RFM12B End of Life Rumour

Added by GadgetUK about 7 years ago

Hi All,

I’ve just discovered that the RFM12B is an end of life product, details here


Replies (11)

RE: RFM12B End of Life - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

Typical, But I’m sure JCW will find something compatible and knock out a Jeenode v7.

RE: RFM12B End of Life - Added by dzach about 7 years ago

It looks like the RFM69W that is suggested as a substitute is a lot more capable than the RFM12B. Couldn’t find a price for it though.

RE: RFM12B End of Life - Added by JohnO about 7 years ago

16 connection pads versus 14

RE: RFM12B End of Life - Added by martin about 7 years ago

I was looking at TI’s CC1101 anyway, but will stick with the crowd when it comes to making the decision

RE: RFM12B End of Life - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

Number 1 on my requirements for a replacement would be backwards compatibility.

RE: RFM12B End of Life? - Added by martynj about 7 years ago

This topic reminds me of an end of term exam:

Contrast and compare the following phrases.

  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! (T.B. Lance)
  • That (design) is so ‘90’s (DIY TV) Agreed, for the RFM12B series, the underlying Silicon Labs chip is an “old” design, but so is the venerable 555 chip. It has “legacy” status for some time. That in itself doesn’t imply much - simply that if you have any technical questions not covered in the existing documentation, don’t call Tech Support! The design is sound, the process is stable and Hope RF makes them in 10,000 batches, starting from raw silicon wafers. Yes, Hope have flagged some Distributors that the family is ’reaching end of life’, perhaps partly in an attempt to promote more recent designs. But Manufacturers are pragmatic, as long as the bulk orders keep coming in, they will keep making them. The original R&D cost is long since paid off so this keeps the burdened cost low and their margins healthy.

The suggested “replacement” module is a poor match. It is not form, pin or functionally compatible, so considerable work will be needed to adapt to it. It does have some enhancements for very low energy consumption, more flexible modulation schemes etc. and is around the same price point. IMHO, it is a poor strategy to expect your customer base to jump through hoops to make un-asked for changes - this risks throwing open the doors on evaluation of other vendors.

Yes, eventually the product family will become unobtainable. But by a stroke of brilliant foresight (actually not, just from the need to order very large quantities to keep the Shop prices as economical as possible) JeeLabs has access to stock levels that will last, at the current run rate, with growth, well into 2014. And yes, bring your creditcard, HopeRF are accepting orders right now and have not issued even a hint of a date when this may stop.

Bottom line - Rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated. (Mark Twain)

RE: RFM12B End of Life? - Added by dabbishaw about 7 years ago

Excellent information and excellent news.

I assume if they announced that they would stop taking orders in the future jeelabs would order another batch if a suitable replacement hasn’t been found.

RE: RFM12B End of Life? - Added by jfklein about 7 years ago

So basically this we have stockpiles for at least one year and that there’s even no gauranty that this module is becoming unobtainable anytime soon.

So if I understand you correctly its merely a warning to just start keeping an open eye for replacements and a warning to not base any new products on the old rf12b module anymore…

And this also means that there is a module out there that can be made compatible with the current RF12 protocol we are using, but this one requires a redesign of the jeenode pcb’s. This would spawn a JeeNode v7 for example….

RE: RFM12B End of Life? - Added by martynj about 7 years ago

jfklein, yes - that is a good summary of my (perhaps myopic) view. The alternative is you should sell the house, buy 100,000 pieces and corner the market..   ;-)

But perhaps remember some wise words:

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.    (Benjamin Franklin)

RE: RFM12B End of Life? - Added by jfklein about 7 years ago

Cornering the market seems to be a bad idea, especially if you’re tring to corner the market with an outdated product. (The successor product seems to be superior to its predecessor)

And remember: Taxes are uncertain already, it just depends on how much work you’re willing to punt into avoiding them and through recent scientific disoveries, even death is starting to become uncertain in about a century…..

RE: RFM12B End of Life? - Added by martin about 7 years ago

I had talks with a HopeRF representative on the subject, here is some information from the source:

“RFM12B is not suggested to new design, so the distributor is cautious to hold stock for old modules. I have a suggestion, you can use RFM12B-868S1, the life time of S1 type will be longer than S2, because S1 is our high run items. S1 use can-type crystal, S2 use low-profile crystal, both are 10ppm, that’s the only difference.”

It seems that there will be trouble ahead , at least for the flat-crystal versions.