) especially affected.

However, our research shows some signs of optimism. Although lead times for many MCUs have continued to rise and Texas Instrument’s 16-bit MCUs are now being quoted out at 30 weeks (up from 22), we have noted that lead times have marginally decreased for discrete semiconductors and programmable logic products. Additionally, our information indicates that average lead times for all ON Semiconductor and ST Micro have dropped in the past four weeks.

Moving forward, we would still warn OEMs that the overall supply situation across the entire market is constrained.

In short

  • ON Semiconductor’s average lead time for Discrete semiconductors has dropped by a fortnight – now at 32 weeks
  • Lead times for Texas Instruments’ 16-bit MCUs have risen by 36%
  • Memory prices continue to be high, reports suggest Chinese authorities want to impose a cap to prevent increases
  • Availability of MCUs and DSPs remain at very high levels across all manufacturers


Read more


11 May 2018

Electronic Component Lead Time Report (May 2018)

With shortages, capacity constraints and allocation dominating market discussions, there is a distinct threat that manufacturer lead times could be due an upturn. Recently, we have seen an upsurge in demand of multi-layered ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) and many believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg, with rumours circulating that demand for resistors and Power MOSFETs could soon reach maximum capacity.

The result of this is that many manufacturers and franchised component distributors have started to prioritise existing customers and, in some instances, are refusing to take on new orders for constrained product types.

In short

  • Maximum lead time for NXP products increase to 39 weeks
  • Large lead time rises noted for Broadcom’s LEDs and optical devices
  • Availability of DSPs and MCUs continue to be tight.
  • Franchise distributors warn about future price increases for discrete semiconductors.

 For a full breakdown, read our complete market report below.

Read More


25 April 2018

Global Shortage Hits Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitor Markets - Supply Now Severely Restricted

The annual production of multi-layered ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) is believed to be in the region of one trillion pieces. Yet despite the sheer quantity of parts manufactured on a yearly basis, there is a global shortage.

In the past twelve months, the market for MLCCs through franchise distribution channels has been beset by continued lead time issues and price increases, with allocation slowly becoming an ever more prominent issue to contend with.

Many market analysts and media publications – backed up by our own research – indicates that this situation will not be resolved soon. The adage that demand dictates supply is, in this instance, out of the window.

The reasons for these current shortages are purely economic and can be found at both ends of the MLCC supply chain.

Read More


13 April 2018

Electronic Component Lead Time Report (April 2018)

Continued high demand, coupled with many semiconductor manufacturers suffering from capacity constraints, has seen electronic component lead times increase in the past. And given current market situations, we believe that lead times for the majority of product groups will only move upwards in the coming weeks and months.

As buyers will likely be aware, the availability of many Vishay lines (particularly MLCCs and other popular lines) has severely decreased in recent weeks, with lead times of a year and above being quoted in some situations.

Vishay is not the only manufacturer to have pushed up lead times since our previous update, with Infineon, Nexperia and ON Semiconductor also posting noticeable increases.

Looking at specific product categories, critical supply levels remain across the industry, with IGBTs, Power MOSFETs and TVS/Protection devices particularly affected.

For an in-depth analysis, read our full report below and download our latest manufacturer lead time table.

In short

  • A large number of lead time changes for discrete semiconductors, check individual manufacturers and product lines for further information.
  • LED lead times remain at 20 weeks and above.
  • Due to continued high demand, Vishay has increase lead times for most of its products. Some parts are being quoted out at 52 weeks.
  • Overall availability of standard logic parts has improved slightly.

Analog

The analog sector looks to be something of an anomaly, given that most other product sectors have seen numerous lead time changes within the past month. Our information suggests that there has been little, if any, alterations when it comes to manufacturer or franchise lead times and availability.

However, despite this positive news, some sources are reporting that commodity prices are gradually increasing, and this cost could be passed on down the franchise supply chain in the coming months.

Discretes

The overall supply of discrete semiconductor continues to be tight and this is beginning to seriously impact the availability of many popular product groups and lines.

Infineon, Nexperia, Toshiba and Vishay have all posted lead time increases this month, with power MOSFETs, and TVS/protection lines the most at risk.

Our information suggests that Nexperia has pushed out a blanket lead time rise, with all product families now being quoted out at 32 weeks, a rise of 6 weeks when compared to last month.

