TI to discontinue the GFBA6 process node

Heya folks, Crow here.  I just received a lifetime buy notice for a couple of TI  components. (Legacy National Semiconductor parts from TI’s buyout of NS.) This includes components such as the LM386, LM3915 and high-fidelity parts like the LME49710 op-amp among many others.  This means when they run out of wafer stock, the parts are no longer going to be made.  The 6″ wafer process is pretty old, requiring tooling hardware that is not made any more.  Even so, it is not a simple matter to migrate linear devices.  While digital chips require a small feature size, analog requires as fine control on things like transistor characteristics as possible.  This will end up putting the high end analog audio engineering sector in chaos for a while.

Time to stock up.

Here is a list:

TI GFBA6 EOL Device List


–Old “back to transistors” Crow


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  1. Only 29% of the chips in that list have no replacement.
    15% of them have an EXACT replacement that is both pin-compatible and has the same functional specifications. 20% of them have a replacement with the same PIN-OUT, but which might have differences in some specifications. 10% have a replacement with the same function, but a different pin-out. 25% have a replacement with similar functionality.

  2. The LM386 is not going away. The LM386MX has the same pin-out, although not the exact specifications.
    The LM3915 has a replacement that is similar: the LP3943, and for RoHS: LP3944.
    The LME47910 is not on the list, but the LME49710 is indeed going away with no replacement, not even anything similar to the LME49710 will remain available.

  3. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Only 29% of the chips on that list of 223 parts are actually going away with no replacement.

    15% of the listed chips have an EXACT replacement that is pin-compatible with the same specifications. 20% have the same PIN-OUT, but might vary on some specifications. 10% have a replacement with the same functionality, and 25% have a replacement with similar functionality.

    The LM386 is not going away. The LM386MX has the same pin-out, although not all of the specifications match. Most designers don’t even pay attention to all of the specifications.

    The LM3915 is going away, but the LP3943 is similar, as is the LP3944.

    The LME47910 does not exist, so I assume this was a typo for the LME49710, which has no replacement according to the PDF. However, the Texas Instruments web site lists the LM4562 and LME49740 as recommended alternative parts, and the first of those is still going to be manufactured.

  4. Yeah, typo, thanks for pointing that out. While the majority of parts have a replacement, the problem is one on the manufacturing end, where re-tooling for these changes is expensive. This is the “chaos” I refer to. Designers will just move to the next choice and then try to convince the money people it is worth the engineering change orders to do the revision. Or EOL the product. 😉 –Crow

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