[time-nuts] Prologix USB-GPIB Controller
kb8tq at n1k.org
Mon Oct 10 13:43:35 EDT 2016
Like it or not, these days the volume purchases of IC’s are made in China. Volume buys
have *always* been lower cost than normal distribution pricing. A > 10:1 ratio is not at
all out of the question. If I bought 10,000,000 of a chip each month, I’d expect (and probably
get) a very good deal on that chip. I probably have a number of friends who would love
to get chips at (or near) the 10M / mo price. Welcome to “Lets Make a Deal”. You now
have parts leaking into a grey market. No certs, no ability to trace them back (I don’t want
to get in trouble for “sharing”).
That’s the “bright side” of gray market parts. The “dark side” is that a *lot* of chips are fabricated
and / or packaged in China by independent outfits. A wafer or ten goes astray, it gets packaged
and off the result goes to the grey market. No testing, no QA, no trace back. Darker still are
pulls or clones. Its always a gamble ….
> On Oct 10, 2016, at 1:28 PM, Alexander Pummer <alexpcs at ieee.org> wrote:
> Once upon the time I designed some power-supplies, used parts from a sound name US company, they asked for $12.-- each --it was long time ego -- the equipment supposed to built in Asia, the manager -- I was one outside consultant -- told me that we can not use that expensive parts, my Chinese colleague told, that I should not worry that part will not cost more than a dollar, at the end we got the parts for 57 cents in Hong Kong, the manager was on the opinion that the cheap parts are counterfeit, therefore we opened one expensive original and one cheap one; the silicon was identical, as the performance too....was it a perfect copy, or one original?, who cares it worked like the original, but much cheaper.
> On 10/10/2016 10:13 AM, Dr. David Kirkby (Kirkby Microwave Ltd) wrote:
>> On 10 October 2016 at 09:35, Charles Steinmetz <csteinmetz at yandex.com>
>>> Poul-Henning wrote:
>>> And for voltage references, "pre-owned" is likely to mean "better".
>>> Perhaps, but third-world recyclers are not known for gentle treatment
>>> during the parts removal process.
>> I had some cheap ($10) GPS receiver boards shipped to me in a plastic
>> kitchen bag from yikunhk on eBay. 4 boards in the same bag, all scratching
>> each other. The bag was not anti-static.
>> There are all number of possible explanations of why boards can be made so
>> cheaply, when the ICs appear to cost more than the boards.
>> * The chips are counterfeit
>> * The chips are similar to what they are supposed to be, but have been
>> * They are made at the same factory as the real devices, on what I've heard
>> described as the "ghost shift", where they are not officially made, but are
>> the same devices.
>> * They are recycled.
>> * They are stolen.
>> It is anyone's guess once you start buying semiconductor devices from eBay.
>> Maybe you are lucky, maybe you are not.
>> You dramatically increase the probability a part is good if sourced from a
>> reputable source (e.g. RS or Farnell in the UK). That is not to say that
>> the parts are not counterfeits, as even the best suppliers can get caught,
>> but they are more likely to be ok.
>> I recently bought a supposedly original Samsung battery for my Samsung
>> Galazy S3 phone from a local shop. The phone had all sorts of issues with
>> this battery, so I concluded it was a poor counterfeit. I thought I'd be
>> safe buying directory from Amazon (not a 3rd party), but on reading reviews
>> on Amazon, I was not convinced those were genuine Samsung batteries either,
>> so I did not buy from Amazon.
>> Eventually I bought a battery from the Samsung website. The phone now works
>> ok. I don't know if Samsung actually make the batteries themselves, but I
>> think I have a better chance of buying from the Samsung website than from
>> anywhere else.
>> I've had "Duracell" batteries leak. At one time I used to blame Duracell,
>> but now it has cross my mind whether they might have been bought on eBay
>> and were counterfeits. I can't recall where they were purchased, but now I
>> will only purchase batteries from sources I consider reputable.
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