Preprogrammed AVRs -- cost?

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An upcoming app has volumes in five figures.

 

It has been some years since I worked on one of these "quantity" apps.  Anyone have recent experience on AVR8 price break at, say, qty. 10000 vs. full reel/full flat pricing at the distributors such as Mouser?

 

What about preprogramming such quantities?  Approximate cost?  Do the distributors do it or Atmel?  [yeah, I know, Atmel is no more...]

 

 

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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I am waiting for a quote from Arrow for pre programming 10000 Tiny13's

The big hurdle seems availability of the parts. I also have been told by them that in the case of the Tiny13 I have to order in lots of 4000 as that's how many are on a feel. So when you place your order check to see about minimums.

Jim

Edit: Atmel does not program the chips...distributor does this

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

Last Edited: Wed. Jun 29, 2016 - 03:39 PM
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jgmdesign wrote:
lots of 4000 as that's how many are on a feel.

 

I love the typo--I always thought feels came in lots of 2.

 

If you can separate the programming charge from the chip cost, please post.  Thanks.

 

 

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Sorry about the typo....auto correct on phone that I did not catch.... Pretty funny though

I hopefully will have something later today or tomorrow

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Well I got the first quote back from one distributor...

 

ATTiny13A - $0.42 each in lots of 12,000 (4000/reel)

 

Pre-Programming - $0.92 EACH in lots of 12,000

 

T0tal for 12,000 pieces:

 

$13,400.00  lead time is 6 weeks.

 

Sorry, that's bull****

 

I am waiting for a second quote from another distributor.

 

 

My customer requested I look at a second vendor as a comparison so I went to the new ownership's website....

 

Comparable P** - $$0.41 each in lots of 10,000

 

Pre-programming - About $0.10 each in lots of 10,000

 

Total for 10,000 pieces:

 

$5100.00

 

You do the math

 

Jim

 

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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If you get a couple of pcs and some hi school kids, and each kid can program one in 10 seconds, and you pay em $10 an hr, how much does it cost?

 

Imagecraft compiler user

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Not happening.  If I have to go through all of that, then I might as well put programming pads on the board - which can increase it's size - and make a jig and do it myself.  The whole point of having the parts pre-loaded was to save time, and money.

 

If the second Atmel distributor gives me the same price then I am going to have to really think twice...or three times about this

 

 

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Jim, how much is it going to cost you to program it?

Last Edited: Mon. Jul 11, 2016 - 10:18 PM
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Jim, how much is it going to cost you to program it? 

 

10,000 units?  I would have to sit and think about it....  Point is, the whole idea was to have the units loaded, and sent to the assembly house.  THey build the boards and then the end user does the QC as they build the units...and ones that fail get sent to me for analysis/repair.

 

At the moment the issue is an Atmel distributor wants over $9,000.00usd to program the parts and the Evil Empire only wants $1,000.00.  I know the distributor has to mark up some...but $0.92 per IC is a lot of money.

 

I would be open to bids from anyone here wink

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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If the pound falls any further against the dollar, I might make you a bid, Jim!

 

Quebracho seems to be the hardest wood.

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Microchip probably have programming built into their manufacturing flow whereas the disto has to unreel, program, rereel. Atmel probably don't have enough control over their fab to do this.

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It's not an AVR, but another check point is here

 

http://www.silego.com/buy/index....

http://www.silego.com/buy/index....

 

Looks like they can sell programmed parts for 13.5c, (that's device and programming) for line orders of >= $1215

That makes even 10c look high :)

 

 

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bobgardner wrote:

If you get a couple of pcs and some hi school kids, and each kid can program one in 10 seconds, and you pay em $10 an hr, how much does it cost?

 

$10/hr / (6 parts/min * 60 min/hr) = $10 / 360 parts = $0.0278/part

 

$0.0278/part * 10000 parts = $277.78 total programming labor

 

10000 parts / (6 parts/min * 60 min/hr) = 27.78 kid hours

Letting the smoke out since 1978

 

 

 

 

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jgmdesign wrote:

...  If I have to go through all of that, then I might as well put programming pads on the board - which can increase it's size - and make a jig and do it myself.  The whole point of having the parts pre-loaded was to save time, and money..

I've seen sometimes those pads placed in the break-off area of a panel.

There was another thread about a form of break-off MUX to do a lot of these in a matrix.

You can do it with a SOT23 FF and SOT23 AnalogSW, for well under that 92c  (shame no one thinks to make a MSOP(FF+SW) )

 

I wonder how boot-loader MCUs would go with a shipload fed the same outgoing data and one used for reply ?

 

I guess you could test that with one PCB as master, and all slaves ORd to a checking-merge point and a dedicated programmer MCU would run a std serial link and a small monostable-sw on the single merged pin - the idea being to catch any slower-acting parts ACKs, before you issue the next instruction.

