Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

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ag123
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

the markings are literally labelled STM32?
i see, note that this can be the same marking for a legitimate genuine STM32 mcu
MYS may stand for malaysia, which likely produce genuine stm32 mcu
but it would be hard to tell from a fake as all it takes to make these markings on a counterfeit is a simple laser engraver
:shock:

more often i receive defective boards that either overheats or something, but somehow they work.
but the defect rate is pretty high which is what is annoying

madias
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Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

Yes, meanwhile the counterfeit chips are also labeled with "STM" and engraved.
Aliexpress rejected my dispute, because of "lack of evidence". I contacted ST, to confirm, that the chip on my photo is a fake. Maybe they will answer.
I'm done with the bluepills. And there is no trusting seller on the market - sometimes you'll get a legit device, next time a fake one - Not funny if you order 50+ pieces
Bad luck: A (semi commercial) project of mine was developed with bluepills. No I'm going to build up the PCB from the sketch with a STM32F103CB directly on board. I think, I learned my lesson.
Sadly, I cannot use the existing PCB's with the robotdyn "black pills" - they are not pin-to-pin compatible.
https://robotdyn.com/stm32f103cbt6-128- ... 0f38d.html

ag123
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

i think i should probably have complained about my defective boards, overheat etc, i let of the vendor too easily as initially they seem to work till i realize they run *very hot*, it is almost impossible to keep the finger on it for a while. then another board drains the (lithium) coin cell connected at vbat in a couple of days. a normal regular good one that works i've the coin cell going for months and it is still keeping time well for months and counting, i literally 'forgot' about it. then every few other boards they work just fine, so i did not suspect it beyond the defect

reverting to the vendor about defects would at least get their attention but i'm not too sure if they would curb their practices, some of them would probably correct that. but the other worry is, is it after all the manufacturer's fault? that would mean the same random defects will continue to show up since the vendor basically bulk order from probably the same manufacturer

but to be safe switch vendors, some of them priced somewhat higher though

for vendors like robotdyn, it seem they do give multi piece discounts and it can be quite a bit if like when you order 5 pieces or more.
for a single or 2 pieces, the entry price is pricier.
Last edited by ag123 on Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

madias
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Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:51 pm
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

I'm an idiot, because my project is a audio player (I sold them between 150 and 200 Euros (one piece!)). It makes no sense to save a few cents for such projects (about ~50 devices a year), but I have not faced counterfeiting in recent years. Beside that, I use more than 64kB flash - so "officially" out of specs.
I'm pretty sure the is no "legit vendor" of bluepills - they are all from suspect manufacturers - only vendors like Robotdyn are trustfully (but not pin-to-pin compatible)

madias
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

I don't know this was posted on this forum before:
https://github.com/keirf/Greaseweazle/wiki/STM32-Fakes

ag123
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

ok it seemed i need to learn how to solder my own stm32 mcus :lol:

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

Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by Squonk42 »

Don't even expect most of the STM32 board sellers you can find on Amazon, eBay or Aliexpress to be manufacturers. One exception here is Robotdyn, which is indeed an original board manufacturer.

Most of them are only resellers operating from their 18m2 flat in HK with no stock. They either buy their parts at a local Schenzhen electronic supermarket or on TaoBao, making only a small margin just because the package post prices are so cheap. Of course, Amazon, eBay and Aliexpress take all a comission on it, listed by decreasing percentage.

Some of thse resellers are not even specialized in electronics: they happilly will send you clothes, gadgets, etc.

Given these facts, all cheating that can help make a few cents more is possible: defective chips from wafers, defective single chips, chips with smaller characteristics, completely different chips having the same memory map (GiagDevice's GD32 with ARM core + in-package bound SPI Flash memory, their speciality) or chips that look like they have been legally subcontracted by STM to a Chineese manufacturer to face the domestic demand (CS32 ones).

If you are lucky, they are not counterfeit chips and still have their original marking, just the board mounts a non-genuine part. Or not, it is just so cheap to sand the original marking and laser engrave a new one.

Then, even if it is a genuine part, it may be a refurbished one, unsoldered from an old board, who knows what happened to it.

And not all boards "that get hot" are fake: I have seen boards with a solder bridge between 2 STM32 pins or 2 micro USB pins heating really a lot, which proved to be genuine part behaving correctly once I fixed the bad joint. Most of the time, cheap means no QC at all, time is money.

And of course, most of them are probably not RoHs-compliant, if you ask for it, full of bad leaded solder paste...

In this context, asking for a refund because of a fake part is pointless, unless you can really prove your saying by a picture or a screen capture.

When you ask for cheap boards, you get cheap boards.
Last edited by Squonk42 on Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ag123
Posts: 490
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

madias wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:46 am
I don't know this was posted on this forum before:
https://github.com/keirf/Greaseweazle/wiki/STM32-Fakes
good article
according to article, various fakes would fail blinky, in particular those that intentionally used a STM32 sku
if this is true, and widespread, it is bad really.
as in that the chips are not simply clones, but that they won't work after all
i'd think if one receive that the only recourse is to file a return with the vendor

found another article, seem relevant as well
https://embeddedtronicsblog.wordpress.c ... ll-boards/
the manufacturer produced fakes by erasing a different sku a c6 instead of c8 and relabel it as a c8
true chip clone won't be easy, but it is relabeling simply takes sanding it off and laser engrave again
it makes one wonder how that fits in the manufacturing process unless the manufacturer did it?
or perhaps there are after all many different blue pill board manufacturers (i.e. contract manufacturing)

oh and this thread got 'hidden' in a sub forum
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=32

madias
Posts: 34
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by madias »

Squonk42 wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:37 am

When you ask for cheap boards, you get cheap boards.
Meanwhile I'm asking for a working board, not a cheap board, but I do not get it (especially "bluepill" factor) :)

BTW: Are there any "plain" Bluepills available? (So without chip). This would be a temporary workaround for me - just buying a "real" STM32F103CB (not C8) and solder them - this is a fast job for me, even with dozens of Bluepills.

ag123
Posts: 490
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:30 am
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Re: Complaint about counterfeit STM32 chips - please read.

Post by ag123 »

there is this thread i hope the member is here as well
https://mcu.selfip.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=157
https://github.com/yet-another-average-joe/Kicad-STM32
he posted a rendering of a BP module design for kicad, i've not literally try it if it is after all possible to turn that into a real blue pill
it'd probably take some work. then of course there is the task of getting the components and soldering them, i think it is possible to have that made to order say by a pcb manufacturer, but it'd probably cost

another thing is it may be possible to approach vendors - manufacturers such as robotdyn if after all they would help to make a CB version of 'bp' with the same pin outs and dimensions. after all the components are pretty much the same as their own boards
https://robotdyn.com/
;)

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