Allwinner keep their promise for long term supply of T2 (industrial A20) SOC. If you wonder how 60K of Allwinner T2 SOC looks like you can see now

T2 is the industrial version of A20 – the most successful SOC in Allwinner history. It keeps selling for more than 8 years now and demand is steady.

We are proud that our OSHW designs with A20 are part of this success story.

T2 can work in extended temperature grade and is more expensive than A20, so the demand is not so big and used just by specific customers like in automotive and industrial equipment. During the last COVID-19 economy slow down these customers decreased and Allwinner stock of T2 was sold out. While NXP, ST etc always keep some kind of guarantee that they will produce this processor for XX years, Chinese companies are practical, they sell as long as it’s profitable for them and if demand is low they just stop.

This is why many people are afraid to place Chinese SOC in their products, they are afraid that this chip may stop being produced at some point of time and their design need to be changed.

Fortunately for Olimex our sales are big enough to be interesting and supported by Allwinner. We have enough business to place custom orders even for chips which are now with status “obsolete” and Allwinner keep producing them for us.

T2 automotive/industrial market for Allwinner now is not big enough for them to justify keeping it in stock, but Olimex placed order for these in January and 60Kpcs hit our warehouse few weeks ago.

The label show these T2 SOC are manufactured 18 of May 2020 🙂

So Allwinner keeps their part of the deal for long term delivery and manufacture for us even SOCs which are not available for sale officially, this means we can keep producing our boards with Allwinner SOC for our customers and they are safe with us.

This is how Allwinner keep their promise for long term supply with Olimex

A13s

Today 39.6 K pcs A13 arrived to our warehouse. This is partial shipment of our 90 K pcs order placed in April, the balance is testing now and will be shipped this month. Allwinner produced these A13 SOC exclusively for us. As you can see from the label these left factory 27th of August 2019:

A13

A13-OLinuXino was our first board with Allwinner SOC.

We released it 7 years ago back in 2012.

Although A13 is officially discontinued from Allwinner web site, A13-SOM and A13-OLinuXino are still very popular boards among our customers and we supply them in large quantity.

This is example how working Long Term supply can be achieved with company from China. Note that Allwinner do not say that they will stop manufacturing A13 after 10 years, they will keep producing as long as their masks are OK and there is demand.

 

Long Term OLinuXino supply – How it works?

Screenshot from 2019-05-16 14-50-39

We got question from customer of ours: “We are using your A20-OLinuXino in our product and I’ve heard that you are going to stop the production soon, is this true?”

Most of our customers are industrial machine producers and they need long term supply from their vendors. They do certification for their machines which cost a lot and they can’t afford to spend more money every year because the Linux module is not produced or changed. We already wrote several post on our blog that we supply our boards until there is demand for them and that we have long term supply agreement with Allwinner, but some people spread rumors and I have to write it and make it clear again: We will produce OLinuXino boards until there is demand. It’s even included in our GTC.

When back in 2014 I posted that we can supply OLinuXino forever many people were skeptical (well yes it is exaggerated 🙂 ) and wrote back – do not believe Chinese suppliers, they will let you down etc. etc.

Allwinner though is keeping their promise and we can buy all Allwinner SOCs we use without problem. Our volumes allow us to meet their MOQ.

For instance A13 SOC is very old and Allwinner discontinued it several years ago, it’s even not listed on their web as product, but we still keep buying it and producing A13 boards for our customers. We have also many customers which used our boards as template to make their own variants and now we supply them with A13 SOCs so they keep manufacturing them. You will not find A13 for sale anywhere even in China, but we are expecting next lot of 90Kpcs A13 to come from Allwinner in few weeks. Yes we have to order such quantities as Allwinner need 3 month to produce the SOCs from the order to shipment.

Many customers ask can you guarantee 10-15-20 years of supply? I doubt anyone in industry can see so long ahead. Allwinner is young company, founded September 2007, i.e. less 12 years old. Who knows what they will do after 20 years? We see that Western companies with much more history change owners every year and no one knows what the new owner will decide to do, so no one can give you 10-20 years prediction or will simply intentionally or unintentionally mislead you.

For A13 and A20 this agreement works well last 7 years. Both we at Olimex and Allwinner has no reason stop production, which brings money to both of us. We got visit from Allwinner sales manager in March this year and he said that they never though they can sell A13 and A20 for so long time. Most of other SOCs they sell target consumer market where lifetime is 1-2 years top.

Linux and Open Source Hardware works well for them and prolong their sales.

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

Image

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.