Diamond Systems recognizes the importance of long product life for the success of our customers' businesses. That's why
we undertake great efforts to extend product lifecycles as long as possible. Generally, Diamond will maintain a product in active production
indefinitely, as long as sales justify it, the required components are readily available, and testability and support remain available.
Here are the various strategies we use to maintain long lifetimes for our products and help prevent or minimize the impact of component
and product end of life situations for our customers.
||Lifecycle Extension Strategies
Diamond Systems offers a number of programs to minimize the impact of factors that may cause a product
to become obsolete. Any and all of these programs may be applied by Diamond to various products from time to time based on
our determination of the need.
Transparent Upgrade Program
In some cases when key components become obsolete, if Diamond can redesign a product using newer generation components to maintain
the identical functionality and connector pinout, we will do so in order to extend the active lifetime of the product. These
redesigns may include additional features, however the original features are maintained in order to keep the new product fully
backward compatible with the current version, so that current customers are not affected.
A recent example is our EMM-4M-XT PC/104 serial port module. This product was recently redesigned to use
a new CPLD to replace an obsolete CPLD. All functionality was maintained 100% backward compatible with the previous version.
The CPLD portion of the board has a different physical appearance, but all functionality is identical to the previous version.
The Transparent Upgrade Program is applied at Diamondís discretion to products where we have a sufficient
customer base to justify the continuation of the product, the replacement components are readily available, and the redesign
effort can be repaid in a reasonable amount of time.
Technology Refresh Program
In some cases, Diamond may redesign a popular product when its key components reach obsolescence, with the new version maintaining
backward compatibility as much as possible. A recent example is our Athena III PC/104 single board computer. This is the third
generation of our popular Athena SBC, first introduced in 2001. All three models of Athena offer the same basic set of features
and, to the greatest extent possible, the same connectors in the same physical locations with the same pinouts. As technology
changes, some features (such as IDE) become obsolete and unavailable and are replaced with newer technologies (SATA). Every
effort is made to minimize the impact of these necessary upgrades so that customers can migrate to the new generation product
with a minimum of effort.
The Technology Refresh Program is applied at Diamondís discretion to products where we have a customer
base with sufficient long term demand to justify the necessary investment in product redesign.
MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) Program
In some cases where a product has been made obsolete due to low customer demand or component obsolescence, if the product is
still manufacturable, Diamond may offer it under our Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) program. Diamond will determine the smallest
size production lot that is economically feasible, and customers may purchase the product in this or any larger quantity,
depending on market availability of the components.
Any obsolete components required for production will generally be purchased through ďbrokersĒ and may
consist of factory excess or other electronics company excess inventory. Any components purchased through brokers are
subject to our broker component purchase policy, which requires physical inspection and testing of all such components
prior to acceptance for production. This policy helps prevent the possible use of counterfeit components as well as increases
the production yield to help keep costs down.
The availability of the MOQ program is subject to Diamond's determination based on component availability
and manufacturing costs, and it may not apply to all obsolete products. Please view our current list of MOQ products
Lifecycle Extension Program
The Lifecycle Extension Program extends the lifecycle of a product past the Last Time Buy period described above. This
program is for customers who have long term demand for a product that reaches end of life and are either unable to
switch to a replacement product during the Last Time Buy period or have program requirements preventing them from doing so.
Under the Lifecycle Extension program, Diamond will source the end of life components needed to build the
product in quantities sufficient to meet the customerís need. The customer is required to pay in advance for all EOL components.
Diamond will then manufacture the product in specified minimum lot sizes over a specified maximum timeframe at a specified price.
In this way, the customer is protected for the duration of the program and can rely on fixed material costs and leadtimes.
The program may be repeated subject to market availability of the EOL components.
Details of the program are as follows:
Diamond will provide EOL notice and last time buy opportunity for the product
Customer indicates their desire to purchase the product beyond the last time buy period
Diamond will identify a "kit" of EOL and other critical components and establish a purchase price for the kit.
Diamond will establish a purchase price for the product, any minimum order quantity or minimum shipment quantity,
and any time limits for production of the product.
Customer will pay in advance for the desired quantity of component kits.