Vishay, too, has posted substantial lead time increases since our previous update. The Japanese manufacturer has been beset by capacity problems for some time now and the many of its discrete semiconductors are now being quoted out at a lead time of 39 weeks and above. Buyers relying on franchise distribution channels can now expect Vishay’s TVS/protection lines to be quoted out at 56 weeks (up 14 weeks) and lead times for power MOSFETs are now stated to be 44 weeks (a rise of 4 weeks).

Elsewhere in this sector, there are some bits of positive news. ON Semiconductor, ST and Texas Instruments have managed to reduce lead times for certain product groups. Though this is the exception rather than the norm.

However, Infineon has managed to make substantial lead time reductions for its thyristors and RF devices, with lines from the two product groups now being quoted out at 26 and 28 weeks respectively. This positive news is counteracted somewhat by marked increases for its bi-polar power (up 15 weeks) and small signal (up 5 weeks) items.

Historical issues within this sector, unfortunately, remain. General availability for IGBTs continues to be at a critical level, with manufacturer lead times of a year not all that uncommon.

Market analysts believe that the current situation is unlikely to improve in the immediate future, with Q4 2018 being quoted as the earliest that buyers can expect to see widespread positive movement.

Memory

Late last month, Micron confirmed that one of its manufacturing facilities had experienced delays in production due to a malfunctioning gas generation system. Although the problem has since been fixed and production has resumed, the temporary disruption is set to cause further turmoil in an already tight market sector.

All of Micron’s major memory products remain on allocation, but market insiders predict that prices will rise in the short-term. Avril Wu, research director of DRAMeXchange told EPSNews that they estimate any “increase would be higher than [their] previous forecast of 3 percent” but any such fluctuation would “only be temporary.”

Most of the major memory manufacturers are planning to up their production capabilities, something which should ease availability in the long run. That said, longstanding issues remain: DRAM supply is constrained, many NAND Flash lines are on allocation and EEProm devices lead times are slowly creeping upwards, with the average lead time now standing at 21 weeks.

Opto

Lead times for LEDs and other optical devices have stabilised in recent months, with our information suggesting little has changed regarding the availability of parts since our March report was published.

There is one exception, however.

As noted earlier, Vishay is experiencing supply problems across its portfolio and increased lead times for many of its popular lines. Looking solely at the opto market though, Vishay’s average lead time for coupler devices has increased from 24 weeks to 36 weeks in the past month.

DSPs & Microcontrollers

With demand for digital signal processors (DSPs) and microcontrollers (MCUs) continuing to be at exceptionally high levels, franchised distributors are continuing to request long-term purchasing forecasts from their OEM customers.

Due to this, we would still recommend purchasing departments to work alongside independent partners if they need to secure stock quickly. Although most franchised sources have managed to freeze lead times (albeit at a high level), Texas Instrument’s DSP lines are now being quoted out at 32 weeks.

Programmable Logic

After consecutive months of stability, Texas Instruments has increased lead times for its programmable logic product families to a high of 18 weeks. The other two major manufacturers in this area, Microchip and Xilinx, have kept their lead times static, though it’s worth noting that Microchip’s maximum lead time of 24 weeks is a sector high.

Standard Logic

Despite the market situation remaining tense, with general concerns about overall availability, lead times for standard logic components have decreased in the past month.

According to our information, franchise lead times for all Nexperia, ON Semiconductor and Texas Instruments products have all been cut by a fortnight since our last update. However, one word of warning: industry sources are claiming price increases are possible as we head towards Q2 2018.


As an independent stocking distributor, Cyclops Electronics can help purchasers of electronic components avoid lead time and allocation issues. With 189,756 stocked lines and access to available stock around the world, we can help you secure the parts you need when you need them.


22 March 2018

The EU fines eight Japanese capacitor makers

The European Commission has fined eight Japanese companies a total of £222 million for operating a cartel for the supply of aluminium and tantalum capacitors.

The eight companies fined by the Commission were Elna, Hitachi Chemical, Holy Stone, Matsuo, NEC Tokin, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con and Rubycon. Sanyo was also named in the case, though the Osaka-based firm avoided a £28 million fine by blowing the whistle on the cartel’s activities.

Speaking on the case, Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition commissioner said: “Capacitors are an essential part of almost all electronic products. [The] companies fined today colluded to maximise their profits. This may have happened not only at the expense of manufacturers but also of consumers. Our decision again makes clear that we will not tolerate anti-competitive conduct that may affect European consumers.”

