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LM3S Change to NRND

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Replies: 136

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The Stellaris LM3S series has recently been designated as "Not Recommended for New Designs" (NRND). TI has made no changes to the availability of these devices. However, the devices are no longer available to be sampled and the evaluation and development kits are almost sold out.

As the new Stellaris® ARM® Cortex™-M4 products (LM4F series) become available and provide developers with a number of distinct advantages compared to Cortex-M3 devices (LM3S series), TI is recommending that customers migrate to the LM4F family. These new devices provide floating point for performance headroom and best-in-class low-power consumption to address portability and power budgets. These Stellaris LM4F MCUs are built using 65-nm technology and provide a roadmap to higher speeds, larger memory and even lower power for our customers.

We encourage customers to work directly with their TI sales and FAEs to find the best fit for their next designs. If you have any additional questions about our new Stellaris LM4F MCUs, please let us know on these TI E2E forums and we will work to respond as soon as possible.

Regards, ~Miguel

136 Replies

  • "TI has made no changes to the availability of these devices" - Really??  Where are they hiding?  Every distributor I've talked to is of the opinion that NRND = obsolete.

    Where is MF4 in BGA with ethernet phy?... Is this even planned?

    http://e2e.ti.com/support/microcontrollers/stellaris_arm_cortex-m3_microcontroller/f/471/p/234175/823525.aspx#823525

  • In reply to JohnA:

    JohnA
    "TI has made no changes to the availability of these devices"

    - Really??  Where are they hiding?  Every distributor I've talked to is of the opinion that NRND = obsolete.

    See: http://e2e.ti.com/support/microcontrollers/stellaris_arm_cortex-m3_microcontroller/f/471/p/233484/821415.aspx#821415 - Wherein Digikey state that, to them, "NRND" means precisely that they will no longer carry the parts!

    JohnA
    Where is MF4 in BGA with ethernet phy?... Is this even planned?

    AFAIK, Stellaris remained the only  Cortex-M3 (even, the only Cortex-Mx?) with on-board PHY. Why on earth would they throw away such a USP??!

  • In reply to Andy Neil:

    John, Andy,

    You guys are correct that the distribution channel does not stock parts that are NRND. What I meant by "availability" is that we will continue manufacturing the devices, so customers in production need not worry that we will obsolete the parts and force a redesign.

    I cannot say much about the M4F with ENET PHY from TI aside from it is a highly-integrated and very much real part with ongoing lead customer engagements. We took the LM3S concept, upgraded the CPU performance and updated the IP across the board. I think you guys will like it when we bring it out to the general market. Timing and features are still under NDA and available upon request through the TI sales & distribution channels.

     

    Regards, ~Miguel

  • In reply to miguel2667:

    And yes, it comes in a BGA package as well.

    Regards, ~Miguel

  • In reply to miguel2667:

    Miguel,

    I appreciate the fact you're trying.  I seem to get responses here on this thread while my technical questions languish for days before anyone at TI responds.

    But in my experience, anytime a company can't tell you if they have a part or not unless we sign an NDA is usually a cover up for empty inventory shelves - which is usually tied to a problem on the production line somewherem or a reliability problem.  Especially anytime flash memory or Cortex is involved.  I'm not saying that's what it is with TI, but that has been the pattern I've seen for the last 30 years in the industry.

    In less time it takes to trade paperwork with TI, I have a Freescale demo kit and 20 sample chips in my hand.  In less than one day.  

    Actions speak louder than words. This is jsut a suggestion.

  • In reply to JohnA:

    And:  We are a customer in / were in production.  Can't get chips from TI, or anyone.  TI has dropped the ball on this big time.  I guess if TI was continuing to make chips like the LM3S6432, they sure didn't make them available after it went NRND.  Jul 14 2013 or later was the answer we got even if we try to order a smaller number like  500 or 1,000.

  • miguel2667
    TI has made no changes to the availability of these devices.

    Tried - really tried - to resist - but the flesh is weak.

    Does not the "tortured" logic of, "Has made NO changes" sound much like the famed California brothers' request to the jury for mercy (as they were now orphans) after shot-gunning both parents?   Were not the disty stores of these devices long "starved?"  (and if so - by whom?)  Thus, "made no changes" has a hollow ring - and may not fully "deflect" the impression of, "willfulness."

    Might it be that any, "real apology" or any, "attempt at explanation" would better soothe your disappointed masses?

  • In reply to cb1_mobile:

    JohnA, cb_1,

    You guys make fair points. "No changes" to availability was perhaps not the best choice of words, since we have taken explicit action to remove LM3S from distributor inventories and lead times are long. Texas Instruments is taking action against LM3S promotion, not only for the LM4F parts.

    I recognize the timing isn't optimal, not without the ENET devices in production, which is one of the key reasons why the NRND will not turn to obsoletion. Customers that have platform designs on the LM3S can continue their production or platform developments knowing that we will not EOL the devices. The webpages and documentation are still online if you search for the individual part number, just they are not linked from our homepage.

    I also understand you and other LM3S community members have invested time, expertise, and reputation on these parts and the transition to NRND has been painful, _especially_ if you are using ENET devices. I apologize on behalf of our group for that pain. As for an explanation, I can tell you that even though we are extremely proud of the technological achievements that the LM3S products brought to the market, we know we have done so much better on the LM4F that we feel compelled to incentivize a transition. Better means less errata, shorter lead times, more performance, lower power, and yes, lower cost of manufacturing. This will translate to concrete benefits for the new community of TI Cortex-M users.

    Regards, ~Miguel

  • In reply to miguel2667:

    Like cb, my flesh is weak <Laughing>.  Again, to everybody except TI, NRND means -obsolete- by any definition.

    If the LM3S was still in production, why did we have to shut down production because of lack of parts?  That's a rhetorical question, no need to answer.  You're offer to "reach out" and get us more parts ((thank you for at least trying) came -way too late- in the game - reaching out should have occurred months before when we were trying to locate parts, and TI themselves said they were out of stock and gave us crazy leadtimes.  "Reaching out" to me means I reach out to the box on the inventory shelf, pull a tray of glistening new LM3S chips out and walk it over to the board stuffer.  That's all I want.

    Again: Its not just TI suddenly dropping the product - its also the design time, production setup, blank boards, buying tool chains, etc. What a waste of time and money.

    It wouldn't be so bad if TI waited until they had figured out an M4 variant that was a drop-in replacement upgrade for the LM3S series - and THEN pulled the plug on the older parts.  That would have shown commitment and concern to the "customer" - you know, those guys that keep you in business.

    Doing it this NRND way is an unbelievable bungle on TI's part.  Not -you- Miguel, I know you're trying, and I know you don't have a lot to work with for decision-makers.

    As a suggestion, check out Freescale's Longevity program.  10 ~ 15 year commitment for industrial parts to be on the shelf.  That suddenly becomes painfully obvious of something that we'd like to see at TI.

    Thanks again for trying.

  • In reply to JohnA:

    I want to point out that if it were not for the on-chip PHY for Ethernet, we would never have considered Stellaris parts at all.  In most other things we were looking for, there were better alternatives out there.

    Now that there is no on-chip PHY available on currently shipping Stellaris parts, it's out of our consideration for new designs, and may remain that way forever even after Ethernet comes back because by then we'll be current on some other processor family.

    I understand the desire to drop a line that's been fraught with issues, but to drop it before the replacement line is in place is going to drive away a lot of your current customers.  Even when you do have viable products, they will have strikes against them because of what's happened in the past - even if all of the old issues are addressed and there will never be another episode of "discontinue the line with no replacements".

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