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FPGA MAX10 future availability

CLa_R
Novice
2,314 Views

In my supplier website (mouser) I do not find anymore directly the MAX10 FPGA.
If I look for a specific model (es. 10M40) I read that: "Life cycle information is unclear. Ask for a quote to check the availability of this article number from the manufacturer.".

I know about the semiconductor crisies, but I would like know if this FPGA will still be produced in (the near) future, when it can be available and if there are any current substitutes or that will be produced shortly (I am basing my designs on a 10M40).


Thanks!

15 Replies
ak6dn
Valued Contributor III
2,300 Views

I think it is just a lead time issue. Digikey lists various MAX10 parts, but all have the notice:

Due to temporary constrained supply, Digi-Key is unable to accept backorders at this time.

No parts in stock, no ability to backorder, lead times at 40+ weeks listed for various development boards.

Like most semiconductor devices now lead times are thru the roof and availability is nil, unless you are a big customer with locked-in purchase contracts negotiated a year or two ago.

Welcome to 2022.

Broddo
New Contributor I
2,293 Views

Yes I think everyone is aware of the difficulty in sourcing components in 2022 - but I think the community would appreciate some input from Intel here on whether or not they will bother producing the MAX10 going forward. I, for one, have quite a few designs based on the MAX10 and would much rather know to abandon ship now rather than sinking another 6-12 months development time into an obsolete component. Some suppliers I've contacted have me worried as they've suggested the MAX10 may be gone for good. I cannot verify their information though. 

ak6dn
Valued Contributor III
2,285 Views

You will NEVER get a pre-release EOL notice from any semiconductor vendor, unless under NDA and you are a HUGE customer.

Intel/Altera tracks future orders, and when the projected orders fall below a threshold, they will EOL the part(s) or family.

I worked for a very large communications company, and we were regularly informed on technology going EOL (ie, not recommended for new designs) from virtually all vendors.

Any parts we designed in were committed under purchase contract to be available from the vendor for 7 years from our product FCS date.

So if you are a lone designer or a small company that buys parts say monthly thru distributors to meet product demand you are under the radar and down in the noise.

 

At this time however it almost does not matter. Unless you have locked in purchases from a year ago you likely won't see any parts this year.

 

CLa_R
Novice
2,212 Views

A major company should always clearly write if and when a product is no longer available.

I am not a big customer, but my designs are based on Altera / Intel FPGAs, for me and for my business it is extremely important to know clearly if that product will still be available in the future.

Intel can't just target large select customers, others are Intel customers too and need clarity.

ak6dn
Valued Contributor III
2,203 Views

Well, if you search the Intel/Altera PDN notices they do provide exact guidance on the upcoming EOL of a product.

Typically they provide 3-6 months of remaining last time buy window, and 6-9 months to last time product shipment.

As to providing much longer term (ie, 7 years) of guaranteed production that comes with responsibility on both sides.

As a customer, you must provide contracted (guaranteed) orders and acceptance of shipped product.

You can't decide 3 years in to cancel all your orders. So there is a huge risk on your part.

In return, Intel/Altera will continue to produce certain parts under contract even when they are no longer cost effective.

No significant customers today will look at design in of EPM7064 devices for new product, even tho for a small customer it might make sense.

And like it or not (I've always worked for very large consumers of semiconductor parts, especially Intel/Altera) and because we bought hundreds of millions of dollars per year of devices we can el primo treatment. Support, access to new devices, technology road maps, advance notice of product family changes. That is just the way it works. Small guys that buy thru distributors don't get this info.

You may not like that, but that is how it works.

CLa_R
Novice
2,163 Views

@ak6dn  ha scritto:

[...]

And like it or not (I've always worked for very large consumers of semiconductor parts, especially Intel/Altera) and because we bought hundreds of millions of dollars per year of devices we can el primo treatment. Support, access to new devices, technology road maps, advance notice of product family changes. That is just the way it works. Small guys that buy thru distributors don't get this info.


I can also understand this, but my distributor will have to know in advance I think.

Instead my distributor had several hundreds / thousands of pieces of various types of MAX10 in order and with specific arrival dates. Of some models he had indicated that the delivery would be very late.

But none of them had an end-of-life indication or advice not to use it in new projects.

From one moment to the next, these devices disappear completely and nothing is known. So the problem is not with myself that I can buy a few tens of FPGAs a year, but with my distributor who has bought tens of thousands in the past. Is all this normal?

It would have been enough to say "we do not know when we will be able to produce it" or "we will never produce it again". This would have been crucial information.

 


You may not like that, but that is how it works.


 

I don't like it and I'm not the only one who doesn't like it.
I've seen several other posts here of people complaining about the same thing.