An investigation found that over a fourteen-year period between 1998 and 2012, the Japanese firms conducted multilateral meetings and willfully shared commercially sensitive information to avoid competing with one another. It has also been reported that in some instances, the participants even agreed on pricing strategies and “monitored their implementation.”

It was also determined that the nine companies were aware that their business practices were anti-competitive. Messages uncovered during the investigation contained reports of meetings that were signed off with instructions to delete the sensitive information.

Although the companies are all Japanese and most of the meetings between high-ranking executives took place in Japan, the alleged cartel operated on a global basis, including in the European Economic Area (EEA).

You can find a breakdown of the fines below.

Supplier Reduction (if any) Fine
Elna 15% £15,859,699
Hitachi Chemical 35% £16,133,895
Holy Stone   £682,870
Matsuo   £719,517
NEC Tokin 15% £14,359,770
Nichicon   £63,670,541
Nippon Chemi-Con   £85,504,596
Rubycon 30% £24,824,240
Sanyo 100% £0

16 March 2018

Semiconductor Lead Time News (March 2018)

There has been little in the way of change in the relation to the availability and lead times of semiconductors since our previous update last month.

The majority of market sectors have stabilised, providing buyers of electronic components with some degree of confidence as we head towards the end of the financial year here in the United Kingdom.

However, our information continues to indicate that some areas remain beset by lead time issues, most noticeably in regards to discrete, DSP and MCU products. This is something that will need to be accounted for when planning long-term purchasing strategies and we would recommend everybody to work with independent distributors to ensure delivery schedules are met.

For a full breakdown, read our complete market report below

In short

  • Texas Instruments reduces lead times for analog parts to sixteen weeks
  • The overall supply situation for discrete products continues to be tight
  • Lead times for IGBT devices are at thirty-eight weeks and above
  • Reports suggest NXP could raise prices in Q2 2018.

Read More


14 March 2018

A Brief Guide to Allocation

As subscribers to our monthly lead time report will be aware, market demand for semiconductors has led to a tightening of supply in recent months.

A report, published by the Semiconductor Industry Association at the beginning of March, highlighted that worldwide sales of electronic components rose year-on-year by 22.7% for the month of January 2018. There was sizeable growth in sales within the European and UK markets, with component sales up by 19.9% and 22.6% respectively, according to both the SIA and the ECSN.

At the same time as global sales have risen, many lead times have started to creep upwards. Our lead time report for February noted that lead times for Texas Instruments and Intel had both gone up, and that lead times in excess of 40 weeks was not all that uncommon.

Some product groups remain on allocation, predominantly in high volume areas such as memory and optical. However, some analysts are predicting that allocation could become more widespread as we head throughout 2018.

So how can purchasing managers guard themselves against the threat of increasing lead times and allocation?

We map out some steps to take before, during and after allocation bites.

Schedule Orders

As always with the threat of allocation, it pays to be proactive. Customers that schedule their orders in advance are in a favourable position should lead times rise, or a period of allocation hits the market.

If you can commit to purchasing stock months in advance, then you will obviously be protected should products be placed on allocation. Your pre-placed order should be accounted for and should arrive as normal.

If you are unable to schedule orders ahead of time, it may be worth offering a letter of intent or seeing if you can agree on some sort of NCNR where the stock will be purchased ahead of time but payments can be deferred until the date of delivery.

Work with stocking distributors

Many distributors are in fact stocking distributors, and these are a great port of call during the stormy seas of allocation. Cyclops, for example, has 189,785 lines of electronic components in stock and ready for next-day delivery. It goes without saying that during periods of allocation or long lead times, stocking distributors can provide an immediate – or temporary buffer – stock for their customers.

Manage stock – either internally or externally

If you have buffer stock of your own, fantastic! But be careful to manage it and ensure that it is replenished as soon as is feasibly possible.

Some manufacturers will have provisions in place to keep buffer stock on-site, however, if this is not possible, see if you can work with a stocking distributor. Distributors could offer to buy in an extra quantity of stock that could be then used as buffer stock. For in-demand lines, this could be something relatively easy to initiate and will allow for effective stock management for all involved.

Keep up-to-date on industry trends

It is important to keep up-to-date on market conditions at all times, but especially so during periods of allocation. Every month, we produce a report that covers many popular product groups and semiconductor manufacturers, so if STMicroelectronics raise its lead times for its analog lines, we’ll let you know.

Buy realistically….

