Original Post Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The preliminary results are in for our electronics complexity study!   For those that are unfamiliar with TruePlanning® lingo, Manufacturing Complexity for Electronics is our scale for measuring the differences in technology, producibility (component make-up, packaging density, test and reliability requirements, etc.) and yield of the electronics being estimated.  As the complexity number gets bigger, it means the electronics are more complex, and more costly (per unit weight) to develop and manufacture.


At first glance, the general trend from lowest complexity to highest complexity seems about right.  The lower complexity items are found on all kinds of equipment.  The higher complexity items tend to be found on electronic warfare equipment, or items for which failure means loss of human life or other major consequences.  It makes sense these items would be more complex/costly.

Another interesting thing about these results is the standard deviation (SD).  For some categories, every data point came close to the same complexity (low SD), while others had a very wide range (high SD).  The low SD items, such as digital memory boards or power converters, tend to serve only 1 main purpose or be used in a similar way in all types of equipment.  The high SD items, such as power supplies and RF amplifiers, could be found in wildly different environments (on a desk vs. on a ship cruising the arctic vs. on a satellite) or served a wide range of purposes (walkie talkies vs. complex weapon systems).

We’ve got a few more steps until the project is complete, but the preliminary results look very promising.  Feel free to leave a comment or question!