I too used to have serious concerns about Maxim as a supplier. Of course, essentially any supplier will have their battles with occasional lead-time challenges. Over the last three years, designing (and supplying) through Maxim has been nothing but positive. Maxim was recently recognized by NEDA as "Manufacturer of the Year". http://pr.woodstockwire.com/?p=1580
No supplier is ever perfect but I feel that Maxim is unique as they clearly recognized their historic supply chain "challenges" and put their best efforts and intentions into improving the customer experience.
From my seat, they care and are on the right path. Congratulations Maxim.
Like the products, worst supply chain in history. I will never specify Maxim products nor allow any product containing Maxim products in any of our production or designs. Maxim has badly burned many companies beyond belief. I was looking for some sign of change, but the comments on fab reducing costs and nothing about improving supply chain gave me no confidence. It's clear they are doing great as a business, so there's no need really become a "new" Maxim.
Maxim has an excellent engineering team and a variety of interesting niche products. However I also have been burned badly by Maxim's supply chain. I will consider Maxim products only as a second source. "Maxim 2.0" provides no insight that they are addressing the supply chain problem or even care. The only time I really see an Maxim rep is during a recession, and yes they showed up in May of 2009.
To numberone2: AMEN. I have been burned by maxim several times for availability, to the point of bringing my business to a screeching halt. I bought likely counterfeit/rejected parts from China (30% failure rate) because I was desperate for a solution to MAXIM's PERSISTENT SUPPLY PROBLEM. I will *NEVER* use maxim *EVER AGAIN*. The offending, still 18-week leadtime parts have been designed out. GOODBYE MAXIM and good riddance.
Unless there is a discussion about how they are revamping their supply chain, it sounds like the new Maxim is undertaking business as usual by announcing terrific sounding parts that will not be available to anyone outside of their 30 largest customers. As it is, me and most of the people I know will not even consider Maxim, and nothing in this article compels me to rethink that.
I think the firm does not come out clear as being a leader. Their products are not that superior. Compared to TI, I think they have a long way to go. I always think it is second-tier, maybe, it is me. This firm needs scale to even lead in the metering sub-sector.
Mark, I believe that Maxim is correct -- smart meters will be a "big deal" (in a very competitive global market). They are an important ingredient of Maximís major expansion into smart power grid applications.
The smart power grid strategy includes: (1) powerline communications (PLC), (2) power-grid monitoring/protection, and (3) smart metering.
The smart power grid targets an infrastructure market rather than an end-equipment segment alone. This provides a larger, global scale market opportunity for a range of products fitting into a range of application solutions. As a result, Maxim intends to achieve a high degree of leverage for its analog/mixed-signal and microcontroller products.
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) brings energy consumers into the smart grid and provides a critical interface between utilities and end consumers; automatic meter reading (AMR) capability provides a range of benefits to both utilities and consumers. Maxim's SoC metering solutions enable designers to integrate high-level functions such as power analysis, advanced reporting, and tamper detection. These ICs are supported with a broad range of the company's products including voltage references, timekeeping devices, and RF devices
For example, for the wireless smart meter application Maxim offers a 900MHz transmitter family of products operating in the ISM band over one mile range. This range could be further extended using the company's silicon bipolar power amplifier. Maxim offers an electricity-metering AFE (analog front-end) device integrating the company's DSP MAXQ core and an 8-channel A/D converter. The company has recently introduced two more products featuring dual-core, 32-bit DSPs.
An excellent article - a "New Maxim" has indeed emerged.
For more detailed discussion please also see: