Author Topic: Requesting Samples - share your story  (Read 8676 times)

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Offline Greg JTopic starter

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Requesting Samples - share your story
« on: December 28, 2011, 12:33:41 am »
Wasn't sure where to start that thread. But here it is:

Please share your experience with different manufactures and requesting samples.


I'll start with mine.
TI  - best, no questions asked, they send stuff quick and easy
AD - goes through review process, but I was never refused
ST - pain in the butt. They've sent me samples in 2006 once, but all my attempts to order some since then have been either canceled, or rejected ! Bunch of @£$%^@%$@&.

No personal experiences with other manufacturers, but I'm curious about requesting uC samples.
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Offline 8086

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2011, 12:44:27 am »
TI - Excellent, no having to tell them everything about your project, they don't bug you afterwards, etc
Maxim - Pretty good, too many questions, but they don't bug you either
Molex - Good, did have several follow up emails that I didn't ask for
 

Offline Zad

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2011, 01:36:32 am »
TI - They seem pretty good all round. Search engines are never brilliant, but TI's seems to be least worst.

ST - Only ever had 2 lots of samples from ST. Spent ages in "approval" though. Using by business email address and web url probably helped.

ADI - Fine if you want relatively simple stuff. Used to be good for hard to get stuff, but now you are redirected via the marketing department, who then tell you to buy it from your local distributor.

Atmel - Lots of lipservice about ordering samples. Only ever had 1 set of samples from them about 5 years ago, and had follow-up calls from their local distro sales people. Since then my (very modest) requests have been totally ignored.


Offline Jon Chandler

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2011, 01:58:56 am »
Keep in mind that companies give samples so that you can evaluate a part in your design.  They have the reasonable expectation that samples lead to sales.  It's not your right to demand free samples; it's great when a company does provide samples with a minimum of hassle but too bad if they don't.

Dave covered this in one of his videos.  It can be dangerous to design a project around a free sample, only to find when you need more parts, unless you're buying 1000 at a time, they can be difficult or impossible to find.  Maxim is well known for being generous with samples but much less supportive when you want to buy 10, 25 or 100 of some part.
 

Offline JonnyBoats

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 02:51:38 am »
I too have had very good luck with TI, I really couldn't (reasonably) ask for more.

One company that really goes above and beyond is Touchstone Semiconductor. Due to a post office SNAFU, the first sample I requested had to be sent three times. The called me for address verification etc. Resending it once is something that another firm _might_ do, but re-sending it twice is definitely above and beyond. Remember I have never actually purchased anything from them (yet), so it is hardly like I am a VIP.

You can read about my experience here: http://www.bitsconnect.com/random-bits/touchstone-semiconductor-introduces-the-only-alternative-source-for-hard-to-get-maxim-current-sense-amplifiers if you like.
 

Offline Short Circuit

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 02:53:56 am »
Infineon - terrible. Must beg through local dist to acquire a decent amount of samples, with a bit of luck granted, but at high prices. Pity because they have great parts (particulary MOSFET), but their standard leadtime is like 6 months with fairly high moq.

LT - fairly useless sample service as they provide only two samples with is to few for commercial projects (I build at least three pcs of every board). Luckily they have a factory direct show for small quantities of parts.

Coilcraft, a long time ago. Had requested samples, got sample, etc etc. Followup call from the area sales manager. Some chat & that I was soon to build like 15 or 20 more prototypes. No problem, and he promply send samples for that run, each board having three big power inductors and some smaller ones.

In general, I prefer to buy the parts directly at one of the catalog distributors and not bother with sample services. Only exception are TI and National I think.

This has the advantage of remaining fairly anonymous amoung manufacturers and particulary amoung representatives. Quite a few representatives have the disgusting habit of trying to register your projects with the manufacturer. This means they get additional discount, which all other representatives (worldwide) do not get, or they get a fee for each part sold (worldwide) for that particular project. And the manufacturer does not issue volume quotations without knowing the customer.
Not a problem is the end customer is unknown, but contract R&D is a small world, so every distributor around here knows me, and knows roughly my biggest customers. So for many parts it's not really difficult to guess. Also not a big deal when working with smaller projects and small customers, but purchasing guys at larger companies are not happy when they find out they have only one supplier to negotiate with  ;D
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 08:54:06 am »
Microchip were decent about samples, they'd only ask what it was for and a few questions about you and that was it. They did block generic email domains though so that it was assumed you were a company. As I was in Italy at the time they did not have my mobile phone providers domain on their block list. Later I had plenty of domains to use anyhow. I think they are tighter now and probably for a very good reason.
 

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 10:31:54 am »
I pay for sample if I want any so I don't get anoying phone calls or emails
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2011, 10:37:21 am »
yea now that I'm back in the UK  I just order it. In Italy I had to rely on a friendly TV repairer to get me what he could
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 12:00:18 pm »
I think they are tighter now and probably for a very good reason.

Yes, people getting samples and then reselling them on ebay. And the most terminally stupid of these people bragging about it in public.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 12:05:53 pm »
I think they are tighter now and probably for a very good reason.