When lead times reach unsustainable levels or semiconductors go on allocation, it is easy to panic buy. Unfortunately, attempting to over purchase large quantities in bulk has a knock-on effect throughout the entire supply chain which can force manufacturers to further increase lead times, or leave items on allocation for longer.

It can be a vicious cycle, but if you are transparent then everybody will be better prepared to meet the demands of their customers. If you need 3,000 pieces this week and a further 3,000 pieces in a month’s time say so – don’t attempt to bulk order 6,000 pieces and place unnecessary strain on a system that’s already under pressure.

….and don’t attempt to multi-source….

Many franchised distributors have to report point of sales to their own suppliers. So if you try and multi-order through various companies the likelihood is that you’ll get found out and you could end up being punished for by the manufacturer themselves.

...but do make use of independent distributors

As long as they’re reputable!

If you decide to venture away from franchise distributors in times of allocation, make sure that you do your due diligence. Here at Cyclops, we offer a one-year guarantee on all parts sourced through us but, unfortunately, not every company provides such a safety net.

There’s nothing to fear by going to an independent distributor, especially during times when lead times and allocation make purchasing through ‘traditional’ avenues a fool’s errand. The bigger, more established companies will have built up a large database filled with trusted suppliers and should be able to locate stock no matter where in the world it’s located.


21 February 2018

Semiconductor Lead Time News (February 2018)

Global spending in the semiconductor sector hit a five-year high last year, rising an incredible 17% when compared to figures from 2016. Analysts appear to agree that the inflated sales numbers were significantly impacted by market availability diminishing over the last twelve months, leaving purchasers facing a combination of spiralling costs and ever-increasing lead times.

Thankfully, the entire sector has entered a period of stability in recent months. Our information indicates that little has changed in the past four weeks, with many lead times remaining static as we head towards the end of Q12018.

Yet despite marking conditions plateauing after a turbulent 2017, we have noticed some potentially troublesome warning signs. Take discrete semiconductors, for example as overall availability has decreased, with many manufacturers raising their lead times to a high of forty-weeks.

For a full breakdown, read our complete market report below

In short

  • The opto sector is stabilising, with improvements expected later in Q12018
  • Many manufacturers increase lead times for discrete product groups
  • All Micron flash lines are now on allocation
  • Reports suggest NXP could raise prices

Read More


17 January 2018

Electronic Component Lead Time News (January 2018)

Our information indicates that the semiconductor market has entered a period of stability, though as to how long this lasts remains to be seen as there are reports of price and lead time increases later on in 2018.

In the short-term though, lead times across most product sectors have remained static. There are some noticeable changes, though compared to recent months, these are thankfully the exception rather than the norm. Perhaps the most noteworthy update is that due to an increase by STMicroelectronics, lead times for all discrete IGBT lines are now at thirty-eight weeks and above.

In short

  • Delivery situation for discrete products remain constrained
  • Lead times for discrete IGBTs now at thirty-eight weeks
  • Osram cuts lead times of high power LEDs
  • Both programmable and standard logic markets are stable 

Read More


21 November 2017

Electronic Component Lead Time News (November 2017)

According to our information, many semiconductor manufacturers have upped their maximum lead times during Q3 2017. Given that the first half of the calendar year was dominated by the threat of widespread component shortages and a real threat of allocation, purchasing departments are unlikely to meet the news with much joy.

A prime example of this would be STMicroelectronics (ST), Europe’s biggest semiconductor firm and a major manufacturer of analog, discrete, memory and microcontroller product lines. ST has recently increased its maximum lead time to forty-two weeks, a rise of four weeks when compared to data from September.

Just like ST, NXP has been plagued by lead time problems. Some lines are now being quoted with a thirty-nine week wait – an increase of fifteen weeks!

Taking a closer look at individual product categories, we have noticed that there has been a lot of fluctuation within the discrete market, while the availability of standard logic and certain memory components remains tight.

Also, due to consistently high demand, franchise companies are beginning to insist that their customers provide a long-term purchasing plan to secure and receive MCU and DSP lines.

In short

  • Lead times for discrete product groups fluctuate, check each manufacturer individually.
  • Long-term demand visibility for DSPs and MCUs required from OEMs to meet delivery from franchise sources.
  • Analog market situation remains stable, albeit with constrained supply. 
  • ST increase lead times for a variety of lines. The maximum figure is now up at forty-two weeks.

Read More


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