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Frequently Asked Questions

Lead time? Repairs? How to request a discontinued embedded product? Find answers to our most commonly asked questions.

FAQ


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Is GDCA ISO 9001:2015 certified?

Yes, we are. We are also RoHS compliant, ITAR compliant, DO-254 certified, and are a certified FAA repair station. For further information about our certifications and qualifications, please feel free to contact us.

Where are you located?

We are located in Livermore, California, just north of San Francisco, Silicon Valley. Our direct address is 1799 Portola Avenue, Livermore, California, 94551.

How long have you been in business?

GDCA was founded over 30 years ago in 1987 as GD California. In 2010, GD California became GDCA, Inc.

What does GDCA stand for?

GDCA stands for “Great Designs Continued Always.” We believe that great designs should always have an ensured legacy.

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Product Availability

How many products do you support?

We offer a product portfolio of over 3,000 COTS products to date and have provided a Second Source of Supply to over 2,500 companies worldwide. We regularly add additional product lines throughout the year.

You talk about a “No EOL” policy. Does GDCA ever discontinue products?

No. Although we have never discontinued a product ourselves, there have been instances where there was nothing we could do to bridge the gap between sustainment and obsolescence.

We encourage customers to work with us as soon as they receive a product transfer notification to ensure their options don’t slide off the table. The longer you wait, the eventuality of obsolescence becomes unavoidable.

For instance, the CD21/6440, one of our oldest products, is still being manufactured. It originally went end-of-life (EOL) in April 11, 1988.

Is there a way to guarantee my product will be available down the road, and also have predictable costs?

Yes. We have been doing this for over 30 years, and in that time, we have developed many tools and models to help us ensure availability within the context of the specific requirements of the demand.

We also offer Lifecycle Assurance Programs (LAP). LAP are built based on all the possible sustainment options available for the product and your specific requirements.

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Lead Time and Pricing

Does GDCA stock any products?

No. We do not pre-stock any products; we are strictly a build-to-order company. Our products are old, and demand for them is sporadic; most of them only have one or two different customers.

How long does it take for product delivery?

Supporting legacy technology during its sustainment phase is different than supporting an “active” product. Delivery times typically average six months. Production timelines are not only influenced by component availability but also by whether the manufacturing and test capabilities have been verified. If you need an ongoing scheduled supply at a fixed price, we recommend you work with us to customize a Lifecycle Assurance program that will suit your needs.

We actively work with our suppliers to improve lead times based on customer requirements. Products requiring a Sustainment Engineering solution will have a longer lead time, based on product evaluation and health analysis. We strongly recommend starting the process as soon as possible in order to ensure product availability.

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Guaranteed Availability

What is a lifecycle assurance program?

A lifecycle assurance program is backed by a support contract to manufacture and ship embedded products at a predictable cost, on a predictable timeline, and for an extended period.

We have proprietary models and tools necessary to develop plans and programs that deliver product availability for as long as you need it.

The lifecycle assurance program begins with a thorough review of your requirements, followed by an evaluation of the sustainment options available to you.

From there, you choose which set of assurance options best covers your timeline and allocated funds for your embedded products.

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GDCA Products

Does GDCA manufacture products?

Yes, GDCA builds all products to order. We use the same IP, procedures, and test requirements developed by the original manufacturer.

Does GDCA create any of their own products?

No. While we are a manufacturer, we only provide products created by other original manufacturers. Our partners understand that not all of their customers are ready to upgrade when a product goes EOL. GDCA provides a transition for those customers to insure ongoing access and out-of-warranty repair on long-lasting products.

Does GDCA’s product differ from the original equipment manufacturers’? Do you make clones?

No, and no. We manufacture products under special license, using the original Intellectual Property (IP), and to the exact specifications laid out by original equipment manufacturers.

How can I tell a GDCA product from the original?

The difference between a GDCA-manufactured product and the original is that the GDCA name and logo will be etched on the board instead of the manufacturer’s. For any out-of-warranty repair of original boards or GDCA boards, please contact customer support.

How does GDCA test products?

GDCA tests products using the same test equipment used by the original equipment manufacturers. We perform tests mandated by the original equipment manufacturer based on the design specifications. We perform comprehensive and functional tests on every product we ship.

Do you have a counterfeit avoidance program?

GDCA has an extensive component authenticity program (CAP) and is committed to preventing the penetration and proliferation of nonconforming and counterfeit components in our products and supply chain. This means GDCA performs due diligence to verify part authenticity in line with the industry’s best practices and in coordination with our suppliers. All parts purchased from a source other than the original component manufacturer (OCM) or an authorized, franchised distributor will be verified using the measures laid out in current industry standards and best practices.

GDCA is an ongoing member of ERAI. Any customer program requiring full material traceability can be accommodated. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Do you ever make any changes to the product?

