Will the same chip produced by different manufactures work differently?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by wars0696, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. wars0696

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 24, 2008

    I've got a problem with a third of my communications units not working correctly. I've narrowed the problem down to one PCB (and have eliminated all the obvious faults), the only noticeable difference between the working and none working PCB is that the IC 73M550-IP on the working boards was manufactured by Silicon Systems and the same IC on the none working board was manufactured by TDK. Can the manufacturer really be the problem?

    Many thanks
  2. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    It can be, particularly if the circuit was designed on the ragged edge of the specifications.
  3. wars0696

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Probably the case, don't actually have any paperwork on the orginal design, but the problem occured after a minor change in the use of the system.
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    Can you swap the IC between boards? If the failure follows that IC, then you have the problem pinpointed. If it's surface mount, this can be a challenge. Perhaps you would want to replace the IC from the suspect manufacturer with one from the assumed good manufactrurer. If that is successful, you will have a good board instead of another bad one.
  5. wars0696

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Well unfortunately the ICs are have 20 legs and are directly soldered to the board so not sure I could safely remove them without damage. Also don't have any spares and having problems finding any. The working IC was made by Silicon Systems which seems to of been taken over by Texas Instruments and having problems getting hold of the IC.
  6. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    Definitely the manufacturer can cause the problem. Sometimes there is a defect in the design (although rare); sometimes there are differences in some of the specifications; and sometimes there are differences that are not fully captured by the specifications.

    It's also possible that you just have a bad batch of IC chips. That has been known to happen.

    However, the proper thing to do here is to track down why the bad boards are not working, if it is the subtle differences in the parts that causes a problem, then you have a marginal design that has not fully identified and quantified the important specifications, or has an outright mistake that was never caught.