Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2018


Component Sourcing for Design and Manufacturing in Shenzhen

An augmentation of Bunnie Huang's "Guide to Shenzhen": what you should know and how you should have designed the PCB and selected the components.... BEFORE making the trip to Shenzhen

Bunnie Huang's "Guide to Shenzhen" is absolutely invaluable, but it assumes that you know exactly what you need to get, before you actually get it. If this isn't clear, for an example of exactly what the problem is, try an Internet search for "Laptop trackpad supplier". Did you find one? Did you find a source of trackpads for use in that laptop that you're thinking of designing? Or did your search queries instead get completely and utterly swamped with thousands upon thousands of aliexpress pictures of the EXACT SAME Apple Trackpad for a 13in Macbook Pro?

What about LCDs? Do you even know what type of LCD is commonly available right now? Were you aware that MIPI is Cartelled? Or that the people telling you that eDP is "The Future" are trying to push a much higher-power-consumption design at you and they forgot to invite China-based Manufacturers to the closed-door meeting. How can you actually find which LCDs are commonly manufactured and available in Shenzhen, so that you can begin the design right now before you take that expensive trip abroad.

And what about components? If you've looked on taobao or aliexpress, you'll know that many of them are rip-offs, there's absolutely no datasheets, the vendors make pittance so they're extremely unlikely to answer your questions... so what actual use is this resource, to anyone?

This talk will help answer the paradox of bridging the gap between Shenzhen market prices and the Western and Libre mindsets for hardware design, allowing attendees to take proper advantage of the lower pricing of Shenzhen-sourced parts, and to avoid the nightmare scenario of designing a PCB only to find that its parts went End-of-Life in the Shenzhen markets many years ago, and that the last remaining parts available must be bought from Digikey and IMPORTED (back into China from where they originated!) with a whopping lead time and huge import tariffs of up to 40 percent.


Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton