Spirit Electronics Offers Foundry Services for U.S.-based Manufacturing Amid Foundry Consolidation

Spirit Electronics now offers foundry services supporting U.S.-based manufacturing for analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits. Spirit’s foundry access includes 45- to 130-nm technology nodes in 300 mm wafer fabs. With corporate consolidation and long-lead-time pressures demanding greater capacity from existing fabs, Spirit’s foundry services open an accessible supply chain channel for ASIC manufacturing.

“Supply chain demands have remained high despite limited manufacturing capacity at the major American fabs,” explains Spirit CEO Marti McCurdy. “Our foundry services are an opportunity to manufacture ASICs using advanced processes in quality fabs to add agility to the supply chain and improve time-to-market.”

Spirit’s application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturing is part of an end-to-end supply chain service that includes IC design and engineering, wafer manufacturing, wafer binning and processing, packaging and substrate assembly, and screening and qualification.

“Where most ASIC companies complete the design and outsource the rest, Spirit’s foundry services manage the manufacturing, packaging and assembly all under one American supplier,” McCurdy says.

Spirit’s foundry services specialize in technology nodes around 65-nm and higher range for analog and mixed-signal devices that are a cornerstone of aerospace and defense electronics. Authorized distribution relationships with multiple OEMs allow Spirit to offer collaborative engineering and supplier support for critical circuit design.

After substrate design, packaging and assembly, Spirit’s MIL-STD-883 testing services cover device analysis, screening and qualification in-house to meet military and aerospace standards. Device analysis services include destructive physical analysis (DPA) that offers verification of the manufacturing process. Spirit’s test services also include radiation capabilities to provide space-grade and harsh-environment ASIC qualification. With engineering involvement from the design stage, Spirit can easily customize testing programs for efficiency and mission-specific data.

“Adding foundry services allows us to vertically integrate all steps of the ASIC production process under one U.S.-based supplier,” McCurdy concludes. “This is a true end-to-end manufacturing service that delivers application-ready ASICs.”

Spirit Electronics to Provide Device Analysis with Acquisition of Insight Analytical Labs

Spirit Electronics has acquired Insight Analytical Labs to add device analysis services, including destructive physical analysis (DPA), to its existing full-turnkey semiconductor supply chain services. Insight Analytical Labs is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the team, operations and assets will become part of Spirit Electronics.

“We can now provide device analysis services that result in process and yield improvements along with improved manufacturability design,” says Spirit CEO Marti McCurdy. “The Insight Analytical team brings extensive experience and proven processes that will benefit our customers with reduced lead times and increased supply chain security for these in-demand services.”

Insight Analytical Labs has been in operation for 30 years, providing electronics analytical services including DPA, failure analysis, reverse engineering and IP litigation support. Spirit Electronics will leverage DPA to provide construction analysis that offers in-depth internal inspection of an electronic component to detect production defects. Aerospace and defense programs require DPA to prevent component failures in high-reliability applications.

Spirit Electronics will maintain and operate the DPA lab operations in Colorado Springs. Spirit will seek qualification for the new Colorado Springs facility to bring Insight Analytical’s lab services under the Spirit Electronics quality management system and lab suitability. An invitation for customer site-audits and qualification will be announced soon.

“Customers can expect DPA test operations to continue, and Spirit will bring in our automation, ERP system, cybersecurity measures and Quality program that have made us a trusted distributor and value-add business in the industry,” says CEO McCurdy. “We will continue to manage our distribution, MIL-STD-883 testing and circuit card assembly from our Phoenix, AZ, headquarters. We are excited to expand to Colorado where there is growing opportunity in defense and the commercial space industry.”

Spirit Electronics Honored by Northrop Grumman for Strategic Excellence

Northrop Grumman 2023 Supplier Award

Spirit Account Representative Jason Brandsma and Corporate Sales Manager Dan Jasinek  

Spirit Electronics was recently recognized as a top Northrop Grumman Corporation supplier for 2022 with their Strategic Excellence Award. Spirit earned the honor for providing electronic components and value-added services that support unique and critical business needs for Northrop Grumman and its customers with outstanding service.

