Where are the data sheets going ?

Thread Starter

andrewmm

Joined Feb 25, 2011
528
Once upon a time,
Finding out about new chips was one of keeping on the good side of reps,
who would give you data books, real printed books.

Then along came the internet, and every chip was on line, with data and application notes, for the engineer to select and compare.

The reps are long gone unless your working for one of the big money spenders, but the ability to search and compare makes up for that unless you want engineering samples,


BUT

in recent months, I notice things are changing,

I'll use On semi as an example, but I find the same now from Diodes in, Parade, Intel , et all.

I've just spent hours on the On semi site,
trying to search for a chip to do a function we want , doesn't matter what at this point,
The point is, I can not get data sheets on line, I can get the "product brief"
but the product briefs seem to have been written by a news paper hack, straight out of school, that tells us nothing.
Basic things like put a bloc diagram , voltage and temperature range in the product brief would be real useful.

So now I have list of chips that might do the job from OnSemi,
now I have to find a distributor in Europe, and fill in an on line form and request please , can I have a data sheet.
one form needed for each part.

a day later , if I'm lucky, I get an email back, asking things like, project name, time to market, where product made, how many per year needed.
I receive one of these automated emails for each part I have asked a data sheet for.

A day or two later, I get a phone call from some sales rep, who does not know any thing about the products, but wants to know has my experience been good . If I'm lucky , I might at this point get a lively email, saying my business is important to them , and a copy of the above mentioned prodct brief.


If I'm lucky, and the wind is in the right direction, I might , after a week , get sent some data sheets.

After 5 minutes I can tell that none of the 5 parts are right for us, as none cover industrial temperature range I need.

For the next month, I will get calls and emails, no matter what I say.

So what used to take minutes, now takes hours,

WHY do companies do this , whats the advantage to them , whats going to happen when all companies do this ?
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,086
It's been that way with NXP for years. I couldn't get a datasheet for an AM radio chip unless I signed an NDA and was employed by a major manufacturer (determined by my e-mail address).

I just checked. On Semi hasn't been bought by NXP, at least not yet. It can get worse.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
14,237
Having and maintaining an online library involves considerable expense, just like publishing databooks and datasheets. If such a library is freely accessible and downloadable -- who pays for the storage overhead and the bandwidth? Customer's who actually buy parts, that's who. The bigger a company gets, the more burdensome this problem becomes. I think we may be heading for some kind of subscription model. What would you pay for a yearly subscription with some number of downloads. Maybe $125 for up to 200 downloads. The product briefs and the selection guides would still be free; marketing pays for those and marketing rules.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,861
I don't think it's the cost of storage; online storage is practically free these days and they have to keep documentation for themselves anyway, so making it public isn't that much more effort. I would buy that they're cutting staff and just don't have the people to keep things going. I usually have the most luck by using the links in the product listings at places like digikey or mouser. I needed some very technical data once for a life critical device and the manufacturer directed me to the dealer (digikey), so I went through digikey who just got the data from the manufacturer and relayed it to me. It was as painful as it sounds, but alas after a few weeks we got the data we needed. So I guess my point is, don't be afraid to bug the contacts at the big parts suppliers, they can be helpful.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
14,237
I don't think it's the cost of storage; online storage is practically free these days and they have to keep documentation for themselves anyway, so making it public isn't that much more effort. I would buy that they're cutting staff and just don't have the people to keep things going. I usually have the most luck by using the links in the product listings at places like digikey or mouser. I needed some very technical data once for a life critical device and the manufacturer directed me to the dealer (digikey), so I went through digikey who just got the data from the manufacturer and relayed it to me. It was as painful as it sounds, but alas after a few weeks we got the data we needed. So I guess my point is, don't be afraid to bug the contacts at the big parts suppliers, they can be helpful.
There is still a cost to the administration of a large document database. I agree that the hardware cost is a small fraction of the total. What they used to spend on illustrators and draftsmen is now spent on other support staff. As you pointed out they need to keep it for their own purposes as well. They also still have to pay for their end of the bandwidth pipe.
 

Thread Starter

andrewmm

Joined Feb 25, 2011
528
I understand NDA's and the good reason for the need of them,

I did baulk at recently having to ask the CEO to sign an NDA, just so I could get details of a clock re driver ! what that cost us once the lawyers were involved just reading the paper work , who knows.

My worry, is that by not even having a short form data sheet available, the manufacturers are making it harder and slower for us engineers to design, not easier.

I don't know what others are experiencing, but I have not noticed time scales for time ti market getting longer to allow for this ,,
 
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