# Fake voltage reference chips? -I should have done my homework before ordering

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
6,457
Just another reminder...

I needed a stable voltage reference chip for a demanding project and ran across an ad on eBay for
"5 PCS MC1403P1 DIP-8 MC1403PI MC1403P MC1403 Low Voltage Reference"
after reading through the datasheet I placed my order. When they arrived I was surprised that the finish on the chip was not of good quality and even more surprised to see that they were bring shiny new chips, even though ON semiconductor had EOL's the part in 2008. It had an ON logo, but lookie there: Even though the part number on the bag was "5 PCS MC1403P1" the chips were marked "MC1403PI". As far as I could determine Motorola never made a "PI" version of the chip.

I complained to the company and the refund was credited to my bank account within hours.

#### R!f@@

Joined Apr 2, 2009
9,734
What is this world turning into ?

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,665
Hi,

Wonder if they could have gotten mismarked and discarded,then someone picked them up from the garbage
A real version i think would be "P1" not "PI". So that second character is a number in the true part not a letter.
So it might just be mismarked, but you can test yourself to find out.
I dont buy parts from ebay. They are good with credit though if you get the wrong thing. Just the other day a friend ordered 10watt LEDs and got 6watt LEDs instead.

#### tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
716
Yep - I've stopped ordering anything from ebay too. I just don't have the time to deal with it. I'd rather pay more at digikey, get it in two days, and know I have quality product.

Also why are you designing something in that was discontinued 8 years ago?

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Yep - I've stopped ordering anything from ebay too. I just don't have the time to deal with it. I'd rather pay more at digikey, get it in two days, and know I have quality product.

Also why are you designing something in that was discontinued 8 years ago?
Not to me.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,665
Yep - I've stopped ordering anything from ebay too. I just don't have the time to deal with it. I'd rather pay more at digikey, get it in two days, and know I have quality product.

Also why are you designing something in that was discontinued 8 years ago?
Hi,

Oh yeah i forgot to mention that too, that the part is obsolete. I dont mind them when they are cheap (hobby stuff only) but in many cases there is a new better part available to take the place of the old part, so it's worth looking into at least.

#### schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
277
Caveat Emptor!

#### takao21203

Joined Apr 28, 2012
3,695
Ive sold some 1000s real CPUs on ebay, all genuine and the old ICs really old.

There are some ICs where I have my doubts, but never saw any fake IC so far.
There are countless inhouse ICs and spinoff manufacturing runs and grey area licenses.

For instance YM3012, nothing of a logo, just Y3012.
Or some Hitachi CPUs the writing barely visible.

There is a website with many photos mostly schizophrenia. Parts really come in many variants.
They dont just one font. They dont just use one production line. They may place orders with a fab somewhere, when they have capacity.

They ship then wafers with chips or die packs somewhere else for packaging.

Whats shown on the web are mostly just one and the same photos.

So what- distributors also only ship you chinese or Taiwanese Pinoy etc. ICs.

Plants were opened in South east Asia and Thailand in the late 1970s, Korea and Mexico as well.

You arent so naive think its all one single production line for one specific part from one manufacturer?

Theres even a completely fresh kind of SN76489 very modern logo and they seem to work.
One of my main suppliers is quite serious and reputable they wouldnt sell fake ICs just, where sometimes when sourcing, I simply dont know.

If id see weird paint, Id know it, or reworked ICs, how crazy are you if this takes 15 minutes, how much does the labour cost?

Some years ago Ive even cracked open ICs successfully, burning off the epoxy with a lighter, then able to see the IC die.

I plan to do this with some custom house marked television controllers, they are most likely just ordinary 80C52.
Ordered a 30x small magnifier to inspect the dies a little.

So I could detect if theres a foreign die camouflaged as precious IC, or even, no die inside.

I had a very few duds among used IC kinds like CPUs (which I replaced).

All stored in the most plain plastic drawers stacked into towers! Ahaha.
Im not very static.
But think, there are 100s of ICs in each tower so how can a charge even build up on the plastic surfaces, when theres ICs everywhere?

Of course a catch 22 problem, you need to have ICs inside first.

With the YX8018 I had a lot of complaints, often several defect ICs per order. Since I use tinfoil, very few complaints.
So this prooves how effective tinfoil actually is. Very likely these duds were already received by me as defective.

If theres a claim of fake ICs Id like to see the IC die compared to actual known good die.
Just smaller size or different size doesnt always count there might be several revisions.

That aside, its of course a woman who can not receive box of tea, little later, another woman claims the package was damaged in transit the carton slushed open.

I know shes lying. It takes an elephant to rip apart crosshatched tape ive tested this and found it very sufficient.

Looking inside an IC as easy as taking pliers, repeatedly treat with a lighter, crumble the remains, look at the die (I must say, I dont recommend this unless you really have to, its toxic as hell, so probably illegal to do this at your workplace or your own business. Not to say I didnt warn you. You may set things on fire too. But its quite easy no need for weird acids).

#### takao21203

Joined Apr 28, 2012
3,695
If you buy a reputable distributor parts, theyll be accountable.
This is still not a guarantee for lifesupport aviation nuclaer etc.