Diamond will purchase the component kits and maintain them in its warehouse. These kits will be designated as
Diamond will utilize the customerís component kits in quantities necessary to yield the required shipment quantity for each delivery.
Note that due to normal manufacturing yield plus the higher fallout from EOL components, the number of units delivered
to the customer may be less than the number of component kits purchased by the customer. Diamond will provide an estimate of
the excess kit quantity needed to yield the desired order quantity of the finished product. This figure is only an
estimate and is not guaranteed.
Diamond will credit the customerís invoice for a percentage of the kit price times the quantity of units shipped.
This percentage is normally 85% but may be changed based on Diamondís determination. This percentage will be provided at
the start of the program.
From time to time Diamond has other customers who may be interested in buying EOL products. Customer may
therefore elect to sell unneeded component kits back to Diamond at a price to be negotiated between the parties.
However Customer is under no obligation to sell, and Diamond is under no obligation to repurchase, any component kits.
If the product purchased by the customer is nonstandard in any way, Diamond may require a partial or full prepayment
for the order. Any prepayment will be amortized over the number of units in the entire order, so that a portion of it
will be applied to each delivery over the life of the program.
All orders under the Lifecycle Management Program are final and firm and may not be canceled, reduced, or pushed out
unless agreed to by Diamond in its sole discretion.
||What causes a product to reach end of life (EOL) or be declared obsolete?
Generally, Diamond will maintain a product in active production indefinitely, as long as sales justify it,
the required components are readily available, and testability and support remain available. Many of our I/O boards have been
in active production for 20 years. However there are cases when products are taken out of production. Diamond may determine
a product to be EOL or obsolete if any of the following occur:
- Sales of the product are not sufficient to warrant continued production of the product.
This determination may be based on either the total units sold over a given time period or the number of customers buying
- One or more key components used in the product have become obsolete, and a suitable replacement is
not available without a significant redesign effort. This typically occurs when a processor or an FPGA are made obsolete
by the manufacturer.
3. A newer generation product is offered for sale which provides a substantial improvement over the current product and
provides a suitable upgrade for the current product. This will typically occur if the new product has the equivalent features
as the current product, and the connector and software interfaces are either identical or similar to a high degree, so that
the migration effort by the customer is minimized.
||End of Life Notice and Last Time Buy
Diamond makes reasonable efforts to provide advance notice of a productís obsolescence and to provide the
opportunity to purchase the product for a certain period of time after the EOL announcement. In most cases, these timeframes
are as follows:
- Diamond will provide 6 month advance notice to all existing customers of a product prior to taking
the product out of production (the EOL date)
- Customers may place Last Time Buy orders on or before the EOL date for delivery of the product
up to 6 months past the EOL date.
Minimum shipment quantities may apply for deliveries after the EOL date.
Partial or full prepayment may be required for deliveries of large quantities. Prepayment may apply to the
full purchase price of the product or may be limited to the cost of the EOL components, subject to Diamondís determination.
Any such prepayment will be amortized over the number of units in the entire order, so that a portion of it will be
applied to each delivery over the life of the program.
All orders under the Last Time Buy Program are final and firm and may not be canceled, reduced, or pushed out unless agreed
to by Diamond in its sole discretion.
Active: this product is in the early or intermediate stage of its lifecycle. This product is recommended for design
into new applications because the expected lifetime is equal to or longer than the typical applicationís lifecycle, or else the
expected end of life is not known / not possible to determine.
NRND (not recommended for new designs): (commonly referred to as Continued Availability) This product is nearing the
end of its lifecycle, meaning that Diamond expects to take it out of production in the next 1-2 years. Existing customers and
one-time orders are still supported, however this product should not be selected for a new design-in activity that is expected
to have ongoing requirements for more than 1-2 years.
EOL (end of life) or Obsolete: This product is no longer offered for general sale. However it may still be offered to
select customers under our MOQ or Obsolete product programs.
MOQ (Minimum order quantity): This product is offered for general sale as long as a minimum quantity is ordered in a
single shipment. This quantity is typically 50 units, however it may vary from product to product. An MOQ product may be in any
of the above lifecycle stages: Active, NRND, or EOL.