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Maxim IC frustration - hard to find components

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Aug 7, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    I don't know why Maxim makes it so difficult for small companies to
    design with their components.
    I am developing a new consumer electronics product. Unfortunately, I
    planned to use 4 Maxim chips that are hard to find in small quantities
    (1-40). Standard distributors like Arrow, Mouser and Digikey don't cary
    them. These components are excellent matches for my design needs. Maxim
    offers some of their ICs for purchasing on their website, but not the
    ones listed below. Perhaps someone can recommend a broker or exchange
    website where rare Maxim components can be purchased at reasonable
    prices. I would love to find alternatives to these components if
    someone can offer some advice. National, Linear and Analog devices
    simply cant match the selection, sophistication and price of switching
    regulators and battery charging ICs. Please feel free to recommend
    other IC manuafacturers that specialize in these types of components.

    DS2745 Low Cost I2C Battery Monitor
    (chosen for its ability to cumulatively measure voltage & current to
    estimate battery life, + its low cost, [email protected])
    http://www.maxim-ic.com/quick_view2.cfm/qv_pk/4994

    MAX1555 Dual-Input, USB/AC Adapter, 1-Cell Li+ Battery Chargers
    (chosen for its ability to intelligently charge a 1-cell lithium from
    a wall adapter or USB port 5v rail, low cost [email protected])
    http://www.maxim-ic.com/quick_view2.cfm/qv_pk/4002

    MAX1522 Simple SOT23 Boost Controllers
    (chosen for its high frequency operation - small inductor, only a few
    external components, low cost [email protected])

    MAX1724 1.5µA IQ, Step-Up DC-DC Converters in Thin SOT23-5
    (chosen for its ultra low quiescent current, only needs a 10uh
    inductor, has built in FET, very few external components, low cost
    $1.45 @ 1K)
    http://www.maxim-ic.com/quick_view2.cfm/qv_pk/3024
     
  2. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I don't know why Maxim makes it so difficult for small companies to
    design with their components.
    I am developing a new consumer electronics product. Unfortunately, I
    planned to use 4 Maxim chips that are hard to find in small quantities
    (1-40). Standard distributors like Arrow, Mouser and Digikey don't cary
    them. These components are excellent matches for my design needs. Maxim
    offers some of their ICs for purchasing on their website, but not the
    ones listed below. Perhaps someone can recommend a broker or exchange
    website where rare Maxim components can be purchased at reasonable
    prices. I would love to find alternatives to these components if
    someone can offer some advice. National, Linear and Analog devices
    simply cant match the selection, sophistication and price of switching
    regulators and battery charging ICs. Please feel free to recommend
    other IC manuafacturers that specialize in these types of components.

    Maxim isn't aiming for your market. They design these chips and hope someone
    orders a GAZILLION. The rest never go anywhere.
     
  3. krw

    krw Guest

    Don't worry. They make it equally impossible for large companies.
    They don't carry them because Maxim doesn't make (perhaps design)
    them unless there is a huge demand.
    Exactly. Go elsewhere.
     
  4. budgie

    budgie Guest

    I have been the same route with a Li-Ion charger design about three years back.
    Having done the rounds of chip types we - like you - settled quite quickly on
    the Maxim product for its functionality. Unfortunately Maxim want to remain
    strictly a manufacturer, and the distribution chain which hangs off their
    coat-tails isn't the most small-customer--focussed system you'll find. Here in
    Australia the "official" distributor (Arrow) won't even break the factory MOQ.
    We were fortunate that we located one offshore (NZ actually) Maxim reseller who
    did carry the required IC and who actually broke the FMOQ down to something
    sensible - ten off. Otherwise we would have had to compromise our design
    objective by choosing another chip/supplier combination - and Arrow also
    represent LT here :-(
    (snip chip description)

    We checked several offshore suppliers. Maxim in Singapore looked promising but
    the unzudders were a tad more responsive and I found their "quaint" version of
    the English language easier to deal with that the Asian version.

    Back to the web, check out their food chain ALL the way down, and you may just
    strike it lucky.
     
  5. CC

    CC Guest


    That's why I just don't even bother to consider that Maxim exists
    anymore when looking for chips.
     
  6. wrote...
    What a great testimonial for cool parts. What a great warning
    to stay the hell away!!! The bean counters (always a very bad
    sign) at Maxim simply chose to ignore the massive collection of
    products that start small, and then build big. Sadly, it's at
    their peril, because even big boys recognize a failed approach
    and steer clear, for fear they'll choose a part and after a year
    or two find it discontinued by the same bean-counter mentality.

    Either you orient yourself towards your customer, or you don't.
     
  7. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    I don't know why Maxim makes it so difficult
    You must be new here.
    http://groups.google.com/groups/search?q=author:Robert-Baer+Maxim
    Old joke:
    "How much are you asking for tomatoes."
    "50 cents a pound."
    "50 cents a pound?!--the guy down the road said his were only 35."
    "Why didn't you buy them there?"
    "He was out of tomatoes."
    "Ah, that's different. When I'm out, mine are only 25 cents a pound."
    ..
    ..
    Interesting how you put sci.electronics.design twice in the To: line.
     
  8. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    Yet I have had Maxim sales guys tell me -- with straight faces -- that
    Maxim never obsoletes a design.

    As far as I can tell this is true -- the just don't make a run until
    they have orders for 50000 pieces.

