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Component Shortage COVID-19 Electronic Components Electronica Supply Chain

Cyclops Electronics – Looking back on 2022

Cyclops Electronics has had a monumental year. With a hugely successful Electronica, an exciting business acquisition, and plenty of special team moments to remember. 2022 has made its mark in style.

 

Team wide fun and games

This year we have initiated a weekly delivery of fresh fruit for all of the office to enjoy. It has proved to be a big hit and a great boost of natural goodness into the working day. It’s the perfect antidote to our regular pizza days.

For Stress awareness month in April, we organised picnic lunches for everyone and raffled off a wellness hamper.

At Halloween we stirred up a right cauldron of treats, a quiz curated by a staff member, and a Mummy wrapping game to get everyone in the spooky spirit.

We also celebrated Valentine’s Day, Wimbledon, and most recently the World Cup with full office decoration and goodies on tap. To mark the festive period hot chocolate and mince pies are now a permanent fixture in our kitchen.

Christmas fundraising has been great fun, supporting ‘Save the Children’ with Christmas jumper day and producing a sizeable contribution to a worthy cause.

 

Halfin

In April the Cyclops Group officially announced the acquisition of Belgium-based company Halfin Electronics. Shared values of collaboration, family values and dedicated professionalism made it a natural fit for the Group.

Halfin has enabled Cyclops to add Belgium to its list of international offices, including USA, China, Canada, Italy and Portugal.

The business was established in 1946, and has since built a global clientele and a speciality in vacuum tubes and other niche electronic products. It has been a wonderful addition to the Cyclops family.

Electronica

Electronica was the event of the year for all of us here at Cyclops. A team of nine staff from a range of departments attended the event. Aside from meeting a plethora of new customers, we also caught up with a lot of returning customers. The event was very important to us, since there hasn’t been an in-person Electronica since 2018. We were eager to reconnect with clients and businesses.

Not only did the team make lasting connections with businesses there, but were able to bond as a team and successfully run a trade fair stand. We’re so proud of them for continuing a Cyclops tradition that has been in place for decades.

And finally… 

A few words from our Sales and Marketing Manager, Ros Shaw:

“2022, what a year it has been… looking back at heatwaves, weather extremes, component shortages, supply chain disruption, political turmoil, economic uncertainties and more shortages, it’s been another eventful one. But one constant remains and that is that the Cyclops Team have delivered, day in and day out.

It was a real highlight of our year to chat with many of our appreciative customers at Electronica in Munich. Sharing plans for the New Year, developing strategies for sourcing in 2023 and discussing upcoming projects has enabled us to prepare. And that’s what it’s always been about, preparing and equipping the business to best serve the needs of our customers. Now more than ever we strive to adapt, evolve and innovate to keep stride with this fast-paced world.

We look forward to ranking highly on your ‘most useful’ list this time next year. Thank you for including us in your team. Here’s to 2023 and all of its adventures.”

 

Categories
Component Shortage Uncategorized

How electronics shortages may affect Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, and while many shortages have calmed there are some that persist and will have an impact on the usual holiday festivities.

Despite reports that shortages are ending, more than half of semiconductor industry leaders (56%) are expecting them to continue into 2023.

There are shortages that we have been prepared for as the months counted down to the holidays. However, other shortages may catch some unawares.

Much of the news regarding shortages has revolved around the difficulty producing new, smaller nodes. These are the semiconductors going into new consumer electronics, often purchased as Christmas gifts.

What was expected:

As semiconductor shortages persist, next-gen consumer electronics will be in limited supply. Demand always spikes around the holidays, as consumers prepare for the gifting season. But some will be out of luck since electronics have also been affected by the shortages.

While consumer electronics, including smartphones, smart home devices, and games consoles have become slightly more stable, there will still be shortages in the face of holiday buying and events like Black Friday.

This also affects the manufacture of new cars, both fuel and electricity-powered models. Many car companies have lowered the number of vehicles produced. Although they haven’t been able to meet the increased demand, semiconductor shortages mean they cannot produce more.

