Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

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madias
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
Answers: 1

Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

Hello,

Many of us have been faced with counterfeit STM32 chips lately. The only way I see to contain this is to claim such a shipment every time and to claim the full amount back. It is a small effort - may not always be successful, but at least the dealers would come under pressure and order their goods more carefully.

ag123
Posts: 475
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:30 am
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

as for myself, i'd complain if i ordered stm32 but i get a differently labelled chip or that it 'doesn't work'
the risk these days is that the manufacturers may attempt to laser engrave the same sku so that it looks like stm32 chips
as of now it seemed STM32F401 /STM32F411 pill boards are really good and some priced close or break even with some stm32f103 pill boards
i think they are good value if one is seeking new boards
viewtopic.php?f=14&p=392#p350
i've been wanting to learn to solder those smds, the close pin spacing is simply intimidating but i'd guess it'd be good to pickup the skill.

Bingo600
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:56 pm

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by Bingo600 »

I'm all in for complaining if i order STM32F103 boards , and receive clones.
But i will prob. go for 401/411 (blackpill boards) boards from now on. Unless i need the extra IO's on a bluepill.

I have 2 x 411's now , and a 401 on the way (w slow mail)
And also 5 or so bluepills that need the 10K resistor replaced w 1.5K - So i'm good for a little while.

Btw. Is the USB subsystem on a 4xx the same as on a F103 (as in source compatible) ?
I never touched USB code , just used it

/Bingo

ag123
Posts: 475
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:30 am
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

i think the usb subsystem on F4xx is 'more advanced' vs F103, but literally, the code are some kind of usb stacks that is written by ST distributed in their official SDK. so most of the time, our codes interface with the usb stack or usb 'driver' library

you can try the binaries i build for the f401 black pill on the f411
viewtopic.php?f=14&p=399#p350
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9&start=20#p286
my guess is chances are that it is 'compatible' with f411 as f401 seemed to be a subset of f411

madias
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

The F4xx "pill" is nice, but not what I need for most projects. And I'm sure, if the F40x pill is as same as a success as the bluepill it's about a few time the first fakes will on the market.
Customers should fight back: Declare it as counterfeit and steal the time from the dealers so the must take pressure on the manufactures.

ag123
Posts: 475
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:30 am
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

i've a little thoughts about this, if one orders stm32 and get a different sku instead, it is rather likely it is either the vendor itself (for small vendor) or the person handling the fulfillment (large distributor), in which they deem stm32 and the 'fake' sku are equivalents.

if it is the vendor itself, a complain and a threat to file a return would likely see the same vendor correcting that. as this can be deemed simply vendor dishonesty.

while for the 'large distributor' case, it is one of 'drop shipping' in which the vendor that you bought from actually forwarded the order to the 'drop shipper' who actually ship the product. in this case the 'large distributor' is the dishonest party for doing so. but similarly making a complain to the vendor one is in contact with likely have an effect.

the risk then like mention, is that some of them may ship literal fakes, i.e. the stm sku is intentionally laser engraved to look alike, or simply unlabelled, just that it fails, say when trying to flash over swd. then one could then complain to the vendor about the product being defective, but it may be the whole batch.

but i'd guess i'd try to stick with more reliable vendors and in fact if one received fakes, the complain and stating that one would switch vendors and no longer buy from them can be more effective.

and yes a poor rating as a feedback is more effective than simply complaining

but i'd guess one of those things i'd like to learn i should after all try to put in some effort is to try soldering the smd itself. i still find the fine close spacing intimidating though. i may try with hot air and solder paste if that is after all really easier than hand soldering it. i'm still of the opinion that it would still lead to bridges and shorts given the close spacing. i think in small quantities, genuine parts can be ordered from well known distributors (digikey, newark etc) for a moderate cost, just pricier. and that would also be custom boards which i can place more peripherals e.g. a spi flash or sram etc than a vanilla pill board

in the mean time, i think the F401 & F411 pill boards are after all real :lol:
Last edited by ag123 on Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

electrobling
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:42 am

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by electrobling »

I have found it quite easy to get refunds or partial refunds from the online cheap board vendors, however it is nearly impossible to get them to change their listing information or product. To them, one complaint per 1000 customers is just a part of doing business and they are just "playing the numbers". All they care about is avoiding a negative rating. I argued online with the last one, sent me desoldered chips instead of new. Two weeks of back and forth including close up photos, and all I could get was 50% refund. Realize that they also have to deal with clueless buyers that cheat and lie to save a few dollars or cover up their own mistakes. Your complaint will be lost in the noise.

I haven't been burned on a STM32 yet, or at least not knowingly. But I think it's safe to order boards from RobotDyne and such quality manufacturers and be confident that the chips are genuine. They're much better made, anyway. The price difference between their F103 and F303CC boards are so little that I may just start using only the 303's for Blue Pill replacements. As noted above, the F4 mini boards are sweet also (I have 2 now for evaluation).

ag123
Posts: 475
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:30 am
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

i think various substituting of chips is in part because prices for stm32f103 can no longer justify that $2 bp board.
robotdyn's quality boards probably reflects the pricing realities
https://robotdyn.com/catalog/developmen ... ields.html
interestingly the octoparts prices for the chip alone are well pricier than the pill board prices
https://octopart.com/stm32f103cbt6tr-st ... s-12442975

Squonk42
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:35 am

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by Squonk42 »

Prices in China are different from Western ones, see here the biggest Chinese online distributor (genuine parts, not fake) ,
https://lcsc.com/products/ST-Microelect ... 32f103c8t6

madias
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
Answers: 1

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

ag123 wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:28 am

interestingly the octoparts prices for the chip alone are well pricier than the pill board prices
https://octopart.com/stm32f103cbt6tr-st ... s-12442975
Please don't compare consumer prices with prices above 100000+ pieces and the special deals with large number of pieces (beside special china prices).
Even on Mouser you get the magic word "quotation" above 5000+ :
https://www.mouser.at/ProductDetail/STM ... 32F103C8T6

Mostly parts made in China are often more cheaper, because they get them directly from the factory (Keyword: gray area)
Interestingly, all my tested counterfeits have the code MYS and not CN.
So if you get a:
STM32
F103C8T6
991KA 93
MYS 807

you can trash it, there is no need for testing because it's a fake.

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