SX48BD-G - can't even give them away

Beau SchwabeBeau Schwabe Posts: 6,400
edited 2015-07-14 - 06:37:07 in Microcontrollers
Unfortunately this is what happens with an EOL (End Of Life Product), but with over 90 thousand still in stock, you should re-think your business model.

My suggestion would be to create a NEW product (or products) that incorporate the SX chip, but in Parallel, that SAME product could use a Propeller.  It is very important to keep the functionality identical during this stage.  This way you generate an outward flow for the SX and then when it is actually gone, you use the Propeller in it's place.  Design the PCB board so that it will take either one chip or the other.

At least that way at your current "giveaway price" of $0.78 that's about $71 thousand dollars locked in assets you can't even benefit from.


The 40-Pin DIP Propeller suffers a similar fate but in reverse .... Out of Stock until September? If you expect to gain any traction, this is not the way to do it.  This is not the first time this has happened either.  If I was a manufacturer and was designing a new product, the availability issues would not paint a very confident picture, especially with something like Propeller2 on the end of a carrot stick ... After spending 20% of my life working at Parallax and working night and day on the Propeller2 I feel as though I have some say in this.  Throw more effort into SMART R&D projects that use more of your product and inside know how than outsourcing to someone you have limited control over.  Lay the efforts of R&D out in a way that they form building blocks for your current and future products.... i.e. You did this with the Basic Stamp I and II  ... and avoid R&D that leads to singular products that are difficult to expand or build upon.  They may be neat and cool, but don't contribute much to the bottom line and in fact can be detrimental to the bottom line.


Beau Schwabe -- Submicron Forensic Engineer
www.Kit-Start.com - bschwabe@Kit-Start.com ෴෴ www.BScircuitDesigns.com - icbeau@bscircuitdesigns.com ෴෴

Comments

  • LeonLeon Posts: 7,619
    edited 2015-07-11 - 19:19:11
    Parallax is pushing the Propeller on Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/ParallaxInc
    but this seems to be a silly thing to do, given the supply problems:

    Leon Heller
    G1HSM
  • The good news is, if I were designing a new board, it would be with a QNF, and there are 10.000 + in stock.
    But that's just me.

    Infernal Machine
  • Publison,

    There are Caveats to that as well.... From an industrial point of view and what might be easier to replace if something goes wrong, a DIP might make more sense, however depending on the circumstance for size and real-estate a smaller QFN might be better suited.

    Since February, I have designed 6 boards used in industrial automation and there have been a mix between DIP and surface mount components.  This coming from a manufacturing and design company that I work for now where we have our own pick and place machine and oven to deal with the  surface mount components.  Still in many cases a DIP is preferred.




    Beau Schwabe -- Submicron Forensic Engineer
    www.Kit-Start.com - bschwabe@Kit-Start.com ෴෴ www.BScircuitDesigns.com - icbeau@bscircuitdesigns.com ෴෴

  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,002
    edited 2015-07-11 - 20:16:18
    The good news is, if I were designing a new board, it would be with a QNF, and there are 10.000 + in stock.
    But that's just me.



    I thought I read the QFN package was EOL.
    Am I remembering incorrectly or has Parallax changed their mind about this?
    Digikey is out of both DIP and QFP but they have QFN chips in stock. Mouser doesn't have any QFN chips but they have both QFP.
    I personally mainly use QFP chips. I really dislike QFN type packages since it's next to impossible to probe the leads on the chip once they've been soldered.
    Edit: Can you guys see the "DIP" and "QFP" Mouser links? The links are blue but it's not obvious to me links had been added to the post. Don't answer the question about seeing the links here. Comment about the links (if you want to) in this thread.
  • I thought one of the problem with the SX line was there are plenty of chips but the programmers are unavailable or hard to find. Is the SX basic compiler a viable tool? Windows only? Win7 compatible? Etc.....
    I've never played with an SX (or a BASIC Stamp for that matter) so I have no idea of its capabilities. I'm guessing a PIC32 with MMBASIC on it would eat their lunches?
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • I would order 100 SX48BD-G today if I could buy them along with affordable header boards specifically for this chip.
    Platåberget
  • jmgjmg Posts: 13,100
    edited 2015-07-12 - 05:07:21

    At least that way at your current "giveaway price" of $0.78 that's about $71 thousand dollars locked in assets you can't even benefit from.
     This is not such a 'giveaway price' as many modern small MCUs are comfortably below that price - and they have UARTs and ADC and SPI and i2c ports,  and better stacks & interrupt priority levels, and Calibrated Oscillators and Debug.