If that's how it works, that's okay, we acknowledge that it's not a serious way to work.

ak6dn
Valued Contributor III
2,152 Views

I think you misunderstand the knowledge that a distributor can possess.

They do not get 'inside information' like large volume, key customers do.

All the inside info I got from vendor presentations on device futures was under strict NDA.

Intel et al is particularly sensitive about not giving any key strategic info out without a signed NDA.

So even if a distributor got this info, they could not tell you.

Brad_Hardware_Dev
2,088 Views

I am having the same issue with a newer FPGA.  The MAX 10 FPGA.  I can not place an order because the vendor sates Intel will not take backorders.

 

Although on this webpage Intel seems to state the chips will be available until at least 2032.....

 

Low Power FPGAs: Intel's Edge-Centric FPGA Overview-Intel

BOTTOM OF PAGE

"Why is Intel extending support for these FPGAs until 2032?

 

We realize that customers choose to deploy with FPGAs because of the ability to be supported for 15 and frequently over 20+ years. With over 2.5 billion MAX® and Cyclone® FPGA devices sold, it’s important that our customers realize that they can continue to rely and design in confidence with these widely used FPGAs."

ak6dn
Valued Contributor III
2,077 Views

Those two statements (Intel won't take backorders on MAX10, Intel will support MAX10 until 2032) are not inconsistent.

You must understand that Intel is producing FPGA parts as fast as its fab allows.

But they are all being bought up by large customers who have prenegotiated purchase contracts for confirmed delivery.

There are no parts left that Intel is producing that can go to distributors for general distribution.

This is not just an Intel/Altera problem, it is affecting all semiconductors.

Heck even the car makers had to cut production because they could not get devices that they needed to produce car electronics.

So Intel is not going to accept backorders on parts that they know they can't produce for a year or more.

Brad_Hardware_Dev
2,066 Views

Some of the other chips which are unavailable by other manufacturers have an estimated delivery date which you can preorder.   Intel gives no information on future availability so it makes it very difficult to plan.  

I have millions of dollar of equipment waiting on that chip. 

I understand the current situation with the chip shortage.  It just makes it hard to run a business.

CLa_R
Novice
2,004 Views

I can hardly understand that Intel does not consider small customers, but you are saying that your business is important. Intel should recognize this too. I understand the shortage of chips and the difficulty of obtaining them, but what is required is only clear communication.

Is it too much?

ak6dn
Valued Contributor III
1,921 Views

I completely understand where you are coming from. I am glad I am retired now after 40 years, and not have to deal with this.

In my experience Intel is one of the more secretive companies and won't say much without an NDA.

My speculation is that large volume purchasers of parts from Intel have locked up supply with long term purchase contracts.

I know when I was employed (at a very large telecom company) our purchasing department was very good at doing this.

Of course we had hundreds of millions of dollars of production systems relying on these parts being supplied on schedule.

Honestly I would not want to be a small guy now trying to source parts thru distributors.

CLa_R
Novice
2,011 Views

@ak6dn  ha scritto:

[..]

So Intel is not going to accept backorders on parts that they know they can't produce for a year or more.


Ok,  this would already be important information.

But I don't understand how you say it, it is in contrast with what you wrote before; You may be a large customer, but wasn't this information supposed to be confidential? I get confused.

Also, if it is true as you wrote that Intel does not provide information to distributors, how should I interpret the fact that the MAX10 devices have completely disappeared from my distributor? By what metrics has my distributor made FPGAs disappear from their list if they do not have confidential information from Intel?

The device will not be available for more than a year or has ended production? (I remember seeing that the availability was also indicated for 52 weeks, well over a year. But it was clearly indicated) 

Honestly, I am confused by your statements, although some of them may be reasonable.

 

I still think Intel isn't doing a good job here. And I still don't like it.

ak6dn
Valued Contributor III
1,921 Views

The information I gave was on my past experience working at a very large telecom company.

We rarely bought parts thru distributors. Contracts for pricing and delivery were negotiated directly with the supplier.

I am now retired, so (luckily) do not have to deal directly with this supply issue.

I am only giving my thoughts based on 40+ years of working on various products, the last 20 years or so with lots of FPGA content.

 

Re the MAX10, I think Intel can (and is) producing a lot of them, but they are already allocated to purchase contracts.

So the lead time for NEW orders may be 52 weeks or more. Existing scheduled orders are probably getting parts weekly now.

 

Distributors probably tried to place backorders for parts but likely just gave up when Intel told them all the parts they can produce  for the next year are locked into pre-negotiated pruchase contracts. So why take backorders for parts that can't be delivered thru then for a year.

 

CiPO
Beginner
1,092 Views

Hello

any update on this?

I heard the MAX10 will not be available to the normal channels probably until the end of 2023.

Anyone has updated info on this?

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