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Chip shortages

Well basically it's a question of too much demand and too little supply.
But why? Are the big companies pestering us?
No not really, they have their own problems.
The next email from an insider of Motorola may give you some insight:

RE: 68HC11F1 shortage

>Can you tell me when the 68HC11F1 will be available again?

It's available now -- we haven't stopped making it.  Whether or not
you can actually purchase any is an entirely different story. Most of
the F1 supply is being bought up by major customers.

>Can you also explain the reason of the problems to get any 68HC11
>devices?

Demand, demand, and demand. It's enormous, and we are working very
hard to increase our production capacity. I don't know if you have
noticed, or not, but in the last year and a half, we have bought
outright three wafer fabs -- one from Western Digital in Irvine, CA
for $135M, one from Harris Semiconductor in Research Triangle Park, NC
for $35M, and just recently the 8" Queensferry, Scotland fab that
Digital makes Alpha RISC CPUs in. We are also expanding just about
every single wafer fab we already own. Our capital investments for
plant expansion are around $2B this year.

Building and buying capacity does not result in the instant
availability of parts, though. Everything takes time to ramp up, and
in the case of the fabs we have bought, we are often expanding these
and retrofitting them with equipment to fabricate devices with even
smaller geometries than they are currently capable of producing.

Our internal forecasts predict that we will catch up with HC11 demand
in 3Q 95, but I make no promises. When we get into one of these
situations, it sometimes takes a year for us to fully recover.

>We need as soon as possible some 68HC11 F1 for a very important
>student project. Our distributor can't tell anything when these
>devices are available....

Well, you should find another distributor. We provide our distributors
with the same forecast information that we provide our major customers.
They know exactly what I have just told you.

If you need small quantities of the F1, you may be able to get them
from Motorola University Support at (512) 505-8846. Be forewarned that
they have only slightly better access to devices than distributors do,
so I cannot promise that they will be able to serve you much more
quickly.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you, and just about
everyone else who is a 68HC11 user. These times are painful, and we
can only hope you will bear with us while we go through our growing
pains.

Best regards,

|John Bodnar <r16292@email.sps.mot.com>      Motorola AMCU Applications
|Technical Support for MC68HC11, MC68HC16, and MC6833X Microcontrollers
|6501 William Cannon Drive West, Mail Drop OE39,  Austin, TX 78735-8598
[Help Line] 512/891-6517 [FAX] 512/891-6146 [Freeware BBS] 512/891-3733
|Get MFAXed With Technical Data!  602/244-6609 On Your Touch Tone Phone
|----------------------------------------------------------------------
|Opinions expressed above are mine and generally not those of Motorola.

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