“I’m very proud of the partnership the Spirit team has grown with Northrop Grumman,” says Spirit Electronics CEO Marti McCurdy. “Spirit offers a vertically integrated approach to the supply chain, which is why we are able to offer such strategic support to our customers’ advanced programs.”

Spirit was one of only 24 honorees to receive the Strategic Excellence Award from among Northrop Grumman’s 10,000 global suppliers. This is the second year running for Spirit’s recognition in Northrop Grumman’s supplier awards. Spirit was named a World Class Team Supplier in 2021.

“The performance of Spirit Electronics sets it apart as one of the best of the best supplier partners,” said Matt Bromberg, Corporate Vice President, Global Operations Northrop Grumman. “The expertise and partnership of our supplier teams across the globe demonstrates that together, we are well positioned to meet our customers’ most complex mission needs.”

Spirit Electronics offers strategic supply chain solutions for aerospace and defense customers. Spirit’s products and services include authorized component distribution, MIL-STD-883 testing and qualification, and automated circuit card assembly. Bringing distribution and services in-house under a single supply source allows Spirit to streamline, secure and manage multiple aspects of the supply chain for customers like Northrop Grumman.


Intelligent Memory Added to Spirit Line Card

Intelligent Memory high-mix, low-volume DDR, DRAM and NAND flash now at Spirit Electronics

Spirit Electronics announces authorized distribution for Intelligent Memory high-mix low-volume DDR, DRAM and NAND flash memory components. IM memory is especially important to aerospace and defense customers as a form, fit and function drop-in replacement for obsoleted or end-of-life products of other memory manufacturers.  

With a focus on ruggedized, industrial and legacy requirements, IM offers flexible and reliable memory options that can be customized to unique applications and challenging environments.

Intelligent Memory is positioned as a one-stop-shop memory supplier, complementing Spirit’s business model as a one-stop distribution, test and assembly company within the aerospace and defense supply chain. “We share the same approach to delivering reliable and ready-to-launch solutions for our customers,” Spirit CEO Marti McCurdy explains. “Intelligent Memory expands our memory offering to meet the exact size, speed, temperature and performance our customer programs require.”

Intelligent Memory is a fabless memory manufacturer owning design, development, test and manufacturing of unique DRAM components and modules. The brand works with tier-one fabricators and in-house design, testing and quality controls. All IM products are JEDEC compliant, and Spirit’s in-house screening and qualification can elevate product data and reliability to meet strict military standard and aerospace requirements.

As space and defense programs expand to meet faster production timelines, Spirit has seen particular supply chain needs around DDR memory and programs that depend on legacy memory or struggle to replace obsolete memory products. IM memory offers a variety of configurations, densities, features and packaging, including the first DDR3 8GB single-chip component. Many IM products are backwards compatible with those of other memory manufacturers.

Spirit Electronics offers Intelligent Memory alongside a comprehensive line card of authorized industry-leading components, including FPGAs and other integrated circuits. In addition to distribution, Spirit provides MIL-STD-883 testing, radiation testing, solder exchange and circuit card assembly in-house, making it a unique supply chain partner capable of managing complex aerospace program logistics.

About Spirit Electronics:Spirit Electronics is a value-added distributor of a wide range of electronic components, testing, circuit board assembly and logistics services. Spirit’s supply chain solutions are changing the definition of distribution by providing in-house value-added services to deliver products to aerospace and defense customers fully qualified and ready to use. Spirit is a veteran-owned, woman-owned small business (VOWOSB) with HUBZone certification in Phoenix, AZ. 

Lockheed Martin Space Outstanding Small Business for 2022

Lockheed Martin Outstanding Small Business 2022

Spirit Electronics is proud to announce its selection as an Outstanding Small Business for Lockheed Martin’s Space division for 2022. One of only five suppliers in the country to receive the award, Spirit achieved 100% on-time-delivery and 99.45% quality scores. Spirit provides Lockheed Martin Space with authorized distribution and full-turnkey test and assembly for microelectronics and semiconductors.

The Lockheed Space division estimates it will spend approximately $5.4 billion in 2022 with small businesses, generating economic growth and taking advantage of small business strengths in innovation and agility. Lockheed Martin Space’s Orion program alone includes 2,900 suppliers, with approximately 50% being small businesses like Spirit.

“This is truly a team effort to win service awards and recognition from our customers,” says Spirit CEO Marti McCurdy. “From our dedicated account representatives to our sales and purchasing, our warehouse inspectors, our lab, our quality and even admin teams, everyone at Spirit pours excellence into their work. It shows in our processes, customer satisfaction and relationships.”

Spirit is a woman-owned, veteran-owned and HUBZone certified small business. In the past 5 years, the team has grown from under ten to more than thirty employees. Spirit purchased and renovated a 16,000sf facility in a historically underutilized business zone in Phoenix in 2019. Spirit expanded from its roots as an authorized microelectronics and semiconductor distributor to offer MIL-STD-883 testing services, BGA solder exchange and an in-house circuit board assembly line.

“This team truly embodies the tenacity and personal service of a small business,” says McCurdy. “We are on a mission to redefine the supply chain by bringing multiple services and efficiency under one supplier for our customers, and this award shows we are achieving that with the best quality of service.”

Laser Marking Microelectronics, Semiconductors & PCBs  for Supply Chain Security

Component & PCB Laser Marking

Why is laser marking an essential value-add service in A&D?

When you plan a test or assembly program with your service provider, how will you identify and track your components from the manufacturer to the final circuit board assembly? Aerospace has strict requirements for detailed documentation and part number specs, but is that paperwork trail enough?

Product markings on each component offer the most reliable method for ID and tracking through your supply chain and assembly. While aerospace has relied on ink marking or labeling in the past, high-tech laser marking is a superior option. 

Laser marking can be performed quickly and efficiently to custom specs as part of distribution, test programs or assembly programs.

High-Tech Laser Resolution, Precision & Control

Spirit’s Epilog FusionEdge laser machine uses a fiber optic cable to precisely direct a laser beam onto a component’s surface. Unlike a CO2 laser, there is no combustion where the fiber optic laser meets the surface, and therefore no heat exposure that can compromise a component’s functionality.

The laser draws alphanumeric identifiers, serial numbers, barcodes or images like logos. It etches and discolors the external component packaging with the computer programmed image to create a custom marking.

Laser Marking Corbin
Lab tech Corbin Pearson offers a laser marking demo

Programming & Customization

Epilog FusionEdge laser marking machine
Epilog Laser machine camera and precision controls

The laser marking is permanent and high-resolution, making the markings easily readable by manual inspection or automated scanners. The laser machine uses electronic programming, templates and image files to precisely direct the laser for each individual component or for uniform marking across multiple components. The customer can specify what markings are required and in what configuration and location.

Alignment & Depth Control

Automation and a camera positioning system control the laser alignment and depth for accurate mark placement. The depth control of the laser etching is particularly important to protect package integrity and the internal component, especially as components are becoming smaller and lighter.

Precision depth control of the laser mark allows an etched mark that is just deep enough to be legible and permanent without going so deep as to damage the package seal or potentially etch the interior of the component.

Laser mark depth range

Production Control & Traceability

Most electronic components come marked with part numbers or lot information from the original manufacturer. Parts may undergo additional services, testing or qualification, and finally, assembly onto a circuit board before ever reaching the end customer. 

Testing High-Reliability Parts

Whether the component is going into stock or directly onto a board, the end customer needs to be able to trace its origin back to the OEM. If a part receives modifications or testing, it needs to be differentiated from any original manufacturer product or stock. While part and lot numbers and documentation can help with identification, a custom laser marking on the parts is a physical insurance that serviced parts are identifiable.

Just as important are markings for rejected parts. Parts undergoing destructive testing or parts that fail testing or screening for hi-rel applications should never be mixed back into stock. Laser marking these components is an additional insurance that rejects are physically segregated and will not be used and ultimately fail in production.

Purchasing data and documents can trace a product, designate any testing or modifications performed and identify service providers. However, laser marking makes it possible to track very step with physical part markings. Customers can add lot codes or customer part numbers to a component to differentiate parts receiving services from original stock. 

