The recent announcement of MOSFET packaging news from Fairchild Semiconductor and Infineon ( "Infineon, Fairchild agree common power MOSFET packaging"
) is good news for designers. It takes out, or at least reduces, one of the many variables in the design-decision and bill of material (BOM) risk assessment.
There are times when standards are good, and times then they constrain advances. My view is that, in general, standards which define a framework, or electrical and mechanical interfaces (and the package is the interface between the MOSFET die and the real world) are a good thing. They leave vendors to innovate inside, yet adhere to an agreed-on envelope or boundary such that users can interchange, upgrade, downsize, or whatever they prefer, without total redesign. It's no different than having many types of AC-household light bulbs, but all with the same Edison base that has been in use for over 100 years.
Of course, every silver lining does have a cloud; engineering is all about tradeoffs. Standards can impede innovation, or prevent the adoption of a proprietary design which increases or improves performance by a modest amount. And while sometimes that modest gain is not worth the overall hassle and headache it brings, to some users even a small improvement is critical and worthwhile. More dramatically, the standard may have a blocking effect on major innovation, such as the need to retrofit LED-based lamps into standard AC-line sockets, light fixtures, and assemblies.
Only hindsight will tell us if such standards were overall good, bad, or both–and we don't have the time for that. No matter, historians will look back and tell us what we should have done!♦