Criticality of longevity within industrial IoT
Present day’s industrial premises are a finely-tuned assortment of equipment. Every piece is performing its function to operate efficiently and accomplish maximum output, states Edel Griffith, Industrial ASIC marketing manager, Dialog Semiconductor. But much like other well-constructed framework, factory gear ultimately exceeds its lifetime.
Previously, the mean life of an integrated circuit spans anytime from three to ten years, with leading performing equipment going north of two decades. However, when equipment faces failure, downtime can happen, having the outcome of a direct influence on the amount of product manufactured and eventually, the enterprise’s bottom line.
Intended downtime, while not the best case scenario, is at times needed for the service of machines, but typically can be controlled so the impact is reduced. Unintended downtime, downtime that has not been planned, is very expensive and can easily run from thousands to millions of dollars.
In an effort to surpass this hurdle, industrial equipment producers are requesting longevity concerning the components leveraged in their systems – they wish to know that the products they leverage will be available to assist these long lifetimes.
Longevity of supply
Dependent on the product, and how frequently it is leveraged, there is a discrepancy between what a factory needs and what suppliers can assist. Add in the discontinuing or end of life of an electronic part, and this can have catastrophic consequences for an enterprise’s industrial equipment, and their hold over the factory automation. In the scenario a product has been discontinued, some producers are reliant on performing a pin for pin substitution, but this typically has the outcome of downtime. And if the substitute product is not pin for pin or even functionally equal, this becomes a larger headache and has a bigger impact on an enterprise’s bottom line.
To make sure they have systems that can surpass the test of time, an increasing number of equipment manufacturers are turning to ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) for improved security over supply. With a customized chip, there are several ways that the user can obtain improved control. An ASIC makes it feasible to go about integrating the functionality from hundreds, or even thousands of unique chips into a singular chip. This means a more reduced bill of materials to administer and improved control over the supply chain.
Another benefit of an industrial ASIC is that it can be produced exclusively for the client. Therefore, the ASIC satisfies all the technical requirements of the end app, but also factors such as redundancy and design for reliability can be viewed as portion of the design process to assist in extending the lifespan of a chip. The primary advantage of a customized chip, however, revolves around the fact that as the client basically owns the part, they decide the lifetime. Thus, if they require to make a board substitution in an industrial product in a decade and a half’s time, there is no problem with regards to sourcing more of the customized chip.