Starting Friday (March 1), Agilent is offering a three-year standard warranty on all of its electronic test instruments. Previously, the company offered a one-year warranty. Recently, I spoke with Ken Woonton, Agilent’s marketing and business development manager for the electronics measurement group about this step. So what inspired this confidence?
Over the last ten years, the company has been instituting quality initiatives that have resulted in cutting failure rates in half. “We’ve achieved a steady decline in failure rates, and decided to pass this back to the customer,” explains Woonton.
In addition to the standard three-year warranty, the company also rolled out a “Warranty Assurance Plan” which is akin to an “extended warranty.” In addition to the expected coverage found in the standard three-year warranty, this plan also includes a one-time six-month plan extension if a repair is required during the 5-year period, and it includes one electro-static discharge (ESD)/electrical overload stress (EOS) failure.
Failures are one thing, but needing calibration is something users can count on. Today, Agilent also introduced a new calibration assurance plan. (Arguably, this is an effort to compete with third-party calibration labs.) With its upfront calibration plan, Agilent reports that the price is discounted 15 or 20%, for a three-year or five-year term, respectively.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.