Probably some ACK+Delay would be all you needed, once this was tested.

 

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digitalDan wrote:

bobgardner wrote:

If you get a couple of pcs and some hi school kids, and each kid can program one in 10 seconds, and you pay em $10 an hr, how much does it cost?

 

$10/hr / (6 parts/min * 60 min/hr) = $10 / 360 parts = $0.0278/part

 

$0.0278/part * 10000 parts = $277.78 total programming labor

 

10000 parts / (6 parts/min * 60 min/hr) = 27.78 kid hours

10s is likely optimistic for handling small parts ?

 

- there are fewer handling steps involved in using programming pads, even on a flying probe basis.

You skip part-remove, place in ZIF, close  ZIF, (pgm) open ZIF, remove part, place in tube/reel, reseal reel....

 

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Who-me wrote:

10s is likely optimistic for handling small parts ?

 

 

Probably.  I was just running Bob's numbers.  I'd say 30s would be more reasonable.  Still, at that rate, the labor cost would only be $833.33 which still sounds attractive compared to the numbers quoted.  I realize that doesn't count the cost Jim would incur setting up an environment where it would be possible to achieve a sustainable rate of 2 parts per minute.

Letting the smoke out since 1978

 

 

 

 

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I guess most of you are not familiar with the work mentality of the average American youth. $10.00usd per hour will not get them to put down their French fries and iPhones. Hell I see adults making $150.00 an hour spending a third of the time in their smartphones so again not worth the effort. Then as mentioned the effort and costs of putting together a couple of stations....nope.

I may have an idea of a possible solution should the order come in, but I will not look into that until I actually get the order.

Remember, the argument I have is I want to use Atmel, and if I want them pre programmed its $13,000
The evil empire wants only $5,000. Just based on that fact, and that fact alone, it s a no brainier especially when the code is less than 500 bytes so a rewrite is not a big deal.

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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jgmdesign wrote:
I guess most of you are not familiar with the work mentality of the average American youth. $10.00usd per hour will not get them to put down their French fries and iPhones.

 

I'm sure that's true in your location.  Around here in northeastern Ohio you'd stand a chance at maybe $12 to $15 an hour.  But that's irrelevant, I certainly understand your aversion to programming the parts yourself;  I wouldn't want the hassle myself especially if you can get them vendor programmed at a price that will allow you to get the order.

 

Best of luck with the project.  Let us know how it works out.

Letting the smoke out since 1978

 

 

 

 

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digitalDan wrote:
I wouldn't want the hassle myself

Precisely!!  And getting some kids, or even adults around here to do it means I still have to watch whats going on, make sure someone is paying attention and not ignoring an error etc...

 

Well we shall see what happens.  Hopefully Lee (the OP of this thread) has better luck.

 

Thanks all.

JIm

 

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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I'm so impressed tha finally someone has written (or will write) perfect code that never needs changing (therfore no programming facilities). cheeky

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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js wrote:

I'm so impressed tha finally someone has written (or will write) perfect code that never needs changing (therfore no programming facilities). cheeky

 

... and the end client will never want to add extra features. Must be the perfect device! devil

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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I've done a run of a couple hundred a couple of times. Blank chips soldered on bd. Stick the isp connector on, burn the fuses, burn the program, burn the eeprom, done. A sticky point I remember is on a new chip you need a slow isp clk to read dev id, but then once you get fuses set, you can kick the clk back up to a couple megahertz, and the programming is real fast. I admit its tricky to get a tech type to get back in the flow if something kicks out... cant read id, etc. Maybe one programmer/engineer type could keep triaging snafus on 2 or 3 stations with techs doing isp programming. Maybe you could pay em in some sort of barter coin... gift cards, pot, gas for their car. Whatever you have that they want some of. The New Entrepreneur.

 

Imagecraft compiler user

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js wrote:

I'm so impressed tha finally someone has written (or will write) perfect code that never needs changing (therfore no programming facilities). cheeky

valusoft wrote:

js wrote:

I'm so impressed tha finally someone has written (or will write) perfect code that never needs changing (therfore no programming facilities). cheeky

 

... and the end client will never want to add extra features. Must be the perfect device! devil

 

I was waiting for that. The code does one thing and one thing only. Has been tested and approved. Simple as that. Even if I were to put programming pads on the board it still does not change the topic of the thread, which is the Cost of pre programming the device....which is quite high

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

Last Edited: Tue. Jul 12, 2016 - 09:12 AM
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Who-me wrote:
- there are fewer handling steps involved in using programming pads, even on a flying probe basis.

You skip part-remove, place in ZIF, close  ZIF, (pgm) open ZIF, remove part, place in tube/reel, reseal reel....

