25 Nov 2020 -
 Defence

Counterfeits, clones and the real deal: can you tell the difference?

Hackaday ran an article on cloned and in some cases counterfeit ST32M electronics that went largely unnoticed but is worth a read.

The article STM32 CLONES: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY concerned the STM32 32-bit Arm Cortex MCUs, the STM32 family of 32-bit microcontrollers based on the Arm® Cortex®-M processor. Hackaday’s May Posch discusses the difficulties of differentiating real STM32s from clones and counterfeit.

“It should come as no surprise that ST’s highly successful ARM-based series of microcontrollers (MCUs) has seen its share of imitations, clones and outright fakes. The fakes are probably the most problematic, as those chips pretend to be genuine STM32 parts down to the markings on the IC package, while compatibility with the part they are pretending to be can differ wildly,” writes Posch.

“More insidious perhaps are the near-forgeries that at first glance may look like the real part, but are betrayed by the identification on them: ‘STM32FEBKC6’. That’s not a legitimate ST parts code, and that should be the first tip. This is another clone that’s likely to bring you nothing but grief, as even when it does work, it is a cut-down version of the STM32F103 design, with missing features.”

Read the full article here. For more help in this area, Astute Electronics offer very reliable on-site labs for carrying out a range of destructive and non-destructive counterfeit testing, as shown here:

Astute is a highly accredited, quality-driven procurement expert, with a list of clients that includes the world’s leading defence suppliers. Our mission is to shield you against inferior quality products and services. As such, our operations are run in accordance with quality processes including AS6081 that mitigates the risks of purchasing and supplying fraudulent/counterfeit electronic parts.

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