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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.


Texas Instruments has recently halved lead times for many of its analog lines. Interface, Op Amps (Commodities) and Voltage Regulator parts are now being quoted out at twelve weeks from franchise distributors, down from twenty-four towards the start of the year. That reduction means that Texas Instruments average lead time now stands at thirteen weeks.

Commodity prices remain on an elevated level, with sources reporting notably high prices for popular STMicroelectronics and Fairchild/ON Semiconductor lines.


Overall market availability for discrete product group remains tight. Last month we noticed that lead times had exponentially increased as a reaction to extremely strong demand across the sector and there has been no change in that regard in the past four weeks.

The majority of lead times for Infineon, STMicroelectronics and Fairchild/ON Semiconductor products are at thirty-eight weeks and above, with some lines even being quoted out at fifty-two weeks. Supply is especially restricted for IGBT lines.


Numerous memory product manufacturers have announced plans to increase their production capacities in the coming years, a move which should reverse the steep price rises that the market has seen in the past twelve months or so. However, in the short term, long-standing issues remain and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Overall availability is constrained, with lead times particularly high for EEPROM products.

All Micron products remain on allocation, along with Toshiba’s NAND Flash modules.


Lead times for LEDs and other optical devices have stabilised, with the market average continuing to be fourteen weeks.

DSPs & Microcontrollers

As has been the case for a while now, lead times for digital signal processors (DSPs) and microcontrollers (MCUs) are at extremely high levels.

Authorised distributors are still asking their customers to provide long-term demand purchasing plans in a bid to secure stock of these long lead time parts. Because of this, we are continuing to advise purchasing departments to work with independent distributors if they wish to bypass franchise lead times of twenty-six weeks and above.

Programmable Logic

Once again, there has been no reported movement when it comes to the availability or lead times of programmable logic parts. Three of the main manufacturers in this sector, Microchip, Texas Instruments and Xilinx, have all managed to keep lead times static for a number of months now, providing buyers with a fair amount of confidence when planning their purchasing strategies.

Though it is worth noting that Microchip’s lead times for its programmable logic parts are at a sector high of twenty-four weeks.

Analysts expect the current situation to remain throughout the rest of Q1 2018 and well into Q2 2018.

Standard Logic

According to our information, Texas Instruments has reduced the lead times for its standard logic products to sixteen weeks, a decrease of four weeks when compared to our last report in February.

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.

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


The situation in the analog sector continues to be tough thanks to high commodity prices and many lead times standing at more than twenty-weeks. These issues are nothing new, though, and represent a period of market stability rather than volatility.


Similar to the analog market sector, the supply of discrete product groups remains tight.

Towards the end of 2017, we noted that some franchise distributors were beginning to caution customers that prices rises were to be expected during the Q12018. Our information indicates that many suppliers have indeed increased pricing in recent weeks.

To compound matters, lead times have also gone up. The majority of lead times at the likes of Infineon, ST and Fairchild/ON Semiconductor now stand at thirty-weeks and above, with lines being quoted out at a minimum of twenty-five weeks. This is obviously something that will need to be accounted for.

One of the biggest rises that we have seen has come from Infineon products, The German-based manufacturer has increased lead times for many of its MOSFET, RF devices and rectifier lines to forty-weeks, a rise of sixteen weeks when compared to January’s report.

Another major rise that needs highlighting is Nexperia’s decision to raise lead times for its RF devices to forty-weeks. This move brings Nexperia more in line with its competitors, though it is worth noting that comparable Broadcom products are being quoted at fifty-weeks.

It goes without saying but given these sizeable increases, we would encourage OEMs to expand their purchasing portfolios and check with independent distributors to secure stock without having to wait.


2017 was the year that saw memory pricing skyrocket as demand far outstripped supply and long-standing issues remain in this highly competitive market sector.

Since our last update, we have received news that all Micron has placed its SDRAM lines on allocation, meaning that all its memory products are now available on an allocation-only basis.


Although various products remain on allocation, the opto sector is beginning to show some signs of improvement. Many sources are predicting that the current market shortages will begin to ease by the end of Q12018, though lead times for coupler devices will, unfortunately, remain high for the foreseeable future.

