Author Topic: Favorite budget USB MCUs  (Read 16116 times)

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Offline dannyf

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Re: Favorite budget USB MCUs
« Reply #50 on: June 03, 2014, 02:39:05 pm »
That's what they meant when they say that "a sword cuts both ways".
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Favorite budget USB MCUs
« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2014, 09:28:27 pm »
Back then Atmel had problems with distributors charging silly prices for new parts. The great price reduction that happened shortly after the ATtiny13's introduction was actually just Atmel getting vendors to be sensible, i.e. Atmel didn't reduce their wholesale prices at all. I'm not saying it wasn't a genuine fuck-up at the time, but you could definitely by the ATtiny13 for around your original target price if you had a good distributor or went to Atmel direct.

That's definitely not true - I'm sure someone at Atmel claims it was distributor gouging but it's absolutely not the case.  I remember the "oh shit" moment when I saw the prices on the Tiny chips jumped from $0.25 to $1.25... all the distributors mentioned that Atmel had done big price increases that they were passing along, but I also have a good friend who works at Digikey in executive management of their buying division and I ran it by him and heard the same thing - Atmel had raised their prices dramatically and I knew what Digikey's before and after pricing was on that specific part.  Even Atmel at the time acknowledged that they had raised prices substantially on parts - that's where the "but we also added features so everyone is really happy!" line came from - it was their boilerplate reply to the (presumably) massive push-back from the users.  And it wasn't just on new parts either - we were also using a lot of Mega8 chips at the time and the prices went up, and up and up.  I was buying from Atmel directly in pretty decent volume and they were asking if we wanted to retain a blanket PO for Mega's at the lower price after the increase (i.e. when it was in my favor they wanted to ditch the PO) but when the price cut happened the story was the opposite. 

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We had similar issues with PICs. I'm not picking on Microchip, it's just that we used to use a lot of them. We used a lot of 24 series and found that our board manufacturer's process was killing a significant number of them. We opened a support ticket with Microchip and they did eventually acknowledge it and stated it would be fixed in later revision silicon, as well as a couple of other bugs that were causing occasional EEPROM write failures. I could characterize it was Microchip "not giving a shit" if I were so inclined, but it' just par for the course.

Oh, I agree, I am sure many manufacturers have similar problems - certainly not limited to Atmel, but as with any customer service issue, it's always "what do you do about it when the problem occurs" that matters most.  I've had interactions with Avago, Alpha Omega Semi, TI, On-Semi, National, Cypress, Atmel, Philips/Lumileds, and others.  Atmel is far and away the leader in the "we don't give a shit so fuck off" category for how they treat their customers.  Philips/Lumileds is firmly in second place.  AOZ, Cypress, On Semi, and Avago all went above and beyond to take care of me and fix problems I was having.  National and TI were OK but I had to do a lot of legwork and prodding to get issues resolved.  Just my experience, but Atmel is at the very top of my shit list for repeated and egregious shitting upon their customers with no remorse.
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