      There is quite a lot the SX48 does not have, in modern MCU terms.

      The wider Vcc aspect of SX48 is perhaps under promoted ?

    The 40-Pin DIP Propeller suffers a similar fate but in reverse .... Out of Stock until September? If you expect to gain any traction, this is not the way to do it.  This is not the first time this has happened either.  If I was a manufacturer and was designing a new product, the availability issues would not paint a very confident picture, especially with something like Propeller2 on the end of a carrot stick ...
    Yes, when you are single sourced, supply chain management needs extreme care.
    I know vendors who used to carry many months of extra stock, because of this potential impact on customers.
    How much this bites, will depend on how many customers hit line-stop levels.

  • Only 71K left? They're finally going away!

    I assure you Beau there's no sense in trying to create demand by making an SX product, providing more development tools, not to mention the opportunity cost of investing time here instead of forward-looking demands to stimulate demand. Price doesn't change the demand for these, either - they'll go at the same rate at ten cents each. Anyway, these remaining chips are an overshoot in our supply to promise support for design-in customers.

    As for the DIP Propellers - unexpected demand. We will have them shortly and someone from Parallax will provide an update soon.

    Ken Gracey
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 6,384
    edited 2015-07-12 - 13:34:28
    I would order 100 SX48BD-G today if I could buy them along with affordable header boards specifically for this chip.


    Contact me by email.

    Ken Gracey
  • PublisonPublison Posts: 10,685
    edited 2015-07-12 - 13:59:05
    I would order 100 SX48BD-G today if I could buy them along with affordable header boards specifically for this chip.


    Robert at Robot Workshop may have some of these still avalable:
    http://www.robotworkshop.com/robotworkshop/projects/parallax/sx48oem.pdf

    EDIT: Looks like he may have some blank boards left:
    http://forums.parallax.com/discussion/160515/sx-chip-sale#latest


    Infernal Machine
  • I thought one of the problem with the SX line was there are plenty of chips but the programmers are unavailable or hard to find. Is the SX basic compiler a viable tool? Windows only? Win7 compatible? Etc.....
    I've never played with an SX (or a BASIC Stamp for that matter) so I have no idea of its capabilities. I'm guessing a PIC32 with MMBASIC on it would eat their lunches?

    Andre may still have SX-Key programmers available:
    http://www.xgamestation.com/view_product.php?id=25


    Infernal Machine
  • Sam_sneakSam_sneak Posts: 14
    edited 2015-07-12 - 16:31:41
    From what little I recall, Parallax can always produce more programming devices - and the SX-Key does have debug.

    Besides, itsn't the SX-48 used in some version of o the BS2?

    SX-Basic works, but there is an Assembler as well.
  • I don't think Parallax will produce anymore since Andre, and Gunther were producing them.
    Infernal Machine
  • Is the SX-Key design proprietary?
    Propeller ASC- Use your Arduino shields with the Propeller.
    Propeller DNA- A Propeller Platform compatible proto board.
  • Is the SX-Key design proprietary?

    I'm not sure. I think Gunther did it originally. I don't know if Parallax ows any of the IP.

    Infernal Machine
  • Beau SchwabeBeau Schwabe Posts: 6,400
    edited 2015-07-12 - 22:49:34
    Nothing quite like selling the Bun without the hotdog is there?  This kind of discontinuity is troublesome to me.  Any reputable manufacturer/designer will not buy in volume under these circumstances.  My advice still stands.  See top thread <-- Oh that may not work anymore due to thread sinking  ... good luck then in that case.

    Ken - "Only 71K left? They're finally going away!" ... No, that's the dollar amount you get by selling them at the current price ... you have over 90K of them left ... Attention to detail Sir

    I wasn't asking for you to make an SX product that would require providing more development tools.  That's dumb, you have people there at Parallax capable of developing on SX already.  Instead to the user it would be like driving a car without knowing the engine details.  All the customer would need to care about is getting from Point A to Point B.



