Finding components in a shortage market.

What are the solutions? What are the risks? What are the costs?

Component Shortage Causes & Solutions

There is a lot of excitement in the electronics sector currently about the huge strides forward being made with new innovations such as driverless cars, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, smart homes, voice control etc. But none of this works without the progression of memory silicon and the ability to transfer that data quickly and reliably, this is the key that drives it all. For all the latest IoT devices to be a success and grow as predicted we must rely on the memory market and the communication/connectivity market, but without the memory market, none of this progression would be possible.

5G Networks

What are the likely causes and risks?

Over the course of last year, we consistently heard reports surrounding DRAM and NAND shortages, causing a strain on supply and ultimately, pricing. When these shortages first crept up in late 2016, it was thought that everything would go back to normal in the second half of this year. That no longer seems to be the case, with shortages now expected to see us through to 2019.

Shortage markets can be caused by several factors, some primarily due to huge demand, others due to unexpected production problems. In the case for memory devices it has certainly seen a huge increase in demand by technology firms with large data centres to support cloud based services and powerful IoT.

Any company that finds itself affected by the shortage could face production problems and significant financial implications. Shortages can hold up or even shut production lines down, resulting in substantial lost productivity and revenue. There is also an added risk of counterfeit and substandard parts being procured and incorporated into the supply chain, which could have its own set of significant problems.

What are the solutions?

Reclaim Memory Devices & High Value IC’s from obsolete, damaged or old revision PCB’s

Every day millions of dollars of brand new devices are scrapped by manufacturers because they are attached to faulty/damaged PCBs. If these components could be safely removed, and the BGAs reballed or leaded devices retinned, these companies would save huge amounts of money in recovered scrap, provide much needed “allocated” components and also reduce the amount and cost of landfill. An added bonus is that it would also seriously damage the counterfeit industry, whose raw material supply would be reduced.


Suite of tests to combat counterfeit or any components with an unknown history.

Often, counterfeits are made of components that are difficult to source through official channels, which often forces component users to source parts through unofficial channels the ‘grey market’ through which counterfeit components invariably get into the supply chain. Sourcing of genuine parts, especially to replace failed counterfeit components, is invariably problematic

If you have any devices you need counterfeit checks carried out on, talk to us to see what we can offer. In some cases we may find enough evidence of counterfeit after just visual inspection, in other cases this may need to go as far as decapsulation. We offer these services and all the steps in between, including extreme temperature testing to highlight parts sold as industrial that may be relabelled commercial parts.

An IC Supplier would use us to test IC’s they are about to sell, to ensure they are what they are supposed to be. This is often at the instance of the customer. An IC supplier would also use us to verify returned product, or arbitrate on disputed product. Goods in at a CEM or OEM would use us to validate incoming IC’s, on a sample basis. After we recover IC’s we would use these tests to verify if they are functional.

For a full suite of our Test Services – Click Here

IC Tests - Retronix


We are happy to carry out free of charge samples to assist you to prove the process and the benefits to your company.

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