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Does ST have any statement yet on future availability of STM32 MCUs through the distributor network?

Associate III

 I'm sure ST must have a better idea than we do.  Distributors seem to be saying "not in the foreseeable future", which I take to mean at least the end of 2023. Obviously no-one has a crystal ball, but a guess would be better than nothing. It does seem a bit pointless discussing technicalities of a product that may or may not be available in a few years time ( except it keeps us design guys in a job).


We aren't getting any forecast from neither sides. The situation is so apocalyptic that our headquarter released a memo to all engineers forcing designers to retrofit all product lines with mcu from a competitor effective 2022Q1. I believe a 5 years supply contract was signed last month... therefore farewell, ST :((

We still do use some internally for our validation jigs though, but the volume for that is in the retail low qty (5~10/month huge max)

Good luck finding information you and your company can pro-actively build & incentivize on. Hope you believe in miracles!

Problem right now is people have been put it the situation where they actually have to order and commit (no cancel, no return), which is somewhat alien to some "buyers" who would typically just purchase at retail from whatever free-stock was on the shelf, as/when needed. I don't see that model coming back in the next 18-24 months.

The retail distributors have moved away from holding vast stocks, it is seen as a liability, and have tried to manage semi-conductors based on an assumed 12-week lead through the fab. Of course that's entirely broken now, as anyone wanting parts in quantity has been forced to order a year+ out.

Add to this, they have no interest in holding the bag if you walk away from your order, because that's not how the dynamic is working right now, which is more like the process of ordering a Ferrari

The other players here are the hedge fund and arbitrage guys, who have long-term capital to purchase future production and sell it at a premium. That's perhaps more likely to collapse earlier if they misjudged the demands.

Everyone running to the other side of the boat may find that plan fails too because a) a lot of people are doing it, and b) the other manufacturer may completely misjudge their capacity or ability to ramp production, especially if they don't own their own fab, or haven't got contracts on it already. I do think having a hedge like that is probably advisable, but might consider a SoM or low impact board change to accommodate different parts, or different sizes of the same part. The other consequence is it might free up capacity/parts for everyone else..

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Semiconductor over a decade has been cyclical business with now big fab slow and pricey to build and suddenly flooding capacity. The second source/footprint mindset when designing a pcb board was and is recommended. Like trading stocks, brokers probably vacuumed distri stock to resale at 20x the price, the breakeven point low in quantity. Once they see an inflection point, these stock might flood back to the market after exacerbating the situation. Cycling economics maybe ?

Good luck! It seems your company will be stuck at the F103 with its china clones if a retrofit is needed.

But in the last 30 years there's been a migration away from holding vast stocks, to a more built-to-order, and a significant shortening of the design life and product cycles.

Other than those with contractual obligations, that they didn't themselves hedge, I doubt much market for 20x prices, 4 or 5x not unheard of.

I do hope we see some inflection point in the near term, hopefully when someone has to take physical possession, but these things are a little easier to store than oil, precious metals, corn, orange juice, pumpkins, etc.

Nobody holds pumpkin futures beyond October..

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Mike Hooper

So here we are in the new year of 2022 and no end in sight for lack of availability of these chips. Does anyone have any insight into when STM32 chips will be available again? Most large distributors are not even giving an availability date, stating 53 weeks or more. I don't know about you guys, but I will be out of business soon.


Maybe like covid make wearing mask and work home becomes customary in the west, now the electronics scrapyard becomes tempting for more than extracting gold...?

Only people winning the lottery are people with tickets..

Expect people have bought multiple tickets, and may have laddered them.

Don't expect to see free stock, delivery times will need to pull in first, and in the mean time brokers will determine pricing/delivery for any excess stock that shows up. They will take requests and sell to the highest bidder.

ST does seems to be buying additional mask sets so they can fab the ICs at multiple locations.

Expect a hard time getting Value Line parts, the die are too large and valuable.

Expect focus on small die parts with high yields per wafer.

Expect focus on maximal parts based on die design. ie less price stratification non-sense.

Expect more NEW parts, while somewhat counter-intuitive, it keeps the design team/pipeline busy, and they can make smaller die parts by physically matching the VL part specs on silicon rather than tester time savings, and quadrupling the die yield per wafer.

Look for parts with simpler and easier to source lead-frames and packaging and multiple locations with the right equipment (package/test)

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Mike Hooper

It would sure be nice to hear a statement from ST on availability. At least SOME idea of when we might expect to start seeing more STM32's. Right now, all I have is a blind "53 weeks" from Mouser. I can't plan based on that. And, re-designing at this point is fruitless since we have no idea on the future availability of the newly designed parts. In my mind, the industry is at a standstill with us little guys bearing the brunt. The large automotive guys can negotiate contracts for all of the available chips, while smaller firms have no hope of getting supplied. Think of the thousands of smaller manufacturers around the world slowly going out of business. This thing is going to snowball into the next great recession ........

My 2cents.