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Author Topic: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn  (Read 1475 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« on: May 02, 2010, 06:20:08 AM »
Sparkfun just put up an article on how they were scammed:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/news.php?id=350

Its a good read for anyone considering buying something from China, even from EBay, and having trouble resisting the strangely lower than normal prices ;)

SoR got scammed from China as well. A company promised me lead-free solder on a batch of Axon prototypes, delayed an entire extra month, and the prototypes all had lead. They refused to even give a partial refund. Thats what I get for going with the lowest bidder :-\

But I knew the danger, so I bought a lead testing kit just in case, and only did a small batch before I did any bigger batches.

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2010, 10:15:25 AM »
Of course, then they had the brilliant idea to sell them  :-X

Offline SmAsH

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2010, 03:44:23 PM »
Whats wrong with selling them? Just mark them or something and a happy noob will have some soldering practice?
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Offline Webbot

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2010, 06:20:41 PM »
Whats wrong with selling them? Just mark them or something and a happy noob will have some soldering practice?

The thing that is 'wrong' is that they are pretending to be ATmel chips - when they aren't. So they are 'robbing' ATmel of their reputation and no doubt of their revenues.

Its as bad as stealing software by creating copies where the author gets no income.

I always avoid China like the plague on eBay etc. Am sure there are some 'honest' folk - but until someone can police it on behalf of the legitimate folk then its a 'no brainer'.
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Offline chelmi

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2010, 06:32:12 PM »
Whats wrong with selling them? Just mark them or something and a happy noob will have some soldering practice?

The thing that is 'wrong' is that they are pretending to be ATmel chips - when they aren't. So they are 'robbing' ATmel of their reputation and no doubt of their revenues.

Its as bad as stealing software by creating copies where the author gets no income.

I always avoid China like the plague on eBay etc. Am sure there are some 'honest' folk - but until someone can police it on behalf of the legitimate folk then its a 'no brainer'.

Huuu, I think you misunderstood what Smash was asking.
We are talking about SparkFun selling a piece of plastic with pins @ $0.50, they don't pretend anything. It's pretty clear from their description and the datasheet. I find it amusing actually :D

Their supplier on the other hand is a thief.

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2010, 07:04:06 PM »
The fear brought up in the comments was that people would buy those slugs and resell those as real, and it wasn't clear how sparkfun was going to mark them (if they were at all). At least they came to their senses and pulled them from stock after about 80 of them sold

As for ebay, after 200+ transactions overseas only 2 have had problems, and of those I received full refunds. The sellers know they will be HUGELY penalized for even one bad transaction. This is also why I stoped selling on ebay  ;D
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 07:05:43 PM by Razor Concepts »

Offline Webbot

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2010, 08:12:35 PM »
Whats wrong with selling them? Just mark them or something and a happy noob will have some soldering practice?

The thing that is 'wrong' is that they are pretending to be ATmel chips - when they aren't. So they are 'robbing' ATmel of their reputation and no doubt of their revenues.

Its as bad as stealing software by creating copies where the author gets no income.

I always avoid China like the plague on eBay etc. Am sure there are some 'honest' folk - but until someone can police it on behalf of the legitimate folk then its a 'no brainer'.

Huuu, I think you misunderstood what Smash was asking.
We are talking about SparkFun selling a piece of plastic with pins @ $0.50, they don't pretend anything. It's pretty clear from their description and the datasheet. I find it amusing actually :D

Their supplier on the other hand is a thief.
I'm not bashing SparkFun - I'm bashing their supplier. So I think we agree
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 08:44:46 PM »
Permanently marking them as 'FAKE' in big letters on every chip before selling will probably be fine. Or buffering off all lettering, and setting a customer limit.

However the act of marking them would probably cost as much as the'll make from selling them. So it isn't worth it.

Sooner or later the honest sellers in China will get fed up with it, and force the Chinese government to act. Otherwise the honest sellers just can't make money, so there is a strong financial incentive to fix the problem. Its just a question of when.

Offline SmAsH

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 12:28:43 AM »
Oh, i thought they were gonna give them away for like shipping price or something, then maybe i was wrong?
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Offline z.s.tar.gz

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 11:26:06 AM »
I think I'm gonna buy a few the next time I'm getting something from sparkfun.
They'll make a cool keychain addition!  ;D
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Offline blackbeard

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2010, 06:29:58 PM »
so thinking of selling off those leaded axons for a discount :P

i'm not too surprised that Chinese manufacturers would make knockoffs of something so common but a microchip? that can't be easy to do.
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Offline chelmi

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2010, 07:05:09 PM »
i'm not too surprised that Chinese manufacturers would make knockoffs of something so common but a microchip? that can't be easy to do.

There are several ways:
- Get those who did not pass the test
- Get a different (cheaper or defective) chip with the same package, alter the marking
...

I've even heard of employees using the assembly line during the night to manufacture real, working batches. They are often of lower quality since they obviously don't bother with testing :)

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2010, 07:11:08 PM »
Quote
i'm not too surprised that Chinese manufacturers would make knockoffs of something so common but a microchip? that can't be easy to do.
Actually, they weren't common at all. There was a huge shortage from November to January, everyone wanted it, no one had it.

Sparkfun probably paid top dollar for it, too.

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2010, 01:05:28 PM »
And the plot continues . . .

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/news.php?id=384

I have access to an SEM here . . . never thought I'd have a use for it!

And that reminds me, an old but very relevant post here:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=5594.0

Quote
http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/AtmelVisit/Atmel_visit-M-14.jpg

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Re: counterfeit ATmega328s, a lesson to learn
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 03:19:37 PM »
The End.


http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/news.php?id=395


Let this also be a lesson to ON - never sell leftovers to random guys in China. :P

 


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