Customer returns definitions and FAQs

Customer returns definitions and FAQs


Customer part number - the number you (the customer) use to identify the TI device

Customer reference/tracking number - the number used for shipment purposes to track customer orders

Customer unit ID - the number you (the customer) have assigned to the device being returned

Delivery document number - the number assigned to single or multiple line items in a customer order when the items are shipped 

Desired return quantity - the number of devices being returned to TI 

Functional issue - an issue that causes the device not to work as expected (including no output, excessive current consumption, not switching, etc.) 

Order number - the number you receive after completing an order with TI

Parts per million (PPM) - the failure rate of a device on a per million device count

Programmable products - devices whose operation and outputs can be customized by sending a particular code to the device. The devices typically will have a security key code which must be provided in order to proceed. 

Purchase order (PO) number - the TI external order number assigned to each customer order

Sales order (SO) number - The TI internal number assigned to each customer order. Multiple devices and/or multiple shipments/dates can be under a single sales order number. 

TI authorized distributors - TI strongly encourages purchasing from a TI authorized distributor to receive the following benefits:

  • Genuine TI devices with traceability
  • Handling and storage according to TI quality standards
  • Support with the most up-to-date technical and product information

Purchases from unauthorized sources carry the risk of receiving counterfeit devices or devices where original quality and reliability have been compromised. For these reasons, returns from unauthorized sources may not be accepted. 

TI store - TI’s online storefront that offers real-time inventory of 30,000+ products in stock 

TI (direct purchase) - Purchases completed via Purchase Order, directly from TI 

Total failed quantity - The number of units that have failed in the device’s history 

Total units run - The number of TI devices consumed during the customer’s manufacturing process over a set period of time (for example, “4,500 TI devices total were run in our manufacturing processes during the last month”).

Wireless connectivity radio products - TI devices used in applications such as Bluetooth (BT), Frequency Modulation (FM), Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), and Global Positioning System (GPS).


Why does TI need to know who manufactured the board? 

Different companies use different processes and materials when manufacturing boards. Board origin helps us to understand specific conditions that may impact the device, and will possibly help when determining why there might be an issue with performance.

Why is a Return Material Authorization (RMA) number important?

The Return Material Authorization number is a number used by TI to track any customer concerns that may arise. Returns, refunds, or exchanges are tracked with this number. If your device was purchased with the assistance of a TI sales employee or via the TI Store, please contact TI customer support to obtain the RMA number. If you purchased your device via a TI Authorized Distributor, please contact your distributor for the RMA number.

What is a Ship Trace Code (STC) and where can I locate it?

The Ship Trace Code is a unique 10-character code found on the TI shipping label listed next to (1T).

What is a Lot Trace Code (LTC) and where can I locate it?

The Lot Trace Code is a 7-digit code marked on each TI device representing a single lot processed through one controlled assembly flow. It might appear in a single line or double line. The code is located with the markings on the top side of the device.

Part marking example of LTC can be found using the part marking lookup tool

What is a Die Trace Code (DTC) and where can I locate it?

The Die Trace Code (DTC) is a 7 digit number that is found on large DLP devices, located next to the LTC. The DTC is used for tracking die information. See an example below.

How do I determine the priority level of a return?

A high priority return would involve either an issue affecting your production, a significant increase in the number of field failures, or an issue with a high priority or newly released customer project. Any return not meeting these criteria will be processed under normal priority level, unless the low priority is specified.

Why do you need to know the application?

Application insight will help ensure that the correct business group is notified and appropriate resources can assess your returned device.

What is the importance of place of issue?

The stage at which a device experienced issues provides information about the biasing and environmental conditions the device has endured up to that point. This information can be useful in determining the cause of the issue.

What qualifies as an “electrical” issue?

  • Functional issue – The returned device is not working as expected (no output, excessive current consumption, not switching, etc.)
  • Parametric issue – The returned device is working, but the output values are shifted slightly out of specification.
  • Open/short circuit – There are continuity issues on any of the pins of the returned device.
  • Impedance measurement – Impedance is the resistance measurement for when a particular pin is out of spec.
  • Programming issue – A programming issue occurs when the device is either not accepting the programmed values, not retaining the values once programmed, or has been programmed incorrectly. Additional information about the programming conditions, software, and hardware used will be required to proceed.

What qualifies as a mechanical or visual issue?

  • Carrier – issues with the device containers whether it is tape and reel, tube, or tray.
  • Pin(s)/Ball(s) conditions – broken, bent, missing, or malformed.
  • Package damage – cracks, chip-outs, impact points, dips or bumps, etc.
  • TI part marking – missing or incorrect part markings.
  • Solderability – issues with the TI device adhering to the PCB. More information about the soldering process and type of solder used will be required.

What should be noted if I have a shipping issue?

Please clarify if you have a damaged carton or box, wrong or missing label, an incomplete seal, missing documentation, wrong TI device, or an incorrect quantity of TI devices.

Why are conditions at the time the issue was observed needed to proceed?

The bias and environment conditions during which an issue is observed are often essential to verify and resolve the observed issue. Information such as temperature, frequency, supply voltage, and output voltage allows us to recreate the customer conditions for the issue.

How does TI perform an A-B-A swap, and what does that process look like?

An A-B-A swap is used to confirm that the issue is with the TI device and not the board. We will simply replace the suspect device with a known good device to check for board functionality, and then replace the known good device with suspect one to confirm if the board is failing.

Why does it matter if the device is used on more than one location on the circuit board?

There might be some differences in biasing conditions between the two locations that can explain why one location is working as expected, while the other location is generating an issue.

What kind of additional information should I upload?

We will examine anything pertaining to the device being returned, including top and bottom images of the device, biasing conditions, images of a working device, and any other details that you think may be important to the return investigation. You may upload files up to 50MB with a number of different formats allowed. However, files with macros will not be accepted. Please contact a TI representative via email (myTI log-in required) if a return needs files with macros.

What should be included in the “other details” section?

Please provide any relevant details that may have not been collected in the previous sections.