DSP & Microcontrollers

The lead times for DSPs and microcontrollers (MCUs) remain high, with the sector average standing at twenty-five weeks,

We have also been made aware that NXP is planning to implement a price increase in the coming months to counter rising manufacturing and material costs. This is likely to be passed on through authorised distribution channels.

Franchise sources continue to demand long-term visibility from OEMs to secure stock on long lead time parts. We therefore still advise purchasers to consult with independent distributors and explore contingency plans.

Programmable Logic

Yet again, there has been no movement when it comes to the availability or lead times of programmable logic parts. Analysts expect the current situation to remain the same for the next few weeks.

Standard Logic

The standard logic market is still tense, with lead times remaining at high levels once again. However, despite previous predictions to the contrary, lead times have settled down.

As an independent stocking distributor, Cyclops Electronics can help purchasers of electronic components avoid lead time and allocation issues. With 177,232 stocked lines and access to available stock around the world, we can help you secure the parts you need, when you need them.

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 


As has been the case in recent months, the market situation for analog products remains tough. However, despite the ongoing problems regarding lead times, manufacturers in this sector have been able to keep them stable since our last update in November. The likes of NXP, ON Semiconductor and Texas Instruments have all been able to lock lead times, which is providing buyers with some level of certainty when planning production runs throughout the year.

It must be noted, though, that some franchised sources are warning that a price increase for Nexperia and ON Semiconductor lines may just be around the corner. We would advise people to check with their regular supplier(s) for further information.


For the majority of devices in this sector, the delivery situation remains extremely tight. We are not expecting to see a change in the immediate future. Due to this, however, market analysts are predicting a price hike in Q1 2018.

On a slightly positive note, lead times have remained static – except for STMicroelectronics’ IGBT lines. The Swiss-based manufactured has increased its maximum lead time to forty-two weeks, a rise of four compared to last month’s data.


Long-standing supply issues remain in the memory market, with the entire sector being beset by high pricing due to demand outstripping supply. In response to this, Micron has added its DDR and DDR2 products to its long list of memory lines available on an allocation-only basis.


After some fluctuations last month, the opto sector entered a period of stability over the Christmas period, with only two listings showing a change from our November update.

Already plagued by lead time issues across the board, Vishay has increased the lead time for its coupler products to twenty-four weeks, a rise of four weeks. However, despite having various products on allocation, Osram has cut the lead time for its high power LEDs to twenty weeks, a substantial reduction from November’s figure of forty-four weeks.

Other manufacturers, such as ON Semiconductor, Samsung and Toshiba, have kept their lead times static. Signs are that market availability is improving and some sources are predicting that the number of product lines on allocation will ease during the first three months of 2018.

DSPs & Microcontrollers

Lead times for DSPs and microcontrollers (MCUs) are stabilising, albeit it at a very high level. The average lead time now stands at twenty-five weeks, though for 32-bit devices, buyers can expect to be quoted a thirty-week lead time from franchise distributors.

As well as continuing to require long-term purchasing plans from their customers to secure stock, franchise distributors are now also warning of a price rise at some point in 2018. Our reports indicate that NXP is intending to implement widespread increases, due to spiralling material and manufacturing costs.

Programmable Logic

Both lead times and general availability for programmable logic lines remain good, with our information indicating that Intel has cut its standard lead times over the new year.

Standard Logic

The market for standard logic remains tight, though lead times have stabilised, despite predictions to the contrary.

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.


Despite the overall analog market situation being stable over the past couple of months, general availability remains tight due to high lead times.

ON Semiconductor, ST and Texas Instruments are all posting lead times in excess of twenty weeks, with voltage regulators and interface product groups the hardest to secure in a short period of time.


The market for discrete devices has seen a lot of fluctuation, with many of the sectors biggest manufacturers making multiple lead time changes. The delivery situation remains extremely tight and we are not expecting to see any improvements until early 2018.

Toshiba has increased the lead time for its Power MOSFETs by sixteen weeks. Buyers placing orders today through franchise channels can now expect a forty-week wait before they receive stock.