Both pads and ZIF for QFP-44 are mentioned in

http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/zif-adapter-pdi-programmer

 

Flying probe - that's interesting.

It's an optional step at some PCB fabs.

Is flying probe available at PCB assembly?

If yes, can a third party programmer be attached?

 

Edit : flying probe

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Tue. Jul 12, 2016 - 11:11 AM
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I can believe 9.2c per chip - that is line with my own experience but 92c is ridiculous. Try other distributors. EBV and Avnet have in house programming. Try them.

Murdo.

PS atmel actually have got in-house programming but 10k is kinda low volumes, so they would probably push back.

There are already a million monkeys in front of a million keyboards, and the internet is nothing like Shakespeare!

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Children or grandchildren can be great programmers drivers.....don't ask how I know that.... (they can drive a hard bargain for payments though)

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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THe second distributor is as slow as the first.  She emailed me that she could not get the quote out yesterday because she was out to lunch... WHAT!!??

 

I will try Avnet next.  If I do not see any lower items I am gonna just let my customer know what the costs/alternatives are and let them decide.

 

Looks like my Avatar is spot on at the moment...cheeky

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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jgmdesign wrote:

Looks like my Avatar is spot on at the moment...cheeky

 

JIm

 

If you continue doing that you will end up like my avatar.

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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valusoft wrote:

jgmdesign wrote:

Looks like my Avatar is spot on at the moment...cheeky

 

JIm

 

If you continue doing that you will end up like my avatar.

 

Sunburned?? devil

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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jgmdesign wrote:

I will try Avnet next.  If I do not see any lower items I am gonna just let my customer know what the costs/alternatives are and let them decide.

 

What package ?

We have done clothes-peg style programming of SO20L, and SO8 would be doable.

 

Or, you can place press-fit, or pogo-pin pads in the breakoff area, and use that for connects.

 

Of course, you will be allowing for in-panel PGM  already, right ? ;)  - to allow for changes after the upstream programming ?

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Hmmmm....It seems that this thread has gone away from what the Lee wanted....A simple answer to What costs are, and procedures/who does it, to everyone coming up with elaborate 'alternatives' that are more headaches rather than simply stating the obvious "WOW THATS A LOT OF MONEY"

 

I technically answered Lees question in post #5 and should have left it at that, but I erred and allowed this to carry on and here we are 25 added posts and a day later....

 

My apologies to Lee for hijacking his thread.

 

 

Jim

 

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Jim, I understand your concern; however, the pricing info provided by you has been helpful (at least to me) and I am looking forward to hear any other pricing data points that you acquire.

David (aka frog_jr)

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jgmdesign wrote:

Hmmmm....It seems that this thread has gone away from what the Lee wanted....A simple answer to What costs are, and procedures/who does it,

 Some numbers on that have been given - even high numbers, are still information...

 

jgmdesign wrote:

to everyone coming up with elaborate 'alternatives' that are more headaches rather than simply stating the obvious "WOW THATS A LOT OF MONEY"

 

Err, yes, once the numbers are so high, alternatives are called for...

 

I've also asked Nuvoton if they offer this service on their 8b MCUs - no reply yet...

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Back to topic...........

 

The second distributor has finally sent back their quote:

 

Price for ATTiny13A-SSU

 

$0.94 each/10,000 Pre-programmed, no label, reeled. - 6 week lead time minimum

 

Thats $9,700.00.  quite a difference from the first quote from the other distributor, but almost 2X more than the Evil Empire.

 

 

I am not looking to PIC a fight and start a war, but based on numbers alone....the PIC wins if I am willing to wait 13weeks(customer actually)

 

One can only hope that maybe when all the dust settles Mchip will offer the programming direct from the factory for the AVR like they do the PIC.

 

Until then....May your wallet be your guide.

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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I wonder how distributors actually do this pre-programming anyway? Could it be that they just hire minimum wage burger flipping students who just manually program them anyway? I guess they have to cover that cost then add their 40% profit to the activity too. ;-0

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I would guess the same as well.

 

But based on the numbers, and the fact that the code is less than 500bytes I may get my P**KIT3 out and give it a whirl just to see how painful it is to either convert the code I have done for the AVR, or just rewrite it to begin with.

 

Is what it is...........

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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It's usually a fully automated system - chips removed from the tape, put in a programming header (custom made for each package), programmed and verified, labelled or lasered as required, and finally fed into a re-reeling machine.

There are already a million monkeys in front of a million keyboards, and the internet is nothing like Shakespeare!

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Jim,

 

Have you asked your assembler if he can offer programming? It would have to be cheaper to do so after assembly surely.

 

Ross

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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valusoft wrote:

Have you asked your assembler if he can offer programming? It would have to be cheaper to do so after assembly surely.

 

Yup, which brings us back to adding contacts to do exactly that .... :)

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stupid questions:

1:

Can it be ISP on the final board? (are there components that avoid that).

