Archive for July, 2011


Why I Hate Power Chip Companies

July 23, 2011

I have given this talk many times, direct to various manufacturers, reps, and distributors.  So I finally decided to write it in blog form.  Maybe this will streamline my sales guy denial process…

As some of you know, I’m an electrical engineer.  I design circuit boards that use computer chips.  Almost every board I design has some sort of power chip on it.  By “power chip”, I am talking about some sort of linear or switching voltage regulator.  A recent board I did has 9 (!) voltage regulators.  They generate the these power rails: +50v, +48v, +15v, +6v, +3.3v, +2.5v, +1.8v, +1.2v, and -15v.

There are many companies that make these types of chips.  Here’s a list of some, but not all, of them:  Linear Tech, Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor (recently bought by T.I.), Analog Devices, Emerson, Fairchild, Infineon, Maxim, Microsemi, Microchip, On Semi, Seiko, Sharp, ST Micro, Vishay, Alpha & Omega Semi, International Rectifier, Lineage Power, Micrel, Nuvoton, Power One, Silicon Labs, and many more.

To make matters worse, each of these companies make many different power chips.  Texas Instruments alone makes over 1,600 different power regulator chips, not including their MOSFET’s, voltage references, and power control chips. Read the rest of this entry ?