S25FL128SAGBHI200 – Cypress Flash Chips

Capacitor prices – all hands on deck, brace for impact!

MLCC capacitor troubles are real: since Murata decided to exit the market, prices go up. A similar trend can also be seen in flash memory.

Memory prices have long shown themselves to be subject to the “pigs cycle”. This is shown by looking two types of flash memory originally developed by Cypress, both of which are hit by supply problems.

An interesting aspect is that manufacturers focus on efficiency: older or “larger” products are eliminated in favour of smaller ones which can be produced with less resource outlay.

For example, take a look at the S25FL132K0XNFI013; a venerable SPI flash memory, which recently got hit with the hammer of discontinuation. At least, an application note available here provides some information on alternatives.

The MLCC capacitor situation, which we discussed recently – has not improved much. It takes but one look at the OEMSecrets toplist to see that MLCCs still are among the most-searched parts, with more than 25% of the toplist being populated by capacitors of one form or another.

While you might be tempted to claim that your systems are safe – you, after all, use MicroSD memory cards and electrolytic capacitors – be advised that this is untrue. MLCC capacitors and flash memory are used all over the place: one customer of yours truly and recently was hit 20% price increase on the process computer used to power his GPS tracker.
What to do?

Randomly stockpiling parts usually is an inefficient coping strategy. Sevelopers should instead keep prices of commonly used parts on the radar: if they suddenly start to rise, targeted stockpiling can be a good idea.

One way to find out about price trends is provided by TTI – the Berkshire-Hathaway owned company provide a list of of useful bits of info here.

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