What you didn’t expect:

New electronic components are not the only ones that are in short supply. Older components and obsolete electronic parts have also become scarcer.

Embedded flash microcontrollers are one component that has long been used in automotive manufacture. Most of the ones used are still using older nodes, like 90nm. So while new cars are being affected, older cars in need of repair will also be impacted.

Industrial electronics are also at risk due to shortages, since they similarly rely on legacy nodes. Traditionally these would be the more stable of options for electronic components. However, the reserves that have taken years to build are now being drained.

Although companies are planning on investing in legacy nodes, the shortages are expected to last until at least 2024, if not 2025.

The shortages show no sign of stopping, and manufacturers will be dealing with the effects of it for years to come. There are surely plenty of electronic components and markets affected that have not been mentioned here, so this overview is by no means exhaustive.

What to expect

As shortages persist, there’s no better time to get in touch with us.

Cyclops Electronics have an extensive supply of day-to-day and obsolete electronic components. If you have been struggling to source components elsewhere, Cyclops Electronics is there for you.

Let us provide your Christmas miracle this year, call us on +44 (0) 1904 415 415 or email us at sales@cyclops-electronics.com.

Categories
Electronic Components Semiconductor

Should we be investing in GaN fabs?

The wide bandgap semiconductor Gallium Nitride (GaN) has many advantageous properties, but it has been difficult to scale up production.  

During such an invigorating period in the industry, silicon semiconductors have been in massive demand. And in short supply. It has not been the best time to consider switching to a new wafer material. Not that there ever will be a quiet moment in this sector.

Where it all beGaN

GaN has only really been in the picture since the mid-90s, when its top uses were military. Since then it has seen growth, with a revenue of $1 billion in 2020 according to Strategy Analytics. Silicon wafer revenue, in comparison, was $11.2 billion. GaN is still a small fry.

Despite GaN production being a much smaller endeavour currently, there are several companies currently manufacturing GaN devices. GaN is currently used for power electronic devices thanks to their high electron mobility and high breakdown voltages.

A survey was undertaken by Microwave Journal, wherein they contacted major GaN suppliers around the world. Of the 8 that responded, there were 36 variants available, with gate lengths ranging between 0.5ɥm to 40nm. The GaN variants included GaN-on-SiC, GaN on Si and GaN on diamond substrates.

The potential future of semiconductors

We’ve talked before about how GaN could be a future replacement for the aging silicon semiconductors. This would not only benefit consumers because of its fast performance, but would also benefit the environment.

The first and most obvious factor, is that with more efficient semiconductors less of them would be required. GaN requires less raw material and because of the reduced size there can be more units per wafer.

Aside from this, the actual manufacturing emissions for GaN are much lower. Gallium metal is a by-product of aluminium smelting, and nitrogen is readily available in the atmosphere. GaN, then, has a minimal carbon footprint and is easily sourced.

If GaN could be used globally, it could make a difference against climate change, more than silicon or silicon carbide. It is also non-toxic and includes no conflict materials. GaN power IC devices can also be manufactured using already-established CMOS processing equipment.

So GaN could well be a great alternative for silicon in years to come, however the problem comes with up-scaling production and transitioning. Changing the semiconductor material would undoubtedly incur several design and logistical changes, and would cause disruptions and delays.

Some industry experts have suggested investing in mega-fabs to produce GaN-on-Si wafers for manufacturers. This would help even out the disparity between GaN and silicon stock, and encourage more manufacturers to produce GaN devices.

It’s estimated that the GaN-based power IC management market will grow by about 70% each year from 2020 to 2026. This is just one use of GaN, but demonstrates how profitable the material may be in the future.

It’s not GaNna be easy…

Cyclops has a huge range of stock which includes both brand new electronic components and obsolescent stock. Whatever you may need Cyclops can provide it. Get in touch with us today to see what we can do for you! Contact us on sales@cyclops-electronics.com, or call us on +44 (0) 1904 415 415.

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