There seems to be a classic scene for almost everything these days: cars, music, lawn mowers, home computers. Even ageing chip designs like 74 series logic and the 555 timer are still widely used by engineers after decades in the market. Some application-specific standard ICs, on the other hand, have rather shorter lifetimes and are quickly superseded as new process technologies allow more features, less power, and smaller size.
This frequent updating, accompanied by obsolescence of the replaced components, is inevitable given the way the electronics industry works. However, it can be inconvenient – and worrying Continue reading