Fake OPA627

I've just bought some OPA627APs from Farnell in the UK and I'm a bit suspicious of them. The BB logo isn't quite the same looking as it is on all of my other Texas/BB opamps and there is no registered trademark sign (R) after the logo. I've never seen this before, surely the (R) symbol will be on all genuine Burr Brown parts. The datestamp is 49ADON7 and is printed in slightly whiter ink than the logo.
In the past I've had OPA627APs where the logo, registered trademark symbol, and part number are printed on the package in light brown and the datestamp is printed in white. The light brown printing looks genuine enough but I'm worried about the use of different coloured inks.
I've emailed TI to see what they say but I wonder if any of you have come across fake OPA627s. Their cost must make them a prime target for counterfeiters?
 
Every time I buy some of those I'm a bit suspicious too (at $25 a pop you tend to be more suspicious you know) but I've had similar batches to the ones you just got. They seemed to have been manufactured in a different fab... But they test and sound just like my other OPA627... I sort of let the suspicion away about the (R) sign not being present after that. If they are copies, they sound just as good. And besides I doubt Digi-Key or Farnell would go into the trouble of acquiring fake parts.

Hope this does quelm a few of your suspicions.
Sébastien
 
These are all authentic parts from Digikey...
 

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BrianL

Member
Paid Member
2002-03-29 5:19 am
USA
There is a lot of variation these days as all the companies
change to new Pb-free/green materials at new assembly
sites, etc.

The "brown" marking is laser marking. I would guess that
the parts receive the generic laser marking when assembled.
Then when they are tested and graded out to high and low
grades, the white marking is done -- looks like a manufacturing lot
code is inked on. The lot code would be different for the
high and low grade units that came from the same raw
batch of parts. Thus it could not be put on before testing
and grading.
 
Thanks for the responses everyone, particularly EchoWars with the photograph showing all three variations. That's certainly put my mind at rest. I've had a few fake transistors in the last couple of years so I guess I'm getting a bit paranoid ( but then didn't John Le Carre say "believe your paranoia" in one of the Smiley novels )
 
Just to tweak your paranonia a little. A few weeks ago, walking past one of the hole in the wall component shops in Singapore, a curious liitle scene met my eye. Four people in a row, studiously, and silently, scrubbing the markings off rail after rail of ICs. They used ball point pen erasers, and the last guy in the row was carefully dusting the ICs with a brush.

Now I can't imagine any legitimate reason to remove all the markings from a device. One can only assume that the next step was to print new markings. :(
 

BrianL

Member
Paid Member
2002-03-29 5:19 am
USA
Francis,

Most of the "pirating" of semiconductors seems to happen
in the far east as that is where most are assembled and
tested. So your observation is interesting. I sure hope
they had proper ESD protection. ;-)

It's not unheard of in audio circles for companies to put
"magic" unmarked ICs in their products. The famous
Mr Curcio used to sell a magic op-amp for his CD player
upgrades. It just happened to be one particular lot
of some pretty good op-amp that he decided was
the best thing he'd heard. Other companies as well
have removed marking to keep their "trade secrets",
while others have had the parts customed marked
with their own marking -- as in the "GAS100" chip
in the old Ampzillas that were merely an RCA transistor
array.

I would be surprised to see a reputable distributor
like Farnell in England selling bootleg op-amps.

And speaking of pirating, Maxim put out a press release
a couple weeks ago about a truckload of $2,000,000
worth of their products that was hijacked and stolen
in Malaysia (or was it Singapore). Apparently it
was assembled material on its way to the test subcontractor.
 
Francis_Vaughan said:
Just to tweak your paranonia a little. A few weeks ago, walking past one of the hole in the wall component shops in Singapore, a curious liitle scene met my eye. Four people in a row, studiously, and silently, scrubbing the markings off rail after rail of ICs. They used ball point pen erasers, and the last guy in the row was carefully dusting the ICs with a brush.

Now I can't imagine any legitimate reason to remove all the markings from a device. One can only assume that the next step was to print new markings. :(


This is interesting...a shop counterfeiting ICs....which part of s'pore is this shop located?