ST has also posted widespread increases, with nearly every product line negatively impacted. The maximum lead time now stands at forty-two weeks, up from the thirty-eight weeks recorded last month.

On a positive note, both ON Semiconductor and Nexperia have made significant improvements regarding their lead times. Nexperia has cut its lead times by an average of five weeks while ON Semiconductor has reduced its maximum lead times for its discrete products families to twenty-nine weeks, down from last month’s high of thirty-five.


Micron’s DDR3 and Toshiba’s NAND flash lines remain on allocation, with no timeframe for their return to general availability in the foreseeable future.

Besides these two long-standing issues, the memory market remains stable – though inflated costs continue to be problematic.


Overall, the optical sector is showing some signs of stability, though lead times for certain automotive and coupler lines are on the up. A prime example of this is Toshiba’s decision to increase lead times for its coupler products from twenty-four to forty-four weeks.

Seismic shifts like this are luckily in the minority. The majority of manufacturers – including Osram, Samsung and Vishay – have kept lead times constant.

DSP & Microcontrollers

Lead times for DSPs and Microcontrollers (MCUs) are continuing to increase, with demand remaining high across all manufacturers.

Microchip, ST and Texas Instruments have all managed to keep lead times stable, however, both Infineon and NXP have raised theirs.

Infineon’s rises are standardised across their lines, with the lead times for both 16- and 32-bit devices increasing by four weeks. The same cannot be said of NXP’, with the Dutch manufacturer posting a marked increase of seventeen weeks for its Kinetis 32-bit family.

Franchise distributors are now requiring customers to share long-term purchasing plans with them to secure stock for pre-determined delivery dates. We would advise anybody who requires production quantities or immediate stock of microcontroller line.

Programmable Logic

Both lead times and general availability for programmable logic lines have remained static since our last update.

Standard Logic

Thanks to continued tight market conditions, ON Semiconductor and Nexperia have increased their lead times by six weeks. Standard logic lines from these manufacturers now stand at twenty-six weeks.

Per our information, there is no sign of the market easing in the coming months, so we would recommend that you plan your long-term purchasing plans accordingly.

03 November 2017

Qualcomm-NXP Merger Likely To Occur in 2018, CEO Admits

Speaking recently, Richard Clemmer, CEO of NXP Semiconductors, conceded that Qualcomm’s impending acquisition of NXP is likely to be completed in Q1 2018.

“We are working diligently with Qualcomm and the various regulators towards a successful close this year. However, at this point, the timetable is very tight and there is a possibility for the closing to occur in early 2018,” he said.

The admission reverses the long-held public position that the deal will be formally signed off by the end of this calendar year.

Clemmer's comments are the first acknowledgement of the much-publicised challenges that both NXP and Qualcomm have faced in recent months. Although the announcement of the acquisition was announced last year, regulatory bodies are yet to give it the green light.

Regulators in both Europe and Asia are seeking concessions and want the two companies to unload assets, including patents on certain designs and technologies. One major issue that is yet to be resolved involves the European Commission’s (EC) investigation into the acquisition amidst concerns about potential price rises and a reduction in innovation.

Last month, the Reuters news agency reported that Qualcomm would be willing to relinquish some of its patents to receive EC antitrust support. Despite this advancement, it is still unclear which of NXP’s standard essential patents will be sold off to a third party, something that is believed to be delaying the deal being authorised.

There is also concern among European chip vendors as the Qualcomm-NXP acquisition appears to be focused on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. NXP co-invented NFC and rival chip makers are worried that Qualcomm could bundle NXP’s existing NFC functions within its own application processors and effectively gain a monopoly of the lucrative smartphone market.

In order to alleviate said fears, Qualcomm has reportedly agreed to not take legal action against third parties regarding these patents, except for “defensive purposes”. Whether this concession will satisfy rivals and regulators alike is unknown.

Meanwhile, the progress of the deal through the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is unknown, though many regard MOFCOM as the toughest regulatory body to deal with. There have been some murmurings, however, with lawyer Ashely Chang telling EE Times that MOFCOM could “throw a wrench” in the works by actively prolonging any decision.