    There are a few Maxim parts that just cannot be lived without; for those
    you need to order a years supply a year in advance. Then just wait --
    when the other 49800 get ordered they'll start building your parts.

    --

    Tim Wescott
    Wescott Design Services
    http://www.wescottdesign.com

    Posting from Google? See http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/

    "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" came out in April.
    See details at http://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
     
  9. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Hmmm....I have said the same thing a number of times - and got a lot
    of static.
     
  10. Unless it's a 1-off you can build with a sample...!
     
  11. PeteS

    PeteS Guest

    I had a long conversation with the reps for Maxim whilst at my last
    job, perhaps 4 years ago, and specifically asked them about the :
    'We don't care about you unless you order a million and accept 16 week
    lead times' attitude.
    They assured me that they really had reformed, but the reality of the
    situation is they have not.


    My supply chain here has specifically asked I not use Maxim devices as
    they find it nigh on impossible to get the parts. I find this sad and
    amusing as Maxim sends me their 'engineering journal' touting their
    great parts, but they just don't seem to want to sell them.

    As for samples, you can get them, but you'll get the third degree over
    it (don't want to give anything away too easily, do we).

    As Win noted, it's silly to ignore the small customer that could become
    a large customer. That's *precisely* how TI has now re-oriented itself,
    and they are now posting record profits.

    TI competes directly with Maxim (and has second sourced a lot of their
    parts), and I find the support superb. Even though dev kits are
    nominally $49 - $99 for most stuff, my FAEs get them to me for nothing,
    because they *want me to design their parts in* and they know I won't
    if I have a supply problem.

    Contrasts in suppliers, indeed.

    Cheers

    PeteS
     
  12. ...and precisely how Microchip have always been, and are now the biggest 8-bit micro vendor - ISTR
    reading somwehere that no one customer makes up more than 3% of their sales.
     
  13. Fred Bloggs

    Fred Bloggs Guest

    Yeah- but you're that Clarence nutcase troll...how's the speech
    impediment coming along.
     
  14. Fred Bloggs

    Fred Bloggs Guest

    National, Linear and Analog devices simply cant match the selection,
    That's a bunch of bull, you're not paying attention.

    Maxim is not making them because the market is using a superior
    alternative, get a clue.
     
  15. Well, that's true. Maxim doesn't seem to be making them at all.
     
  16. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Pete,

    Or, to put it succinctly: If you don't orient yourself towards the
    customer, somebody else will. However, it usually requires an upper
    management change to truly understand that and most of all, live it.
    Samples usually aren't the problem. The problems I found were when my
    clients wanted to order the first reels and all they heard at the other
    end of the phone line was some hard swallowing.

    So far I have only designed out Maxim parts, mostly because of serious
    logistics problems. I then always try my best to find a jelly bean
    solution where every part in it is cheap and has half a dozen sources.

    Advice to the OP: Learn how to do things without panacea chips, learn
    discrete designs. It's amazing what you can do these days. Discrete
    solutions are often significantly lower in cost than that nice cool chip
    and also not larger in real estate. The only downside is you'd have to
    deal with 0402 parts or smaller and eyes don't get better with age.


    That's what many EU manufacturers do not understand. It is also the
    reason why I typically don't use their parts anymore in designs and why
    I wouldn't buy their stock.
     
  17. Tim

    Tim Guest

    Not my (limited) experience - I've used Maxim Direct in the UK and it has
    always worked well.
     
  18. PeteS

    PeteS Guest

    I agree with everything you say here, with an addition. There is _very_
    little, if anything, that Maxim makes that can not be done [at least as
    well] with devices from another manufacturer. Those other manufacturers
    are reaping the benefit of Maxim's short sightedness, imo. That goes
    for just about all manufacturers, obviously.

    Power, thermal management, serial drivers, hotswap - you name it, there
    are at least 3 competitors in the majority of what they make, although
    not always fit/form/function compatible. That makes little difference
    at original design though.

    I must sadly agree abut EU manufacturers too - I would use them, but I
    just can't get them to understand that I am not going to buy 10k of
    something for a prototype. So they lose the design. I don't know if
    that's your experience with them; it certainly is mine, in general.

    Cheers

    PeteS
     
  19. There's a bit of a teaser ;)
     
  20. PeteS

    PeteS Guest

    <<
    National, Linear and Analog devices
    simply cant match the selection, sophistication and price of switching
    regulators and battery charging ICs. Please feel free to recommend
    other IC manuafacturers that specialize in these types of components.
    Power
    TI, Linear, National, Analog devices, to name a few. All these have
    products equal or superior to Maxim.

    Battery charging. See the list above.
    I use a BQ24103 [TI] in a couple of products, and it works exactly as
    advertised.

    There are, of course, many other manufacturers - these are just the
    really big outfits.

    As an example on price, I am using the TPS65020 as the regulator for a
    PXA based design. 3 switchers, 2 LDOs, multiple pin-assignable default
    settings, I2C controllable Vout. Budgetary $3.75 / 1k qtys. That's
    pretty competitive as far as I can find.

    Want a highend controller that will handle 10A load steps without even
    a hiccup? Try the LTC1735. Not the cheapest, but a damn good piece of
    work.

    No - there is nothing that Maxim makes that others can't do just as
    well (perhaps with the addition of a few external components on
    occasion, but that goes both ways).

    Cheers

    PeteS
     
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