Developers in a dilemma

Embedded developers live in a crazy world. On the one hand, they always want to use the latest features, on the other hand, devices should have as long a lifespan as possible.

Mann steht vor mehreren Tueren
Andreas Pfeiffer Portrait

On the one hand, embedded systems are supposed to permeate more and more of our lives, but on the other hand, right now there are massive problems with the availability of components again. Developing embedded devices has been more fun before.

Component suppliers regularly tempt developers with the latest, highly integrated, even more powerful and feature-packed components. How eager they are to use them in their latest invention. If the customer requirement did not state that the developed device must be produced for ten years and more. In addition, King Customer expects spare parts inventory and repair for another ten years.

A look at the data sheets and a conversation with the manufacturer is followed by disillusionment. No one agrees to more than a few years of availability, and certainly not in writing. At best, you will find industrial or automotive parts with lifetimes of ten to fifteen years, but hardly with the desired features. But even these roadmaps are not set in stone. Manufacturers are taken over, clean up their portfolios or drive up prices so that one "voluntarily" switches to new components under pain.

As an embedded developer, you would like to have a crystal ball to better assess the future of your favorite components. In the meantime, there are service providers who offer expensive databases to give a prognosis for each component used and to limit the risk. Alternatively, one could try to carry out a manufacturer-neutral development, which is not possible for many components and is not really to the liking of the manufacturers.

Image Platine Chip

In addition, we are currently experiencing Wild West times in electronics. Components that are suddenly no longer available, are not delivered on the agreed date or whose future is uncertain. Massive price increases, interrupted supply chains, shortages of raw materials and many an explosion and fire in factories of suppliers to the electronics industry are now shifting the focus of embedded developers to procurement and gnawing away at the creative potential.

Do you have questions about material procurement?