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TopLine Warns: Loss of Vendor Could Compromise US Defense Industry

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- TopLine Corporation, a producer of specialized electronic components is raising concerns over potential industry delays to deliver critical defense components, specifically Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). "Production of FPGA components used in defense and aerospace applications are typically farmed-out to subcontractors," observes TopLine CEO Martin Hart.

"Generally, FPGA makers don't feel a sense of urgency to broaden their reliance beyond a single source subcontractor to perform the last assembly step of attaching copper-wrapped solder columns to FPGA devices. FPGA makers are not required to voluntarily qualify multiple subcontractors," says Hart. Currently, only one subcontractor is approved to provide copper-wrapped solder column attachment on FPGA devices, as registered in the Qualified Manufacturer List (QML-38535) published by the DOD.

"Customers in the defense and aerospace industry should be nervous since they rely on a monopoly subcontractor with the ability to raise prices at will because no competition exists.  If a sudden production stoppage were to occur, it would take two-years before another subcontractor could become qualified to resume production at needed levels. Such an occurrence might cause advanced avionics to stay grounded, possibly tipping the balance of peace in the World Order," adds Hart.

Hart believes that advocate stakeholders, including major customers of FPGA devices such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop-Grumman and Raytheon, should articulate a shared vision to accelerate a program to qualify multiple subcontractors. Hart asserts that he has already kick-started the initiative by identifying five candidates who are ready to become providers of copper-wrapped column attachment services, under the condition that the FPGA companies pay for the cost of QML qualification.  So far, two FPGA makers have taken action to broaden their vendor base for these critical services.

Hart states, "It is in the best interests for the U.S. industrial base to execute risk mitigation strategies and to ensure a robust, secure and resilient capability to produce critically needed FPGA components by strengthening the supply chain for key assembly processes including column attachment services. A relatively modest investment to qualify more subcontractors can substantially reduce the risk of an FPGA shortage instead of waiting for an unexpected disaster to strike, potentially costing the defense industry hundreds of millions of dollars," warns Hart.

For more information, contact TopLine Corporation directly, Tel (401) 480-3433; Email: press@TopLine.tv.

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