If you buy Hong Kong, you may receive untested parts with 1 in 1000 a dud.
You could test yourself.
If you dont test then you need to know possible consequences, if you test, your customer must have a lot of money, a test protocol,
or you just have too much time.

Sure I had seen some PI marked ICs, ive seen some MC34063 with suspiciously low output heating more than they should.
They know exactly what they are doing, selling off some beyond specification parts might be a days run because some small pump wasnt calibrated.

But you dont just run a 2A spec regulator with no cooling at 2 Amps.
Its some design aid to know and you could approach it.
If you work it at 0.5A its much better.

Look these 1970s and 1980s Stereos if you cranked them up for sure the expensive hard to buy japanese transistors would burn out.
So what? Consumer electronics not nuclear plant.
USB micro plugs last a few weeks, battery doors from entry level digital cameras typically a few months.

Fully tested parts, to all specs, cost a fortune. If you run a regulator IC at 25% spec, not really much a need to worry it would explode just so.

But if theres is arisk you need to test again even with full spec parts because you dont want that fire to kill a customer.
You need to have more than one means of safety, better 3 or 4.

Forget about the mechanical engineer who gets enthusiastic about high precision tolerance parts or to substitute some expensive hard to get transistor cheap 2n3904 does same thing.

Even with the best full spec most expensive parts, you get bath tub failures over time.

I remember the markup charged for transistors when I was young, compared to today. it was 1:400 without inflation.
Did this make the parts any better for my primitive experiments? Ive burned them out anyway.

Actually ive many parts really from production lines not knockoffs, not distributor parts.
And distributor parts too, of course, sold as branded.

With commands like people should not buy somewhere you abuse them, declare them not able to make a judgement on their own.

Recently, you are now able to buy a 8080 kit, a small single board computer with 8080 IC and LED display (from Thailand). Only on ebay.

Sure the Russian 8080 and 8086 clones I have a re fake clones. ive read online gangs in Russia are specialized to fry together some epoxy bars and make them look like old ICs. The market for old PDIP ICs must be millions of customers, well worth it.

It seems to be most of the world is ruled by a small mafia, recirculating some flavours of fake news all over again Keeping what was kept in place for the sake of it?

When I have doubt of fake IC because a claim (never any with 10000s of ICs sold), i have no difficulty to fry one open and acclaim proof for myself.

So whats your proof?
I see no information if the IC worked or not, just the PI instead P1, means plain nothing.

There was never any hard rule only to use one font, logo, or production line.

Totally genuine Motorola parts, i have many kinds from all over the years, the size and shape and make of the logo is all different
For instance MC1010 is a very old IC.

of course yes use a generic oil filter, will greatly reduce the life of your car, none said, in Japan not many cars are more old than 5 years. After that you have to exchange the complete electric trunk and do expensive testing of all, so its not really worth it, so export the carcasses.

or the FSA2510 about 40 years old for magnetic core amplifier, cerdip and these certain scratch patterns.

When I read a story about fake IC I want acceptable proof

#### takao21203

Joined Apr 28, 2012
3,695
Just another reminder...

I needed a stable voltage reference chip for a demanding project and ran across an ad on eBay for
"5 PCS MC1403P1 DIP-8 MC1403PI MC1403P MC1403 Low Voltage Reference"
after reading through the datasheet I placed my order. When they arrived I was surprised that the finish on the chip was not of good quality and even more surprised to see that they were bring shiny new chips, even though ON semiconductor had EOL's the part in 2008. It had an ON logo, but lookie there: Even though the part number on the bag was "5 PCS MC1403P1" the chips were marked "MC1403PI". As far as I could determine Motorola never made a "PI" version of the chip.

I complained to the company and the refund was credited to my bank account within hours.

View attachment 114095
Well you give no information if the IC worked.
The title contains both spellings.
Is there any information youd receive p1 logo IC?
If not, what is your problem, the title pointing out some variants?

There are freeloaders who seek the smallest reason to inflate it to a big problem.
Real distributors only deal with business customers, these cant just open a claim online which theyll always win, but have to be more formal about their concerns.
If youre infact able to order from distributors without good proof of your business or the application purpose this means nothing.
They may not want to sell to you some quantity, moreover, they might not even able to.

Theres off the shelf parts and parts custom ordered and custom marked.

#### takao21203

Joined Apr 28, 2012
3,695
http://www.ebay.com/itm/301232126828

cropped photo, just

So ive looked some chinese suppliers 95% are PI not P1

It has something to do US want to tell chinese how to maintain trade with their neighbours? For sure this is remotely managed from an office from abroad by a person who never did a single sale, lets call it "coal for livelyhood purposes".

From a viewpoint of global warming all carbon sales are very very bad.

So ive used some more search engines.

There seem to be some P1 some P mostly PI a very few older kinds and some SMD.

My comment is that this is due just to different production lines, theyre not that obsessed so theyd insist the same make labelling machine is used, besides, you dont just buy IC labelling machine, its custom built from off the shelf and inhouse things.

