If you are an electronics engineer, you must be aware of the ongoing chip shortage in the market and must be quite frustrated by the impact.
I myself have faced so much of trouble in the past few months. For quite a lot of boards I had to redesign again and again as once the PCB layout was getting ready, chip was becoming out of stock.
It is easy to find alternate equivalent parts for passives like resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes and general purpose ICs like LDOs, Op-amps, etc. but not so easy when you try to find equivalent parts for ICs like DC-DC converters, Audio codecs, MCUs, etc.
Where do you search ICs?
If you are finding equivalent parts, you need to start filtering with type of part, some key parameters and then footprint because footprint defines the ultimate hardware compatibility after you are sure about technical spec.
You can search with part number on portals like:
where you can find, where all in the world a particular part is available, with which distributor and how much is the stock.
Other than that, there are leading websites where you can find the information about stocks by searching on their website one by one:
- Some manufacturers have online stores like Texas Instruments, Microchip, etc.
- Local authorized distributors, if you have good relationship with them, they can help you get the parts sourced or atleast get a date by when you can get them or find you an alternate part if available.
Manufacturers Cross Reference Tools
How did I handle the chip shortage?
- I tried to find various parts which had equivalent parts available with similar features, pin compatible footprint so that if one is not available I could use another.
- Another strategy I used was I bought the IC 1st and only then designed the board using that IC so that I know I will be able to manufacture and test the board after my design is complete.
During this process I found various pin compatible ICs and thought of sharing it here so that others can take advantage. It is not a big list but still may be someone could find it useful.
- Another method I used in some of my boards is to use readily available modules having desired chip.
- In some cases just to make sure I am able to prototype test the newly designed board, I purchased the breakout boards, evaluation boards and took off chips out of them to use for the protos :), very expensive method but I used that for one of my USB PD board.
List of Equivalent ICs (Pin Compatible)
NOTE: Some of the below mentioned ICs are not exactly same Spec but there is a chance you could use them if it matches the input output voltage range and current ratings for your need.
1. DC-DC Buck Converter ICs (SOT-23-6)
2. DC DC Buck Converter (SOIC-8)
3. DC DC Buck Converter (SOIC-8)
4. DC DC Buck Converter (SOT-23-6)
5. DC DC Buck Converters (SO-8)
6. DC DC Buck Converter (SOT563)
7. Single / Dual Cell Li Battery Charger ICs (QFN-16)
8. Buck Boost Converter with I2C
9. Half Bridge Driver
10. Temperature Sensor with Alert (SOIC-8/SSOP)
- LM75 (various companies NXP/Texas Instruments, etc.)
If you are available of some more equivalent parts please share in the comments below I will add them here in this article so that other engineers can get help.
I hope you found this post interesting.
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Read my other articles on embedded systems design.
Happy learning to you!