5.7 ANALOG PARTS
This section presents an approach to forecast the life cycle stage and the years to obsolescence of analog parts. There are two types of integrated circuits: digital and analog. Digital circuits process on-off electrical signals that represent the binary states 1 and 0. Analog ICs process continuously varying voltages and currents that represent continuously variable values such as temperature, pressure, speed, acceleration, position, and rotation, to name a few. Even though the trend is to digitize as much as possible, the digital world is based upon analog basics. For instance, MP3 players need digital/analog converters and amplifiers to power analog headphones. In general, there is no digital without analog.
Basically, like logic parts and their families, analog parts cannot be described as simply as memory, microprocessors, or microcontrollers, because they do not have a unique clear evolutional driver. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of every single analog part in complex systems is not cost effective. Therefore, the application of procurement lifetime (see Chapter 4) is reasonable. This does not imply, however, that logic parts cannot be forecasted with the Basic or Advanced Life Cycle Method in general.
5.7.1 Types of Analog Parts
Analog ICs can be divided into two subcategories. The first category, called standard analog, includes all amplifiers, interface ICs, voltage regulators and references, data conversion ICs, and comparators. The second category, ...