9.3 PLANNING AND DESIGN STAGE

The planning and design stage describes the assessment and decisions concerning the topic of a project (Olfert, 2008). Applied to a comprehensive strategic obsolescence management, this stage is used to develop draft obsolescence management plans and detect weaknesses, risks, and causes of obsolescence, as described in the following sections.

9.3.1 Design Products to Avoid Obsolescence

Product designers must be knowledgeable about the electronic components industry, the forces acting on it, and the trends in its response to those forces. Strategically, this involves education about the industry and the supply chain upon which it feeds, rather than training in specific components and component designs. In the product design process, manufacturers should develop and use processes to consider future expected component changes, including obsolescence, in their internal design approval processes (preliminary design review [PDR], critical design review [CDR], and so on).

Equipment manufacturers use the available knowledge of the forces acting on them to estimate the amount by which parameters such as feature size or supply voltages will decrease, or the speed will increase, and so on. These trends can be accommodated in the designs by partitioning the design to ensure, if possible, that high-risk items are contained on replaceable modules within the products known as “shop discardable units” (SDUs) or replacement SDUs. These units are form, fit, and function ...

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