How Long OLinuXino with Allwinner SOCs will be produced…again :) Now we know the answer – Forever!

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We already blogged twice about this: here and here, but you know what? People keep asking this question again and again.

Lot of serious customers are concerned about the long term availability of Allwinner SOCs before put them into their product.

Until now we didn’t know what to answer, to ask Allwinner (which is 5 years old company) if they will produce their SOC A10 for instance 10 years seems not good idea as in Chinese culture is known that they never will directly say no, and will tell you what you want to hear 🙂

Well now I know already how it works. We got message from Allwinner that A10 processor volumes now are low (for they normal volumes and this is understandable as no one is producing Tablets now with A10 when there is A20 at about same price and with more power). So Allwinner decide to stop keeping A10 on stock.

So that is! A10 processor which manufacturing started in 2011 now in 2014 is retired, normal life cycle of 3 years is what you should expect for Allwinner products.

But here is the catch!

I asked them what is the minimum quantity which Allwinner will be interested to run lot of A10 for us and keep same pricing?
And the answer came today: 50Kpcs and 90 days production time. SO even if the processor is retired and Allwinner do not want to keep it in stock you still can order their processors and they will produce for you!
This means the problem with the longevity program is over!
We can keep producing Allwinner SOC boards as long as there is enough demand for them.

A10-OLinuXino-LIME EUR 30 board will be produced forever and ever as far there is same demand like it have now! We just placed 50K order for A10 processors which will be delivered in March 2015 and we have enough stock at our site to keep the production till then.

 

How Long OLinuXino boards with Allwinner SoCs will be available II ?

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We already had blog post about this https://olimex.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/how-long-olinuxino-boards-with-allwinner-socs-will-be-available/

With the upcoming release of A20-SOM which is now on prototype stage and will be for sale end of September we have more and more customers evaluating possibility to use these A20-SOM in their designs and we got at least dozen of such questions, so we addressed them to Allwinner directly asking how long A20 will be produced.

Today we got Allwinner’s official answer. According to Eva Wu, the marketing manager in Allwinner the normal product life of Allwinner ICs is 3-4 years.

This means A20 which is released in 2013 will be active at least until 2017.

What Eva said is that if Allwinner decide to retire chip they notify their key customers (and Olimex is one of them) so they can make Last Time Buy for any quantity they want.

With this Last Time Buy option we at Olimex commit that we can stock the chips we need for year ahead and to notify our customers about this, so effectively we can prolong the availability to 5 years which is the standard life cycle which most of industry SoC vendors (Freescale, Texas Instruments, ST etc) do.

Same apply for all boards we have with Allwinner chips A10-A10S-A13-A20.

How Long OLinuXino boards with Allwinner SoCs will be available?

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We get this question often from our customers.

We usually produce our boards as long as there is demand for them and we can buy the components which are used.

Our customers worry that if they put some of our OLinuXino boards with Allwinner SoC in their product there will be problems to source them later in 1-2 years ahead.

Frankly I do not know the right answer for this question.

We have not so much experience with Allwinner, we work with them since March 2012 this is about 16 months.

What Allwinner says is that they do not discontinue their obsolete processors and you can always buy them, they say they sell now even their old F20 series processors if one wants to buy, but we can’t try as we do not use them.

We all know that Allwinner is working in very dynamic market – tablets, phones, media devices where on every 6 month you either release newer, faster, cheaper SoC or you are dead and nobody remembers you.

This makes impression that once obsolete Allwinner will not produce these processors as they are focused on the newest SoCs which take the major sales.

Well when we started in March 2012 the high runner for Allwinner were A10, A13 and A10s, now the major sales they make are with A20 and A31, but we do not experience any problems to order any quantities of A13, A10, A10s although these are already behind their peak sales.

What will be the situation 2-3 years from now?

I dont know, but if Allwinner still sell their 5-6 years old F20 processors why they will not sell their newer A10-A10s-A13?