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
6,457
I don't know whether they work or not, I don't want to waste my time building a fixture and testing them. My main concern is thermal stability in the range of 10 to 20 ppm/°C and since I do not have an environmental test chamber verifying that would take hours over a period of days. It is just not worth it.

I did a little more follow-up, many suppliers in China and Hong Kong offer the chip with the PI suffix but there is no datasheet available for that part, only the Motorola part.

It is not a matter of where the die was processed and where it was packaged. It is a matter of whether I trust that the part is what the datasheet claims it to be. These might be reverse-engineered Motorola parts or even licensed and using the same die, but nobody including ON Semiconductor (descendant of Motorola) does not support the part.

New old stock would be fine, and that is what I took them to be, but these are not trustworthy.

I'm not complaining, only sharing that this kind of misrepresentation continues (no surprise, eh?).

#### takao21203

Joined Apr 28, 2012
3,695
Well I understand it a little more.

If you need a particular chip revision, just contact the seller.

I had a few pieces some original old stock Op Amps, quite expensive, sold off at market usual price, could not get larger quantity at good price, so purchased a derivate new revision, changed to larger quantity, added new photo and described the chip clearly.

The problem is the description, often its not good the officer doesnt have the parts and doesnt use them really and even stock photos sometimes.

So this is where it has marketing opportunity, just describe the parts better and more exact.

If I sell known branded parts, I always mention the brand in the Title,
theres some old PDIP ICs which I know dont suffer from knockoff but have been manufactured by different brands, like the Mc6821, I had several used kinds batches and lately, can get them new at good price.

But mostly when I have different IC even same type, different listing.

So you think they sold you bogus parts on purpose, but in this case I think they just dont know all too much about all IC.

If you need assurance for a parameter like you described, just contact them,
ask the issue, point out you need some particular revision with some particular type number.

Its misrepresentation not bogus parts, in this case.

You couldnt expect precision parts at supermarket prices, unless you see brands mentioned everywhere and explicitely pointed out.

Its a lot of effort and sure, would need more profit to make up for the extra work.

Even branded parts may have problems they may just meet specs narrowly while a generic part may exceed specs. They may fail even more easily or the quality might not be so good because old process or actually old parts.

There are many ways to attach a bonding wire, ive learned, each can introduce defects or produce failures some years later. Often older ICs were not really good they all have some defects still work, while new revision new process might be far more relieable.

For instance russian PDIP TTL or their small memory ICs many reverse engineered, ive seen forum posts where users changed chips very frequently. Even the ones passed testing, far more than usual fail after some time.

Often older IC process had a fairly low yield, then later improved for higher yield, something like only 30% or so even working at all. For a good process fairly mature, do you think they test each IC parameter for each IC?
Test setup is an art as such and if the price is very low they may only do some simple functional tests not test parameters much.

Moreover some limits are just in the datasheet, what designers guarantee, the actual part might be much better.

What you mention, precision of thermal stability, do you really expect it from this kind of sales avenue?
It could be but unless its important and essential in some way, dont count on it.

But yes people like me they could offer both kinds and point out the difference in the description.
When I have to do actual tests some require setup and might cost a lot of money.
I hope to have CPU testers some day and in fact for all ICs with reported problems.

I almost have to build a Yx8018 tester soon and test all since there are duds regularily.
QX5252 is much better cheaper almost same function, sometimes Im successful selling these instead, when Im out of stock for Yx8018.

Sure sell expensive transistors and MOSFETs or modules, see a lot of bogus claims, risk and price have a direct correlation.

If you have these requirements point them out to the seller.
The chinese online traders are diffferent to professional distributors such as digikey Farnell and so on.
They have a ordering number, and have a lot of parameters from the datasheet in the description, and have different ordering numbers for different batches or from different factory location just.

When I bought a remaining lot of transistors from a distributor, they sent me from 2 different warehouses, 3 different bags, same manufacturer, but different plant locations. Smashed them all together since I dont advertize manufacturing location at all.

Sure parts like BSS138 FDV301 or 2n7000 have many different makes, with some difference in the parameters.
They have internal differences guess. Theres one version with almost double current like the cheapest kind.
Its made by a specific manufacturer and has a specific type number.

I guess its a kind that was modified for a mass produced application but since world economy is not like closed system Mitsubishi chips with house internal number, this modified revision also did show up on the open market.

Sure you often have A revision for older PDIP IC and small EPROMS need higher voltages for the oldest revision. If you have all well described this simply takes more efforts and time so had higher price.

I dont sell parts I dont understand and otherwise, I just dont describe it when I believe its not important for most potential customer. When someone requests it, often I see what I can do, and Ive noticed well brands are very important to many customers and they in general like brands.

For some ICs its not so much important or just a few ever made them.
Then it has generic knockoffs like bourns trimmers or rotary encoders.

If I take a generic part, advertize as branded, thats some kind of ripoff.
For instance these small squared pushbuttons, originally only existed as ALPS japanese part,
nowadays they are pretty standard, pretty lowcost, guess none of these is ALPS.

Thats really some idea I had, offer some genuine branded parts, offer some cheap discount parts.
I do buy some things from regular distributors.

So the photo in almost all cases is the actually sold items, never use stock photos.