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Old 29th October 2014, 04:07 PM   #1
johnr66 is offline johnr66  United States
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Default Counterfeit IC die revealed!

Here is a fake Chinese TDA2040 or 2050 (same size die, both) next to an authentic TDA2040. Both ICs were blown from highly reactive loads (not speakers). The counterfeit IC is on the left. Notice that it is smaller. It is a little over 1/2 the size of the authentic part. It is chipped from taking off the cover, but I can see from the die attach point its left edge. I'm not sure it contains any protection circuitry. With a 29 volt supply, the LM1875 makes 17 watts into 4 Ohms, while the fakes make only 14. Real TDA2050 probably would make 18 or 19 watts.

With the smaller size die and output transistors (right side of die) I can't see how these would last very long. This is what you get from eBay.

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by johnr66; 29th October 2014 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 29th October 2014, 05:37 PM   #2
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I don't understand the economics of counterfeiting chips to sell on eBay. Doesn't it take a lot of work to make one from scratch?
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Old 29th October 2014, 05:38 PM   #3
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Could you post pics of the packaged parts, both front and rear, please? It could help in identifying the fakes in the pipeline.

I'm guessing that the smaller-die fakes are re-marks - maybe TDA2030 re-marked as TDA2050. There's a lot of demand for the TDA2050 after ST's decision to stop production - that makes it viable for counterfeiters to fake it.
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Old 29th October 2014, 05:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hearinspace View Post
I don't understand the economics of counterfeiting chips to sell on eBay. Doesn't it take a lot of work to make one from scratch?
It's not just EBay - these could be in the regular channel supply-chain. They're probably re-marks, not made from scratch.
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Old 29th October 2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by linuxguru View Post
It's not just EBay - these could be in the regular channel supply-chain. They're probably re-marks, not made from scratch.
So does that mean that DigiKey et al. could be shipping them as well?
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Old 29th October 2014, 06:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hearinspace View Post
So does that mean that DigiKey et al. could be shipping them as well?
I don't know about Digikey, but locally here in India there are two different, nearly identical versions of the ST TDA2050 in the channel. One is made by ST China, marked CHN. It is priced at nearly 2x the other one, also made by ST and marked MAR (Maroc? Marseilles?). Both seem to be authentic, but the price differential is suspicious, which is why I'd like to see the external markings on known counterfeits.
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Old 29th October 2014, 07:03 PM   #7
johnr66 is offline johnr66  United States
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I will try to answer questions, some of which may be conjecture on my part:

They are probably taking some lower power chip and putting it into a TO-220 package.
If you look carefully, the authentic IC uses double bonds on the high current leads.
I will take some photos and post them here. Keep in mind that the counterfeiters can change their design at anytime. Any TDA2003,2030,2030A,2040,2050 sold as new should be suspect.

Mouser and Digikey have only sold me authentic parts. They are (in my experience) careful of their supply chains. When the TDA2050 was discontinued, Their stocks went from over a thousand parts to 0 a bout 1 week! They are not injecting any fakes into the marketplace.

Of course one should be careful of other semiconductors and electronic parts (and those piece O' crap kits) as well. I have found LEDs from China/eBay to be poor in performance and do not last at rated current. It is true that this junk can be sold through other suppliers as well. I have gotten fake TDA2040 and LEDs from US suppliers.
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Old 29th October 2014, 07:27 PM   #8
johnr66 is offline johnr66  United States
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Okay, here are the pics.
Left is the fake TDA2050, middle is authentic and the Right is a real LM1875
Same positions for the backside.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Don't shop by pictures! They often show an authentic part and send the fakes. I have bought a few times off of eBay just to see what they are sending and for testing the performance. I have never received authentic parts!
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Old 29th October 2014, 07:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnr66 View Post
Okay, here are the pics.
Left is the fake TDA2050, middle is authentic and the Right is a real LM1875
Same positions for the backside.

Don't shop by pictures! They often show an authentic part and send the fakes. I have bought a few times off of eBay just to see what they are sending and for testing the performance. I have never received authentic parts!
One key can be the logo, there are legal reasons to never deviate from the one you have registered. The left one is obviously wrong compared to the genuine one.
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Old 29th October 2014, 08:12 PM   #10
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