2:

Which house ? (It doesn't take much space to be able to get to the ISP pins )

3:

How is the board tested that it works? (perhaps it can be programmed at that point) 

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It's a moot point.  My customer had no idea about time frames and the reality of production so the project is going to sit for at least another 6 months to 8 months before this has to be revisited.

 

I guess the majority of the posters have not had to do a 10k production run.  Being a one man operation here(not for long as I am slowly closing my doors) time is not a luxury.  Thats why having the parts pre-programmed by the factory was key...to save me time.  I cannot afford to set up 5 stations and put a few kids to do the work....why?  I do not trust American youth to do the job, which I explained in posts 17 and 19.  Sure the factory could screw the lot up, or just a few, but the idea of my having to buy three pc's and set up Studio or WTF ever and then trust that the person doing the job.....nevermind.  See posts 17 and 19.

 

I could add the pads to the bottom of the board and ask the assembler to do the programming and send the hex file, but the customer is not keen on that idea because what the product does is right up the Chinese alley for copying and then flooding the market.  Customer already has a patent on this thing, and most important...they do not trust the assembler.  Sure they wont know what it does, but my customer feels that once they do figure out what it is then they already have the code, know what processor is used and support parts..Customer is the boss and the Boss says NO.  Again  point is moot.

 

The board is tested for functionality....it only does two things.  So if it misses one or both, board thrown into the reject bin for repair later.  Since this project is on a simmer burner non issue for now.

 

As I said, the issue here is time....And what it's worth, and what the customer is willing to pay for, and how much I gain or lose by the direction they go.  There is a budget on this and my profit is based on staying in that budget.  The idea of paying one distributor $0.92 per chip to program and reel and $0.42 per chip itself or $13,700 kills my profit almost altogether.  Paying the other distributor $0.21 per AVR to program and reel them, is still high, but they want $0.76 for the AVR so thats $9,700 which puts a little more in my pocket to use on the assembler and for myself.

 

Then the Evil Empire comes in at $0.46 for the PIC AND programming/packaging for $4,600.00.  That now leaves enough to cover all expenses and leave me with a profit I can live on for a few days.  Sure there are going to be some rejects but I can find the time to trouble shoot a few rejected boards instead of babysitting a bunch of people who are going to mutiny as soon as they see how mundane and boring the programming task is.

 

anyway like I have said...It's all a moot point for now, but I am going to explore the option.

I may not bother asking Avnet to quote it, but maybe a third report might change the field of view...not holding my breath.

 

MurdoMcLeod wrote:
PS atmel actually have got in-house programming but 10k is kinda low volumes, so they would probably push back.

I cannot repeat what Atmel told me, other than ...see the distributor.... And it had nothing to  do with volume. 

 

 

Thanks all, and sorry Lee for dragging this out. crying

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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I do not trust American youth to do the job,

I'm sure there is one capable and old enough to be trained nearby devil

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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js wrote:
I'm sure there is one capable and old enough to be trained nearby devil

If you are referring to my 7 year old, he's not an option.  Likes to look at the blinking lights, but his Attention Deficit means he will last about two units and he's done.

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Hell, if I lived near NYC, >>I'd<< do it.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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There is actually another angle on this I had not mentioned and that is Export/Import taxes.  There are U.S. Customs rules regarding Exporting electronic components to China, and one for Importing Electronic devices from China.  The Tax imposed is somewhat complicated, and is based on quite a few factors that I still do not understand but I now have the time to research more accurately. 

 

 

joeymorin wrote:

Hell, if I lived near NYC, >>I'd<< do it.

For $0.06 per IC?  I'll ship them to you when/if the time comes.

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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At 4 per minute, and adjusting for US<->CDN exchange rates, that's better than $18/hr, which is, incidentally, what I make as a wrench monkey in theatre ;-)
Now I just need to cobble together a semi-automated unreeling/programming/re-reeling jig to really rake in the big bucks... can you live without the laser etching? ;-)

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Surely you have the operational equivalent of a "carnet" don't you?

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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A carnet doesn't cover goods for processing.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Do you have an ISP header on the board? Is Plan A solder on programmed chips? And Plan B is solder on unprogrammed chips and program them? I think I can do about 4 per minute, so thats about 40 hrs... 10 evenings of 4 hrs. Ship em to Florida. Flat rate. $800. I'll program em and ship em back. Got any prototypes? Send me one, and the hex file, and I'll make sure I can get one programmed.

 

Imagecraft compiler user

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if the code only is 500 byte, it should take less than 1/10 of a sec. to program, or with everything about 1/5 of a sec.

So still with only one programmer 10000 should take less than an hour to program, so it's handling the boards that takes time not the programming.

 

How many boards would there be on a frame?