Not if it can be avoided. We are very familiar with the risks of product modification. In the event a customer has not purchased a Lifecycle Assurance Plan, and most often because of component obsolescence, we will be forced to make a part substitution. If we do substitute any obsolete components, we guarantee it will not affect the form, fit, function, or operation of the product. We emphasize that we make this type of change only when there are no other options and only with customer approval.

How can I obtain products not currently supported or manufactured by GDCA?

You can request a product transfer, or you can reach out to our Sales Department to provide you with the best possible solution.

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Setup Fees

Does GDCA always charge for setup fees?

Yes. Setup fees are dependent on order quantity, assembly costs, and special exceptions. If you order 25 units or more, the per unit setup costs are dramatically reduced, and all setup fees are amortized into the total price.

Why is there a setup fee each time I place an order?

Because we do not stock any of our products, setup fees offset the cost of small volume production runs. When we build a single product batch, our vendors charge us setup fees. These costs can be substantial—often more than our price for just one product; therefore we are forced to pass them along and do not make any profit on them.

Please note our setup fees may change from vendor to vendor.

Are setup fees the same as NRE?

No. Setup fees are different and should not be thought of as non-reoccurring engineering (NRE). They are based on the price our vendors charge us. Setup fees may change from product to product depending on the volume, complexity, size, and so on.

How can I reduce the cost of setup fees?

Planning.

The best way to avoid setup fees is either by a Blanket PO (ordering a quantity delivered over and up to a 12-month period of time) or a lifecycle assurance plan.

What is the difference between the products that GDCA sells and those from other companies that sell the same products, and why is there a difference in pricing?

Those companies are reselling old boards manufactured by the OEM (you hope) before they EOL’d them. GDCA builds new boards that are fit, form, and functionally identical to the ones the OEM manufactured.

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Repair

How long does it take to have a circuit board repaired?

The turnaround time for all repairs is typically 90 days.

How long will you continue to repair a product?

We provide long-term support for our product as long as the components are available in the market. In addition to component availability, as a product gets older, maintaining repair and test capabilities becomes increasingly problematic. We will make our best effort to evaluate and repair products.

If your program has long lifecycle demands that center on sustainment rather than new production, contact our sales department to develop a Spares and Repairs program to fit your requirements.

Will GDCA repair a product I originally bought from the original manufacturer?

If we have the testing capability and the supply chain can support it, we can repair it.

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Warranty

What is your normal warranty?

90 days against defects in materials and workmanship

Can I increase the warranty period?

For an additional charge, the warranty can be extended from one to five years.

If I bought my product through a distributor, how do I get warranty repairs?

If you have bought a GDCA product through a distributor, you can request an RMA from the distributor. The distributor will then arrange for the repair directly with GDCA.

If the product requires special handling (such as FAA requirements) and cannot be returned through the distributor, or you need to expedite shipping and reduce turnaround time, please notify GDCA and the distributor.

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Data Sheets, Specifications, Drivers, and Manuals

Are data sheets, specifications, drivers, and manuals available for the products GDCA manufactures?

When available, GDCA receives all data sheets, specifications, drivers, and manuals during product transfers.

Are data sheets, specifications, drivers, and manuals available online?

Unfortunately, because of the huge number of products we are currently supporting, it is impractical to provide web access for all of them. However, if you contact us, our technical support group will be happy to provide you with the necessary information.

Is there a charge for data sheets, specifications, drivers, and manuals?

Any requested manuals have a $100 fee, whereas data sheets or spec sheets are provided at no cost.

I noticed that sometimes the name on the data sheet doesn’t match the original product order. Is this still the original product?

Yes. It is still the original product part. Because we are manufacturing it instead of the original manufacturer, we then remove the OEM’s first letter (e.g., instead of Motorola “MVME 162” we dropped the Motorola “M” designation from the original part number listing to become “VME 162”). However, because nothing else has changed, we still continue to use and provide customers with the original Motorola data sheets.

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Products we do not (yet) support

We need a product that is not in your online catalogue; can you build it for us?

Contact sales directly

I see that you talk about supporting COTS products; do you also support any custom product lines?

GDCA can support both COTS and custom embedded boards. Typically, the availability of the technical data package (TDP) and the health of the supply chain determine the viability of reconstituting a second source of supply. If you’d like to contact GDCA to rebuild the manufacturing capability of any given circuit card assembly (CCA), please fill out this form to contact our sales directly.

How many products are required to make a product transfer worthwhile?

That depends on a number of factors. Many are surprised at the modest quantity required to make a product transfer worthwhile. If there is a product you need that we don’t currently list, please contact us to discuss your needs.

What if we don’t need enough parts to make a product transfer worthwhile? Are there any other options available?

Yes. Although manufacturing new products is our business, we have helped many of our existing customers find unlicensed, quality, refurbished products. The demand for this service has grown over the years, and we have established a special engineering team to handle these particular requests.

If you have a question that was not answered here, please contact our sales department at: sales@gdca.com.

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