Circuit Board Marking

PCBs (printed circuit boards) can also be physically laser marked for traceability of the overall assembly. Customers often need their own product marking and logo at this stage. 

A service provider with a laser marker can ensure this step happens on-site at the contract manufacturer before the board is shipped. The customer receives the finished board ready to use with full traceability and their own unique identifiers and logos.

Circuit boards
Assembled circuit cards

Laser: the Superior Marking Method

Aerospace part marking methods include other options like ink and labeling, but laser marking offers a permanent physical mark on the component package that remains legible over time. Even after a part leaves the warehouse and has to perform in harsh environments, the mark is physically etched on the surface and less susceptible to erosion and fading. 

Ink: Old-school ink marking often required custom tools to print an image in ink onto a component package. The ink marking had to be tested for resistance to solvents and was at risk of fading, smudging, or fading in the long run. 

Labels: Adhesive labels, another tracking method, have to leave minimal residue on high-reliability packaging. At the same time, they can be peeled off or tampered with and are at risk for physical wear, damage or friction peeling.

Spirit Laser Mark with laser flash
Laser marking is effective on plastic and metal surfaces.

Ink marking and label ink can fade or smudge over time, causing errors in manual reading or barcode scanning. Laser marking does not leave any residue or FOD. Laser Marking templates and controls are digital and customizable, reducing the materials needed to perform the marking. 

Since the mark is etched into the component surface, there is no risk of a laser mark fading, smudging, peeling or becoming illegible over time.

Counterfeit Prevention

Laser marking is harder to remove or alter than ink or labels. Secure digital programing and image file exchanges with a trusted service provider guarantee customer marks and logos are authentic, consistent and legible. 

Whether tracing a marked component back to the OEM or on a completed circuit board, laser marking offers physical part identification that is more difficult to counterfeit. While counterfeiters may attempt to sand off markings or add characters to a part number, they lack the accuracy and digital controls to cover a marking or uniformly alter it.

Customers working with trusted supply chain providers with authorized distribution and relationships with the OEM can ensure custom laser marking is uniform in fonts, placement, sizing and imaging. There is no need for solvent testing a laser marking for permanence. Customers can trust that parts laser marked in their program are authentic.

Stand-Alone Laser Marking & Program Add-Ons

Laser marking can be performed quickly and in high volume with no impact to lead times, making it cost-efficient and easy to add as a step in any service program. 

Spirit’s laser marking is performed in our warehouse alongside our other on-site value-add services. Marking products on-site as soon as work is performed offers the best traceability and product control.

microelectronics laser marking
Laser mark detail

Efficient laser marking can also be an easy-to-add step in more complex supply chain programs. Supply programs in aerospace can include processes such as:

Laser marking parts that undergo these programs allows a customer to differentiate parts from base-level OEM components. 

Laser Marking Offers Efficient Traceability & Control

Customers may not physically mark components until parts arrive in their warehouse. They need laser marking processes to be quality controlled and meet supply chain security expectations for logo and image controls. Without the right type of laser marking with the right digital controls, a laser can etch too deep or too hot and damage a high-reliability or sensitive component.

In a worst-case inventory scenario, a large warehouse may lose track of which components receive value-added services if services are only tracked by paperwork or electronic management. Down the line, parts in flight on a board may need to be traced, and individual components may be difficult to trace if they are only marked by the OEM. For specialized and custom hi-rel boards, this traceability matters much more than for mass-produced commercial boards.

microelectronics laser marking
Laser mark detail

As with many supply chain services in aerospace and defense, laser marking offers a level of insurance to protect your part, your assembly, and ultimately your mission. Spirit’s laser marking process is quality controlled, and we work closely with our customers to mark parts securely and within the bounds of product safety. 

With a trusted laser marking process performed right at your electronics distribution source, you add a level of physical traceability and part ID to maintain care, custody and control of your product from the minute it is delivered on your dock.

Get a Quote for Laser Marking

Spirit: Behind the Screen podcast

Podcast Ep. 36: Laser Marking for Microelectronic Traceability: What We Can Mark and Why

In this episode of our Behind the Screen podcast, Spirit’s Lab Technician Corbin Pearson joins Marti McCurdy to talk about our Epliog fiber laser machine. Corbin explains that the laser marker can be programmed for depth of the marking as well as placement and automated serialization for multiple parts in a lot or tray.

