How to deal with the semiconductor shortage
Electronics manufacturers have long been tormented by a global shortage of semiconductor components, including microchips. In February, the European Commission introduced a new EU Chips Act, which is intended to increase production of semiconductor components in the EU.
Although the law will improve the situation in the future, the shortage of semiconductors is likely to continue for another couple of years, and full self-sufficiency is unlikely to ever be achieved in the EU.
The chronic shortage of components has led manufacturers to start looking for alternative components to bring their products to market. However, the use of an alternative component in the product can be problematic. It may affect both the safety and the performance of the product. The use of an alternative component in a product may require re-testing and possible re-certification of the product's safety, and EMC/RF capabilities.
When testing a product, it is a good idea to prepare proactively for future component replacements. Ensuring the compatibility of alternative components and listing the acceptable alternatives in the list of critical components in test report allows the manufacturer to replace components in production when the situation so requires. Product certification is based on the results of a test report. Once the alternative components have been considered already in the product certification phase, the product certificate remains valid in the event of a component change.
Are you considering replacing components in your product? We can help you figure out what steps the exchange requires.