Story on plastic packaging missed some key facts

The article entitled "Survey: PEMs are more reliable than mil-spec parts" in the February 1997 issue indicates a naive acceptance of the "facts" by your publication. Unfortunately, Mr. Hakim has misrepresented data in the past and you have acted as his spokesman by reporting his claims without confirming the facts. In an earlier article (DOD takes on ceramic vs. plastic COTS issue in December 1996) you refer to Mr. Hakim`s survey as " ... a survey in which more than 60 subsystem suppliers said t

To The Editor:

The article entitled "Survey: PEMs are more reliable than mil-spec parts" in the February 1997 issue indicates a naive acceptance of the "facts" by your publication. Unfortunately, Mr. Hakim has misrepresented data in the past and you have acted as his spokesman by reporting his claims without confirming the facts. In an earlier article (DOD takes on ceramic vs. plastic COTS issue in December 1996) you refer to Mr. Hakim`s survey as " ... a survey in which more than 60 subsystem suppliers said that commercial ICs were equivalent or superior to mil-spec ICs ... " while the current article notes that there were " ... 16 defense and commercial integrators and subsystem suppliers." At best, only one of your articles contains the correct information. A correction and explanation are warranted.

The February 1997 article also quotes Mr. Hakim as reporting a "commercial vs. mil device cost savings of between 6 percent and 100 percent, with an average device savings of 37 percent." I know that some of us in the DOD are slow to catch on to "Best Commercial Practice" but doesn`t a 100 percent savings mean they got it for free? Statements such as this should raise questions with your reporters.

Finally, if you wanted to prove most people thought the Earth was flat you could pick 16 people to send surveys to in order to reach that conclusion. Please get a copy of the survey, find out how the survey recipients were chosen, review the unedited responses, and report your own conclusions. Your publication and readers deserve it.

Eugene C. Blackburn, chief

Electronics Reliability Division

Electromagnetics & Reliability Directorate

U.S. Air Force Rome Laboratory

Rome, N.Y.

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