Yes, people getting samples and then reselling them on ebay. And the most terminally stupid of these people bragging about it in public.

hehe I must admit the thought had crossed my mind too but to be honest with the limitations in place it was just worth the hassle, for what things go for on ebay it's worth bulk buying and getting a decent price break and selling them, but with all the parts available you just never know what to invest in. I bought a load of 12F615's that I thought I'd use loads of them realized I needed to go better, I sold only very few on ebay and ca't really say I made much of a profit and it was mostly to European countries where the hobbyist market is less looked after.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 12:14:33 pm »
I only ask for samples when I can't easily get them from Farnell, Digikey etc.
TI have been very good, Samtec are also excellent. I believe Maxim are good but as I'd very rarely consider designing anything from Maxim in,I've no recent experience.
Some mfrs now only do a paid sample service, which is OK except those that only offer stupidly expensive international shipping via Fedex,UPS etc and won't ship via normal post.
It's also a pain when they only do samples through distributors, as you tend to get more follow-up from sales, and when you're an independent consultant you have to explain that you have little control over where your customers go to for production parts. 
The flip side is if you already have a relationship with the distributor it can be easier to get samples than from the manufacturer, assuming parts have  reached the distributor.
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Offline Psi

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 01:21:21 pm »
I've heard of people going crazy ordering huge amounts of free samples over a year and the manufacturer charging them for it all later when it's discovered that they had no intention of making any products.

(Or at least, trying to charge them, I don't remember if the manufacturer was successful in getting any money)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 01:23:31 pm by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline Greg JTopic starter

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2011, 02:19:30 pm »
I am a hobbyist, but I have few ideas that I would try out once in a while.
I do always think about possibility of selling it, but I never came up with anything worth selling.
I treat samples as something low risk, etc. But it looks like I might try to avoid that, and buy parts instead.

I hope the 'calling the cards' thing is just a myth.
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Online mariush

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2011, 03:27:31 pm »
LinearTechnology - requested two linear voltage regulators that are hard to find here (they don't stock parts that can do 3-5 Amps, which I need for a digital camera)... asked for two of each and got them in the mail from Germany in about 2 weeks.
This was about 3 weeks ago... didn't get any email from them since, no asking for anything, no nagging... 

So I'd say they're OK. Other than this company, I don't know, I don't usually request samples.
 

Offline reagle

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2011, 06:00:42 pm »
We end up using these parts a lot in designs, knowing that it's never a problem to get samples or parts:

Analog Devices
TI
Linear Tech
Coilcraft
Molex
Samtec

Always fast, no questions asked and always in stock

Offline rz2k

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2012, 09:18:40 pm »
NXP - no questions, but they sent me an empty package, contacted support, got another one in 5 days :) they use TNT Post, by the way.
TI - redirected to local distributor, which has different point of view for hobbyists, rejected.
Renesas - silence from them, not even a mail that request is rejected, tried from 2 email addresses.
Maxim - rejected, need commercial email.
ST - rejected, probably they dont want to send samples to Russia.
Sorry for my bad English.
 

Online hans

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2012, 10:48:13 pm »
NXP - never ordered, but has offered a college limited sampling service as for hobbyst and project experiences. (we had a NXP LPC1769 workshop). Because it was a workshop, they did like it to see what we build with their chips (probably also luring for talent).
Microchip - Excellent, though it has been out for some time, they ask questions about the project but leave it at that. Delivered in 2-3 weeks here.
I have to say, in the past it used to be 3 chips with 3 max each, and now it's 2 chips with 3-5 max (have no clue what the amount/chip is based on - I can sample the most expensive 32-bit micro 5 times, and the cheapest opamp they offer only 3 times). I'd rather see more different chips per order, because for projects it counts up so fast: Micro, ADC/DAC, interfacing utilities (ethernet, RF, CAN, RTC, memory, etc.). At least you can do plenty of sample orders quickly (as a hobbist I often don't need to do more than 1/month on average).

Austria Micro Systems - had to sample a magnetic sensor for a school project.. With that sensor there comes a specific type of magnet. Sampled 3 sets (magnet+rotary encoder chip), got them NEXT DAY (!!). They came from Switzerland, I live in The Netherlands, so that must cost them a fair bit of money to send 3 boxes in an A4 envelope.
I should also point out that every project group of our school did that when we found out. So that were like 14 orders within 3 days. Would that go unnoticed at such a medium-sized chip company?

TI - Heard you can sample, but once per quarter (?) or with huge lead time (?)
Maxim - Did it once, expecting I would have the part in 3-5 weeks time (another school project).. they arrived after the project. Luckily the sample was an escape route and we didn't need it.

Mostly we sample for school projects because of a limited budget applied (they say, build a remote controlled, autonomous sailing, model boat with bluetooth for 40 bucks, they hand over a micro and bluetooth module, but that's it). Ordering from Farnell is therefore 'too expensive' for the budget. The Maxim chips ordered were SPI UART chips, which cost an absolute fortune (10 euro's from Farnell, what?!)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 11:57:41 am by hans »
 

Offline Yael

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2012, 11:47:20 pm »
I just got a bunch of samples from Coilcraft. No questions asked before or after and they sent them express. I have also had good luck with Linear Technologies though they are a royal pain in the ass for asking questions both before and after they ship stuff.
 

Offline Yael

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Re: Requesting Samples - share your story
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2012, 07:26:23 pm »
I just picked up a UPS shipment from OKW Electronics. They were friendly, didnt ask too many questions and sent me a DIN Rail Enclosure kit plus a catalog and some other sales literature.
 


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