    Beau Schwabe -- Submicron Forensic Engineer
    www.Kit-Start.com - bschwabe@Kit-Start.com ෴෴ www.BScircuitDesigns.com - icbeau@bscircuitdesigns.com ෴෴

  • Next, question. Does there exist any info on how to program an SX? Protocol specs, timing diagrams, etc.
    Propeller ASC- Use your Arduino shields with the Propeller.
    Propeller DNA- A Propeller Platform compatible proto board.
  • Beau, as you don't work for Parallax it seems you shouldn't be so concerned about this specific issue. There's no benefit to the discussion that I can see.

    Martin, we just took delivery of some SX-Keys from Guenther. They should appear on our web site shortly.
  • Beau SchwabeBeau Schwabe Posts: 6,400
    edited 2015-07-13 - 04:53:37
    Ken - Seeing that there is a hole in the ship, I was just trying to help .... "I have no expectations"  

    Whether I work for Parallax or not is irrelevant, now I am a customer.


    Beau Schwabe -- Submicron Forensic Engineer
    www.Kit-Start.com - bschwabe@Kit-Start.com ෴෴ www.BScircuitDesigns.com - icbeau@bscircuitdesigns.com ෴෴

  • VonSzarvasVonSzarvas Posts: 1,447
    edited 2015-07-13 - 08:21:34
    Hey Beau!

    Come on.... this is heading past provocative. My kids answer back all too often, and no doubt yours also on occasion. It's not comfortable, and the forum community doesn't need this. If you have an issue with supplies, maybe an E-mail to Parallax sales could be a better communication channel?

    In any event, it would be nice to get the old-Beau back, with your positive engineering insights that offer so much inspiration.

    We can have our today flow positive or negative; yesterday has already passed to ground.
  • Agreed!!  Von


    Beau Schwabe -- Submicron Forensic Engineer
    www.Kit-Start.com - bschwabe@Kit-Start.com ෴෴ www.BScircuitDesigns.com - icbeau@bscircuitdesigns.com ෴෴


  • Martin, we just took delivery of some SX-Keys from Guenther. They should appear on our web site shortly.

    Hi Folks, the SX-Key store page has been re-activated for ordering; we have 28 in stock.
  • Was this not planned?

    As an asset, this stock isn't a big deal. It's purpose is to insure product availability, and to hedge risk cheaply, which is a nice return aside from sales.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/123709/commented-graphics-demo-spin<br>
  • Thanks Stephanie, appreciate your help.

    This post was not to bash, but more constructive criticism.  There are potential lost sales here no matter how you slice it, but there is a way to move the product with relatively little effort and minimal cost impact.  It's really just a way of thinking you need to adjust.

    Here is a real scenario that I came across in my business where I saw a similar opportunity for Parallax.

    We have 5,000 power supplies that have been discontinued from the manufacture, each power supply cost us $20 ... so essentially we have $100k locked in assets that can't be used. (Call this the SX) We have since sourced an alternative power supply that will work, but the footprint of the terminals are different between the power supplies.  (Call this the Propeller or a capable PIC) ... do you see where I'm going?

    It is against company policy to design a new product around a discontinued item (lost sales in SX) unless a new item can be sourced that is a drop-in replacement. Now, since the footprint is slightly different, the "new" PCB's can take either the old power supply or the new power supply allowing us to use assets that would otherwise be stagnate. 


    Beau Schwabe -- Submicron Forensic Engineer
    www.Kit-Start.com - bschwabe@Kit-Start.com ෴෴ www.BScircuitDesigns.com - icbeau@bscircuitdesigns.com ෴෴

  • Doesn't the Ping((( use an SX for a brain?? Come up with another product like that. Selling up to 90k of something like a Ping((( wouldn't be a bad opportunity!
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • Some of the 40-pin package's thunder has been stolen by the QuickStart.  Even though it's more expensive it saves a lot of assembly labor, gives the size advantage of surface mount for the regulators, crystal, EE, and propeller, the LED's can be put to good use for troubleshooting status indication in embedded environments, and it is a good size for making simple shields to add things like RS232 level converter, a similarly convenient Olimex ENC28j60 module or ESP8266 module, and so on in whatever combination a job needs.  This is great both for personal projects and in industry where price is not as much of an object as it is in retail, and you're selling your expertise and service capability more than the cheapest hardware. 
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