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November 2017 – Finding Alternative Semiconductor Components

Published on: 20/11/2017

Three ways to source alternative semiconductor components

Finding alternative semiconductor components. Businessman hand working with a Cloud Computing diagram on the new computer interface as concept

Many engineers, buyers and procurement specialists require support in finding alternative semiconductor components when the components they regularly use eventually get discontinued or become obsolete.


Help finding alternative semiconductor components

We share with you our top tips in how you can find a replacement part quickly, saving you time and money:

Speak to your distributor

In the first instance you should contact your distributor and inform them of your demand for the part, if they know a product is being discontinued and their customer is willing to commit they might be able to arrange a last time buy which will fulfil your supply for a longer period of time. You can then work with your distributor to phase out that part and introduce a new product to your billing of materials.

If the part has been confirmed obsolete, the quickest way to find an alternative for your project is to contact your main distributor. They have the knowledge to compare product specifications and will often recommend higher rated devices of the same part which is a mechanically interchangeable part, a mechanically similar part from another manufacturer they stock or they can sometimes offer a customised solution. Distributors are so familiar with the products; they are often able to tell you product alternatives straight away or they will put you on hold while they double check.


Contact the manufacturer

In few cases, and where customers have a direct account with the manufacturer themselves, customers are able to seek support from the manufacturers directly. If possible, this is often a time consuming process and manufacturers prefer customers to seek support and alternatives from their authorised distributors.


Seek your own alternative

Technical buyers and purchasers are able to cross-reference their part with existing parts offered by the manufacturer to establish alternative components. The quickest way to do this, without much research is to use the same part with a higher rating, i.e. If a buyer requires 50 off of MCC56-16IO1B they could use MCC56-18IO1B as both parts are mechanically interchangeable, they just have higher voltage ratings offering an improved performance. This is extremely beneficial when sourcing smaller quantities or when lead times are exceptionally high. We always recommend checking the alternative parts with your distributor, especially if you’re unsure that the component will do the same job.


At GD Rectifiers, we can help find the right products for you. We’ve been sourcing semiconductors for our customers for over 50 years. We specialise in sourcing hard to find, obsolete, last buy and replacement semiconductor components. We partner with over 25 of the world’s leading manufacturers including IXYS, Semikron and Westcode to provide a broad range of power electronic components.

Alongside semiconductors, we also manufacture and distribute a wide range of power assemblies and controllers, heatsinks and hardware, circuit protection devices, traction converters and subsystems, capacitors, rectifiers, selenium rectifiers and high voltage diodes.

We can help you source the components you need, speak to one of our sales team today to discuss your requirements.

For further information on finding alternative parts please call our team today on: 01444 243 452 or email


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