acquisitionZONE Products for the week of October 17, 2011
Touchstone Semiconductor Says…
TSM9938F/9634F: Drop-in Replacement Current-Sense Amplifiers for Maxim Products
Pin-Compatible and Specification Identical to Hard-to-Get Maxim Parts
Touchstone Semiconductor, a developer of high-performance analog integrated circuit solutions, announced the immediate availability of two new drop-in replacements for its Maxim alternate-source products. These new current-sense amplifiers are pin-compatible, specification-identical and functionally identical to Maxim Integrated Products’ analog ICs.
Touchstone now offers seven analog ICs as part of its Maxim alternate-source product family. Touchstone’s alternate-source parts can be used in conjunction with Maxim products to ensure a constant supply of product so companies can meet shipping deadlines. All Touchstone alternate-source Maxim ICs are in stock and available to ship immediately.
Touchstone’s two new analog products include:
- TSM9938F, a low-power current-sense amplifier that can be substituted for the MAX9938F. The TSM9938F is guaranteed to operate from +1.6V to +28V, consumes no more than 1μA supply current, offers a 50V/V fixed-gain option and exhibits a maximum input offset voltage of 500µV.
- TSM9634F, a low-power current-sense amplifier that can be used in place of the MAX9634F. The TSM9634F is guaranteed to operate from +1.6V to +28V, consumes no more than 1μA supply current, offers a 50V/V fixed-gain option and exhibits a maximum input offset voltage of 250µV.
Touchstone continue to challenge Maxim with parts that can replace high-volume product that can be difficult to source as the original. Maxim is probably the only company in Silicon Valley that customers will continually describe in less than glowing terms about their ability to deliver products. The company has been trying to counter this attitude with a newly minted image of “New Maxim focuses on customer service” and with the appointment of three VPs to be closer to the customer. In my experience that is not the management level at which most customers look for answers – or even believe will give accurate answers. The CEO of the company, Tunç Doluca, is quoted as saying on the company’s web site, “We are driving change from the inside out in order to build a more customer-focused culture.” It will take more than words to overcome many years of customer feelings.
As if to grind home the point both the parts that Touchstone is second-sourcing here, the MAX9938 and MAX9634, have the warning on their web pricing pages of, “Please note: Maxim is prioritizing manufacturer business ahead of non-franchised distribution. We are unable to dedicate any resources to support non-franchised distribution, and available inventory is reserved for manufacturer demand at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.” That is about as clear a warning as you can make that some business, some customers, are not welcome. There may be extraordinary reasons why Maxim is in this position but that is not going to impress someone looking to design in their parts, or their purchasing agents.
Touchstone is financially positioned to feed on this latent demand and is doing so with the TSM9938F and TSM9634F current-sense amplifiers. The former is the version of the MAX9938F with a 500 µV input offset voltage and the latter offers a tighter 250 µV input offset as a replacement MAX9634F. Both match Maxim’s input common-mode range of +1.6 V to +28 V and offer quiescents of less than 1 µA. The operating temperature range is the extended one from -40ºC to +85ºC.
The ‘F’ versions of these products offer a fixed gain of 50 V/V (with less than 0.5% gain error) and Touchstone has made it clear that it will also be offering in the future the equivalent ‘T’ (25 V/V), ‘H’ (100 V/V), and ‘W’ (200 V/V) versions reflecting a choice that the designer can make in the value of the external sense resistor in his application.
Touchstone is not currently offering these parts in the 4–bump UCSP that is available from Maxim (if you are one of those customers that can get delivery) but they don’t need to take on those massively large quantity orders at this stage in their existence. Indeed maybe Maxim will be grateful for Touchstone taking some of the lower volume pressure off their backs? Touchstone is offering only about 5 cents discount compared to Maxim pricing. For battery monitoring and management Touchstone should be seriously looked at for these parts and your purchasing staff should be able to rapidly, and correctly, come to the conclusion that this is an operation that is still going to be around in the years ahead.
The TSM9938F and the TSM9634F are both in production in SOT-23-5 priced at $0.65 and $0.71, respectively, in 1000-piece lots.
Data Sheet TSM9938F
Data Sheet TSM9634F