ATmega price has increased - WHY?!

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#1
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Hi!

Last week I went to buy some ATmegas and I paid a bit more than I expected. I asked the lady, who sold me the chips, wheteher the prices have increased.
She told me, that Atmel has increased the ATmega prices twice in the last two months. Especially the old ATmega prices (ATmega8,16,64,128) have increased a lot, which means that some of the chips have now more than double price.
I have bought ATmega16 for about 1.8 $ in May, now it is 4.3$ (I paid them in HUF - Hungarian Forint they are converted to US dollar).

Does anyone know why is this increase? Is it temporary?
Now AVR is not so attractive anymore with these prices... :(

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Perhaps it's something to do with the state of the $.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

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As Atmel presumably charge distributors in $ pricing then wouldn't the weakening dollar make for lower rather than higher pricing?

Of course I guess it depends how the Hungarian forint is faring against a basket of international currencies. Perhaps its weakening even more than the dollar? (or perhaps Atmel use € pricing in Europe and we all know which way the € has been headed recently!)

Cliff

EDIT xe.net seems to confirm that the HUF has pretty much maintained the same level against US$ but has been weakening against the €

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leon_heller wrote:
Perhaps itMight be, but I don't really think it can cause such brutal price increase (doubling prices).
I rather would suspect some problem with the production capacity.
Or they might want to force the customers with this to use the newer ATmegas, and XMegas.

But these are only my guessings. If somebody knows for sure could share the info.
Especially I would like to know if these prices will stay or is this only temporary. If this will stay I will have to consider using other microcontroller.

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It never hurts to check on the newer comp. devices which are often priced cheaper. Did you check on 164P prices?

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lammelm wrote:
Does anyone know why is this increase? Is it temporary?
Now AVR is not so attractive anymore with these prices... :(
Rumor is that Atmel is adjusting the whole AVR price scale in the light of the upcoming XMega product line. Rumor is the goal is to let XMegas look really attractive compared to other AVRs, and to shift production capacity from older AVRs to XMegas.

Mind you, these are rumors. I am not aware of an official Atmel statement.

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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Arnold's rumors sound quite plausible. This is the way that semiconductor companies often work as technology shifts (here, to more dense die and a new family coming along that will use that new technology).

Under the rumored scenario "legacy" devices will remain available at a higher price, but available and new devices will look really attractive due to added features and lower price.

While we have not seen quite such dramatic cost shifts as reported in Hungary, I have little doubt that they will come. In the Hungarian case, there may be other additional factors (currency, competition or lack thereof, supply and demand, distributor business issues, etc) that we don't, or can't, see clearly.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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But they could hardly start hiking the existing AVR prices when the alternatives are not yet actually available. The only effect of doing that would make people head off to the competitors.

(but from a quote I got today I do know that they are being VERY aggressive with X pricing - but if I told you how much they'd offered a particular device for I'd probaly have to kill you!)

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"This is our 2 cents." - just a guess...

I tend to post off-topic replies when I've noticed some interesting detail.
Feel free to stop me.

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Quote:

(but from a quote I got today I do know that they are being VERY aggressive with X pricing - but if I told you how much they'd offered a particular device for I'd probaly have to kill you!)

So what you are saying is that you could afford to hire a "hit man" with the savings realized from using that chip family?

I'll propose another reason for that, Cliff--"You get what you pay for". E.g., the "infinite value" compiler brand. [ducking] With the errata list of the only Xmega model seen out of captivity the Xmega may not be worth much for a production design-in. ;)

Anyway, back on topic: In the US I gauge the price of AVR chips via published or quoted prices from distributors Arrow, Avnet, DigiKey, Mouser. The quantity-1 prices from these same sources can vary very widely. I put little weight to single piece or low quantity prices from "secondary" sources that might offer AVRs to the niche market--e.g., Sparkfun, Olimex, Smiley, eBay, ... :) I can't tell from the postings which category the Hungarian source falls into.

I don't deal in 10k+ as Cliff sometimes does, and I don't think OP is concerned with that either.

The general AVR pricing structure hasn't changed much for many years, since the Mega8 dropped to ~US$2. Since then there have been MANY new models and families introduced and it has led to real anomalies in the pricing structure. For example, for several years after the Mega329 came out it was less expensive than the Mega169. [And it came out right after we did a 500 unit build on a controller with a Mega169. :( ]

So I'm not surprised if we see a price restructuring. Some of us may win and some may lose depending on which model(s) we need to buy.

Lee

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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Quote:
I don't deal in 10k+ as Cliff sometimes does

4M in this case in fact ;)

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clawson wrote:
4M in this case in fact ;)
Your stratospheric AVR consumption goes along nicely with your similarly exuberant post counts :shock:

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4M / 16k = 250 units per post. Finally a consistent guideline!

Well at Swedish distributor ELFA.se the Mega16 flavours range from 10.8 to 17.5 USD. Maybe that makes you happier with the Hungarian prices!

Andreasg

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That is good news about aggressively priced Xmegas - it is good to operate in a "free-ish" market where companies compete.

Viva la capitalism

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It would be interesting to compare the "local" Hungarian price to the price from, say, DigiKey with all of the add-ons for transport, customs, import tariffs, currency conversion, etc.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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also interesting to see if distributors raise the price for selling inventory THEY bought at the older lower prices. This is a dirty little secret in retailing - the pinnacle of which are the gasoline retailers.

Last Edited: Thu. Aug 14, 2008 - 07:36 PM
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Digikey was selling the mega16 for $3.75 (qty 100, in cut tape) four or five years ago (according to my DXP library), and currently it goes for $3.81 (614.297 HUF). Not much of a jump there...

How were you getting them for $1.80? What sort of quantities are you buying in?

I like cats, too. Let's exchange recipes.

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I bougth my chips at MSC Budapest Ltd. which is the Hungarian subsidiary company of MSC-GE (www.msc-ge.com) Which is quite a big distributor for many electrical components including also AVR from Atmel.
I have only recently watched the Digikey prices after this huge price increase here in Hungary. Now it seems I buy my chips for the same price as if I would order it from Digikey.
And about the quantity: 3 pieces I have bought last time... So actually it was the single piece price.

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3 pcs, that price won't get you a Coca-Cola in Paris!