“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.”
– Woody Allen
So then, can a microcontroller product line be immortal? Of course not, but many engineers wish they could continue to purchase the same microcontroller in perpetuity. And while not eternity, the proof of this desire is exemplified by some components of our MCU portfolio still selling in production for more than 25 years. Clearly, engineers value supply assurance or steady production availability for an extended period. The reasons vary.
For some, their products are expected to be sold in the market unchanged for many, many years. For others, launching a product to market requires passing stringent certification and safety tests. Any changes later to the system components would require costly re-certification.
For many, the adage “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” applies. To address this need, Freescale created the Product Longevity program – making a broad range of devices available up to 15 years.
Longevity, in this use of the word, refers to the minimum lifetime commitment that Freescale makes. Not to be confused with product reliability that indicates how long a component can be expected to operate in a system, longevity refers to the minimum duration from component introduction that customers can expect to continue purchasing the component that is compatible with their system design.
Understanding a component’s longevity is a key device selection criteria for a new system design.
So while not immortal, Freescale endeavors to perpetuate the lifetime of our customer’s products through the long-term supply of essential components.
Take a look at the Product Longevity site at www.freescale.com/productlongevity and browse the list of devices that we plan to produce (and the terms and conditions for each) for at least 10 years, and in some cases 15 years.
So, there you have it: we’re not afraid of commitment.
Michael Haight is in business development for the Microcontrollers Division at Freecale