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Requesting Samples - share your story

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Greg J:
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.

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

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.

Jon Chandler:
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.

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: if you like.


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