19 October 2017

Electronic Component Lead Time News (October 2017)

Lead times have generally remained constant since our previous update last month but major Discrete and Memory product lines have increased across the board. Discrete manufacturers such as Infineon, On Semiconductor, TI and Vishay are plagued with long lead times and low availability, quoting sizeable increases of up to forty weeks. Supply constraints remain and we would advise purchasing departments to plan in advance or look elsewhere to secure supply.

The Memory sector sees increased lead times once again. Toshiba has had to put their NAND flash products on allocation due to a pause in production in its Japanese plant. Supply constraints remain, with franchise distributors warning that they may be unable to deal with unforcasted demand.

In short

  • Lead times for nearly all discrete devices increase.
  • ST doubles the lead time for its MCU & DSP units. Now at thirty weeks.
  • Toshiba places NAND flash memory products back on allocation.
  • Microchip increase lead times for programmable logic devices to twenty-four weeks – a rise of sixteen weeks.


The entire analog market has remained stable since our last update (September 2017).

On the surface, this is good news for purchasers looking to source analog products in the coming months. However, the lead times are generally quite high, especially so for certain ON Semiconductor and TI product families, so we would advise buyers to plan well in advance.


Unfortunately, lead times have risen across the board with most the major manufacturers posting sizeable increases in the last month.

Those that have enlarged their lead times are Infineon (up to forty weeks), Nexperia (twenty-seven), ON Semiconductor (thirty-two), ST (thirty-eight), TI (twenty-eight), Toshiba (twenty-four) and Vishay (forty).

Infineon, the German semiconductor manufacturer, has posted the biggest increases. The lead times for its thyristor product groups have nearly double, up from twenty-four weeks to forty. Its IGBT devices are now available after a thirty-six week wait, up from twenty-two.

This will do little to help buyers who have had to contend with a constricted market for the majority of 2017 and were hoping of seeing some marked improvements during Q4.

Once again, we would advise you to check with independent distributors to secure immediate stock of discrete products.


Stories that Toshiba had to pause production circulated earlier this week and those rumours appear to have some substance as the Japanese manufacturer has placed its NAND flash products back on allocation.

Elsewhere, the memory market does appear to be stable, though Micron’s DDR3 devices remain available on an allocation-only basis, as they have been for the past few months.


There has been no change since our last update in September. Lead times remain relatively low, given overall market conditions.

DSP & Microcontrollers

After a brief period of stabilisation, the availability of DSPs and microcontrollers have decreased somewhat whilst lead times have risen.

After lowering their lead times during the summer, ST Micro has introduced increases across the board. The lead times for both 16-Bit and 32-Bit products are twenty-six weeks but lead times for 8-Bit devices have more than doubled: rising to thirty-weeks from a low of fourteen.

Infineon has also posted an increase in lead times, with their 8-Bit devices now coming with a twenty-week lead time, up from twelve.

Programmable Logic

After dropping lead times of its programmable logic parts to eight weeks last month, Microchip has increased them back up to an eye-watering twenty-four, a sudden move that will likely to catch buyers wrongfooted.

However, while Microchip has increased its lead times, both Texas Instruments and Xilinx have decreased theirs.


Texas Instruments has doubled its maximum waiting time for standard logic parts since our last check, increasing them from a manageable ten weeks to twenty.

There has also been a rise in Nexperia’s lead times, though their increase is a more mediocre four weeks. The availability of ON Semiconductor logic parts remains static.


17 October 2017

Toshiba Reportedly Suspended NAND Flash Production

Toshiba Reportedly Suspended NAND Flash Production

According to a report published by DigiTimes, Toshiba suspended production of NAND flash components in Japan. The article, printed on October 16th, states that Toshiba suspended all operations due to a ransomware attack on its computer network.

It is believed that the Japanese conglomerate put manufacturing on hold for between three and six weeks in order to deal with the hacking, though a public statement on the issues is yet to be released.

