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GDCA's Critical Thoughts

Informed opinions and innovative ideas from a trusted source

Are PCs becoming obsolete?

By GDCA | August 7, 2013

Recently on NPR I heard that PC sales have hit a record low.  With the growing touch screen market, even Windows is focusing their innovation and development on the tablet market and with operating systems like the recently updated Windows 8.  Bringing together the best of both worlds is the “convertible” market, where your “laptop” […]

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CALCE Counterfeit avoidance: Tags won’t fix the supply chain issue

By GDCA | July 24, 2013
Shipping Containers

When it comes to avoiding counterfeit components, the CALCE and SMTA “Counterfeit East” symposium at the University of Maryland, College Park is a conference we look forward to attending.  Counterfeit avoidance discussions continue to fall in a couple of camps: tags and tagging, test and inspection and quality/process control.  On the legal side of things, […]

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Arrow ACT Masters: An Environment of Innovation

By GDCA | July 10, 2013

GDCA enjoyed the privilege of being a part of this year’s Arrow Electronics ACT Masters 2013 in Denver CO.  Arrow’s technical sales force was trained in a centralized fashion while suppliers got a first glimpse of Arrow’s strategy and technical roadmap.  This year’s theme celebrated the spirit of innovation by acknowledging the expertise of Arrow’s […]

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Counterfeit Components: More than parts — it is about people

By GDCA | June 26, 2013

With the dialog about counterfeits in the supply chain, it is easy to lose track of what counterfeits actually mean.  Yes, they will hurt your business. Yes, they can lead to heavy penalties and jail time, but counterfeits can also lead to jeopardizing lives; a risk that could otherwise have been avoided. I am always […]

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COTS: A “reactive” good idea (continued)

By GDCA | June 11, 2013

To answer the question, we need to look at the issues of innovation from a different angle; namely economics and markets. Free markets are a wonderful concept as long as the motivation and incentives are aligned in the right way for all the players in order to achieve the set objective. So let us look […]

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COTS: A “reactive” good idea

By GDCA | May 29, 2013

Following a directive from the US military in the early 1990s, the defense industry made a shift from using custom embedded electronic components made to military specifications to commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components.  Since the overall share of the DoD as a consumer was expected to shrink over time, this move to reduce costs took a practical […]

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Refurbished Boards: What works today may not be reliable tomorrow

By GDCA | May 15, 2013

Saying that something is “good enough for government work” is often meant as a joke and the reference implies “mediocre work.” The irony is that “government work” is often highly sophisticated; systems are designed and engineered to operate in the most extreme environmental conditions for a very long period of time. I recently had the […]

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ERAI Executive Conference: Gaining Momentum in the Fight against Counterfeits

By GDCA | April 23, 2013

Managing components at risk of going EOL requires proactive planning. If this vital step is not implemented, critical systems run into increased risk of exposure to counterfeits. Two topics that program managers never want to hear about are counterfeit components, and end-of-life (EOL).  While it is possible to come across counterfeit components on active products, […]

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Sometimes Obsolescence is a Good Thing

By GDCA | April 9, 2013

Throughout my work with GDCA and all the issues around obsolescence, I have never come across someone who believes that obsolescence is something to be celebrated and welcomed.  Everything associated with obsolescence is considered something to be avoided. The concept of planned obsolescence brings with it connotations of either designing a product to wear out […]

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Will sequestration increase the risk of counterfeit components in the supply chain?

By GDCA | March 19, 2013

Between Section 818 in the NDAA FY12 and the NDAA FY13 Amendment, the defense industry is highly aware of the risks of counterfeit components in the supply chain.  As a rule, logistics teams know not to purchase parts off EBay but from authorized sources, or purchase directly from the manufacturer.  They know about the SAE […]

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