Counterfeit ATmega328s

ATmega Slugs
Sparkfun just got lumbered with counterfeit ATmega328s: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/news.php?id50
Makes for interesting reading. Check out the comments also.
Cheers Don...
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Don McKenzie

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Don McKenzie wrote:

just followed through a little more: http://www.hkinventory.com/public/ReportedCompanyDetail.asp?IDq0
name of the rip off company is: Shenzhen Henglian Electronics Co.
Cheers Don...
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Don McKenzie

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"Sparkfun sells counterfeit ICs" isn't a headline I would like to see if I was running a company... :)
Surprisingly, some people actually seem to be buying them...
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Bob wrote:

Yes, of course: buy it for $0.50 and sell it for $5.00 on eBay :-) But the comments clarifies it: Sparkfun was very naive in thinking it could be used for soldering training and removed it very fast from their shop.
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Frank Buss, snipped-for-privacy@frank-buss.de
http://www.frank-buss.de , http://www.it4-systems.de
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On 4/24/2010 7:00 PM, Frank Buss wrote:

Yeah probably no good for solder training either, probably won't tin properly etc
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It is a big problem in the industry and the longer the lead times get, the more the counterfeiters benefit
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It is a HUGE problem.
Hitachi (Renesas) suffer from it too.
It is usually visually obvious by looking at the package. The people doing this are pretty stupid.
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Bob skrev:

I think that if you can't find the culprit, it is meaningless to file complaints.
Probably a good idea to pay through an escrow. Check that the companyy has existed for a significant amount of time before you start to trade with them.
You probably want to have a photo of the package. Buying a component today, which is manufactured in 2007, has it's own problems.
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Best Regards
Ulf Samuelsson
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Ulf Samuelsson wrote:

If you complain to the U.S. Trade Representative about counterfeiting, to the Embassy of China, and the China Semiconductor Industry Association, you might be able to find them. China does require all businesses to be registered with the Government, and there will be a paper trail somewhere.
In particular, the China Semiconductor Industry Association might well be interested. They're trying to make their industry more respectable. The last thing they want is companies boycotting China sources.
Also recognize that Chinese law tends to be rather tough. It's hard to get the attention of the authorities in China, but once you do, pain will be applied to somebody.
                John Nagle
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Don McKenzie wrote:

Sparkfun needs to raise hell over this. They need to contact Atmel, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the trade attache of the Embassy of China. Point out how counterfeiting invites trade sanctions. Since the USTR is currently pushing the "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement", ask what sanctions would be appropriate here. For example, seizing all shipments into the US from that vendor might be appropriate.
                John Nagle
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John Nagle wrote:

I agree 100% John,
Quoting SF: "We were in a pinch and didn't vet the supplier like we should have. Live and learn."
Doesn't sound like SK may be going to pursue this, YET THEY MUST. We as customers, are paying for it after all.
A well known Atmel employee already reads and posts to comp.robotics.misc, so I would think that Atmel will be aware by now.
Cheers Don...
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Don McKenzie

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Interesting...
Thanks Don.
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