Product life cycle & How to handle obsolescence

Most of our displays run 7-10 years. And as long as our customers are still buying the configuration, we would not obsolete the LCD display. In the case where the LCD IC driver or the color TFT glass used in the display becomes obsolete, we create a design around the closest replacement, identify any differences, and work with our customers on a last time buy strategy to manage any gap in supply while developing the replacement display.


What is the typical product life cycle of a display and how do you handle obsolescence?

Most of our customers’ product life cycles run between five and ten years. In other cases we’ve supported programs that run well in excess of this. Each display part number is assigned to a customer. We don’t change the configuration or initiate obsolescence as long as the part is still in demand.

The majority of components used in a monochrome display have multiple sources or can be completely replicated should the original component supplier cease operations or discontinue their product. The biggest issue we encounter relates to the LCD controller but that component also has multiple drop-in replacements that minimize or eliminate any engineering development on your end. The TFT market is a little trickier, since we do not control the TFT glass or the LCD controller IC. Again, multiple sources on each component allow us to quickly provide a new display that’s a complete hardware and software drop-in replacement. These two TFT components tend to update on a yearly basis so there may be some minor changes to your initialization code but we can work through that together and the change is typically minimal.

Of course, we’ll notify you of all changes as soon as they become available, providing samples for approval and updating documentation accordingly. All of this is done while managing a last-time-buy strategy on the original configuration. We avoid any gap in supply throughout this process. Our mission is to prevent any risk to our customers’ production, which means that we require our products to be available as long as needed.

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