I can see the point of their strategy because we have several parts disappearing from production and we find there is not a replacement. There are also segments of the analog market where the choices are very limited. The typical analog market to target these days is power management, because that is where the growth is.
It is hard to go fabless in the analog world because a big company can’t switch fabs without causing production problems. Some companies say they manufacture the wafers then package the parts when needed.
I have heard that VCs don’t like semi companies any more and only a few have gotten money. Did these guys have some special value proposition other that replacement parts? One value proposition of old processes is cheap wafers and low cost.
This is mostly grist for the media mill.
Making parts that are footprint compatible is actually a VERY obvious strategy, in the commodity market. Just look at Single-gate logic, that's a new area, and has been following the obvious strategy.
As they mention, smaller, newer die cost more to initially release, but they can usually out-perform older footprints.
Where those teensy new processes can struggle, is in places like ESD tolerance, and I see that's not mentioned at all....
There is always a great need for analog and mixed signal application specific IC's. China is doing this in to their products. If this also can be done in TouchStone there is an extra marketing space they will create.
The electronic component market is mostly dependent on the matured products and most of the manufacturers stop their maturing products at some extent, if a start-up player like touch tone will look towards finding and catering this unlooked potential it will surely get entered in the race in the longer span.
Being a pin-pin and functional replacement is not easy, especially for analog component which basically is hard to have everything being made the same, unless you just copy everything. BTW, I also hope this model to be success.
With the passing of Jim and bob in these few weeks, I personal think, this is the end of an Analog chapter, a new chapter will begin.
It is no longer three decades ago, when Opamp related stuffs was hot. It is also no longer two decades ago, when PMIC started with NS simple switcher and Linear's LT1070 series. This is is a much sophisticated Analog era with China and Taiwan fill with lots of veterans from Linear, Maxim, and NS ex "graduate" starts up companies.
It will be interesting to see how Brett play this game within the next two years. and hope that he success.
For me, like it or not, Analog has enter the era of Smart Analog. and the place Smart Analog play will be taking eating away or improve some function or subsystem of the embedded system centric design solution. where the pure digital embedded system cannot do or doing not well. Analog thus have a chance to expand and evolve beyond the passed function centric into a system centric solution arena adapting to the embedded system centric world.
With the Era of Bob Widler, Bob Peace fades away.Time for the next chapter of Analog surface. and new fresh blood and innovation is needed to lead this in coming game. Analog designers in the valley needs to be upgrade so that it is always atleast two level beyond the China and Taiwan designer interm of quality and effectiveness.
We needs a new direction in Analog..
What I see is that analog curcuits are poorly represented in SoCs and very cery poorly in FPGAs.
VLSI and mixed signal test technoly , especially on wafer level (my project), are examples of a real bad industry attitude.
Those guys know what they do and will make a difference for everybody.
Good Day from Jan Hoppe.
No doubt, the experts are running this new venture and they might be well aware about the risks involved. But I can't avoid doubting on the strategy of starting with the one-to-one replacements for the analog ICs produced by the analog giants. Can they generate their working capital this way? I agree with Kdboyce & Nic_Mokhoff, they have a great challenge to establish reliable products and quality service in order to be able to compete with their well-established competitors.
This just shows that analog's demise and its incorporation into SoCs is slightly exaggerated. Finding less expensive one-for-one replacements for run-of-the-mill analog devices is a good thing, but it might be a hard act to put together for the needed customer support services as kdboyce remarks. Distributor Future Electronics might be the real winner.
It will be very interesting to see how this model works out. I would say the chances are good if the second sources are really drop in and compatible with the original. Assuming the costs are comparable to make chips, then lower margins would be necessary to make inroads against the established analog giants. Aside from that, Touchstone would have to build a high quality customer service and support team to service major analog customers. All this takes time, and the original sources are not necessarily going to sit still and watch their market erode. The analog market is projected to have growth over the next few years, and maybe they catch enough of that to bootstrap into being a major player over time. After all, their model did work for others in the past.