A source, working for a franchised distributor, told the newspaper that the suspension resulted in reduced production of nearly 100,000 wafers. The source added that the facilities are now back up and running.

Many analysts believe that Toshiba’s recent woes will impact an already constricted market. It was hoped that supply would improve towards the end of 2017 but this recent shutdown by one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of memory components has created uncertainties. Some sources are expecting lead times and prices to increase in the short term.

The demand for memory – and NAND flash components especially – has been high throughout 2017. This has been due to the increased memory content in smartphones, the growth of memory-heavy sectors such as servers, and manufacturers undergoing an uneasy transition towards new production techniques. The global supply of NAND flash memory fell short of demand in the latter half of 2016, and has remained tight since.

There was an expectation that the availability and inflated pricing would ease in the fourth quarter of the year, however with this incident, such a correction might not occur.

18 September 2017

Electronic Component Lead Time News (September 2017)

Lead times have generally remained constant since our last update, back in July, before the summer shutdowns. There are, of course, some anomalies, with the availability of some analog and discrete product groups diminishing over the past six weeks.

Once again, the DSP and Microcontroller sector is plagued with long lead times and low availability, though these issues have started to stabilise after months of volatility. However, supply constraints remain and we would advise purchasing departments to plan in advance or look elsewhere to secure supply.

In short

  • Sharp rise in lead times for ST Micro discrete product lines (IGBT, Power MOSFETs etc.)
  • Texas Instruments double lead times for certain analog parts.
  • The availability of memory products remains limited through franchise sources. This situation is unlikely to improve before the year-end.
  • The market for standard logic product groups has eased marginally.


The market situation for analog product families has, by and large, remained stable.

However, there has been one big exception: Texas Instruments has doubled its lead times for Interface and Voltage Regulator lines, with buyers of those products now facing a twelve-to-twenty-four week wait through franchise distribution channels.

This follows similar moves from ON Semiconductor and ST Micro at the start of summer. With lead times now maxing out at twenty-six weeks in this sector, the market situation, whilst stable, remains problematic for buyers.


For many discrete devices, the delivery situation remains fairly restricted.

This will do little to help buyers who have had to contend with a tight market for most of the calendar year, though this situation is expected to improve as we head towards Q4 2017.

In the short-term though, buyers will have to contend with extending lead times across multiple product groups as four major manufacturers have increased their lead times in the past six weeks.

Those manufacturers are Fairchild (up to twenty-four weeks), Nexperia (twenty-six), ST Micro (thirty-eight) and Toshiba (twenty).

Power MOSFET products are the most affected by this move and regular purchases of these parts can now expect waits of up to thirty-five weeks, up from twenty-eight at our last update.

Again, we would advise you to check with independent distributors to secure immediate stock of discrete products.


The memory market remains incredibly volatile and shows no sign of calming down in the immediate future. Lead times appear to be stable, those all of Toshiba’s NAND flash and Micron’s DDR3 products continue to available on an allocation-only basis.

Recommended reading: Tight supply for memory products to remain through 2017


There has been no change since our last update in July. Lead times have remained static and the majority of Osram LEDs are on allocation.

DSP & Microcontrollers

Lead times and the general availability of DSPs and microcontrollers from franchise distribution have stabilised, though lead times remain extremely high for most product groups.

Once again, ST Micro remains an exception in this sector. After the Swiss-based manufacturer bumped up their lead times to a maximum of twenty-six weeks at the start of the summer, they have since reduced them to fourteen weeks.


There has been a reduction across the board for lead times, with Fairchild, Nexperia and Texas Instrumentals all bringing down their waiting period since our last check. Fairchild and Nexperia have cut their lead times by four weeks, with Texas Instruments cutting theirs by a fortnight.

Only ON Semiconductor’s lead times have remained static, with their standard logic product groups coming in at sixteen weeks.

Programmable Logic

Purchasers of Microchip-manufactured programmable logic parts will be relieved to hear that lead times have dramatically decreased, dropping down from twenty-four weeks to a more manageable eight.

However, while Microchip has been able to slash its lead times, Texas Instruments has doubled its lead times to a maximum of twenty-four weeks.

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