Global Chip Shortage Solution Or Maybe Not? | Voltlog #406

Welcome to a new Voltlog, In this video I’m gonna show you one potential solution if your design uses a part that you can’t source anymore due to the global chip shortage but also the pitfalls of using this method in the case of a dc-dc converter. Please keep in mind that actual price per unit or stock availability will vary between the point I started working on this video which is a couple of months ago, the actual time when I publish it or the time that you are watching it.

Let me start with providing you a bit of context here, this is the CanLite, an ESP32 based design that I sell on my Tindie store. It’s a CAN development board, it’s got a couple of high side switches, a CAN interface, a powerful processor with Wifi Capability and an automotive rated DC_DC converter to allow the user to power this from a car 12V system.

The DC-DC converter chip that I’m using is the Texas Instruments LMR14006 and I’ve been pretty happy with using dc-dc controllers from TI over the years because they generally perform really well and they have good documentation and design resources available.

Now as you all know the chip shortage has not been kind to us and as a result I can’t find this chip anymore. If we go to Octopart which is like a search engine for electronic components, we see there is no stock with any of the major distributors for the particular part number that I was using LMR14006XDDCR. And don’t get your hopes up with Winsource or Cytek, these guys just list stock for stuff that they don’t have and even if they have it, it’s not worth going through them unless you have a high volume.

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