Roadmap to Zero Defects

Roadmap to Zero Defects

ELES uses Reliability Embedded Test Engineering (RETE) to help manufacturers improve their semiconductor design and component reliability. In the latest episode of our Spirit: Behind the Screen podcast, Marco Paolucci and Marti McCurdy discuss how the ELES approach is a safety net to prevent dangerous product failures. 

ELES is an Italian manufacturer of test equipment and systems that exercise and qualify semiconductors around the world. Marco Paolucci is the sales and business development director delivering the ELES zero defect goal to Spirit and the US.

Marco explains how the ELES approach is a safety net to prevent dangerous product failures.

Your test and qualification process is only as good as your test equipment. Not only is Spirit building out a test lab with the best equipment on the market, but we are also offering capital equipment sales to support your test programs. Visit spiritelectronics.com/capital-equipment-sales/ to learn more.

Spirit Electronics Awarded HUBZone Certification

Spirit Electronics, a Veteran-Owned, Woman-Owned Small Business (VOWOSB, SDB) that provides electronic component distribution and value-added services to the Aerospace and Defense industry is pleased to announce its certification as a HUBZone business by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).

Spirit Electronics is now eligible for HUBZone opportunities and is included on the list of certified HUBZone small business concerns. As a HUBZone-certified business, Spirit Electronics and its customers are able to further support economic growth and opportunity in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). 

To achieve HUBZone Certification, Spirit had to meet a range of criteria that included its principal office being located in a Federally-mapped HUBZone area and 35% or more of its employees residing within HUBZone regions. Spirit also had to submit to a comprehensive application process that confirmed these and other stringent requirements as set forth by the program. As a certified HUBZone small business concern, Spirit may receive program benefits, including eligibility for HUBZone set-aside awards, HUBZone sole source awards, the HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference in full and open competition, and HUBZone reserves.

Through the HubZone program, we are able to hire and train well qualified candidates, many of them in our own city of Phoenix,” says Marti McCurdy, Spirit Electronics’ owner and CEO. “Through our certification, our customers also support HUBZone residents and development, which is especially meaningful to our Aerospace and Defense industry.”

We continue to expand our capabilities and offerings, and invest in the community around us. I am proud of our company’s impact on our community and look forward to growing our business in a meaningful way.” 

About Spirit Electronics:

For more than four decades, Spirit Electronics has been a valued distributor and partner to key technology sectors, especially aerospace and defense. Our status as a VOWOSB, SDB company provides diversity requirement relief to defense and aerospace customers.

Spirit specifically offers a wide range of electronic components and world-class value-added services, including SMI, Wafer and Component Electrical Testing, Design, Contract Manufacturing Services, and End-of-Life Management. 

Spirit Electronics is located in Phoenix, AZ, with sales offices in New England, San Jose and Irvine, CA.

Federal agencies strive to maintain 3% of all annual contracts to be set-aside for certified small businesses, which provides Spirit Electronics, as a WOVOSB and HUBZone certified, with increased opportunities when pursuing specified Federal IT contracts.

Zef Malik and Bridging the Gap: How Testing Adds Value in the Supply Chain

Bridging the Gap between Manufacturer and Customer

In Episode 4 of Behind the Screen podcast, Zef describes how the manufacturer’s goal is to build and design quality into their product, while the customer may have more demanding specs and tests to meet for military verification. As a value-add distributor, Spirit supports a dynamic supply chain between the manufacturer and our customer. Our role as a distributor in product screening is to bridge that gap between manufacturer and customer. But it’s not just making sure that the tests are run to the standard. Zef and Marti discuss how adding value includes the relationship and process knowledge we share with the manufacturer and understanding the performance needs of the customer. Zef explains the value in delivering a customer all the product verification controls they’re looking for with a big-picture understanding of inventory management, time and cost savings, and predictability. Marti wraps up the chat by explaining that this global view and Spirit’s ownership of product warranty is what we call “Owning the Qual.

Listen to the podcast.