Author Topic: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents  (Read 7520 times)

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Offline Peabody

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #100 on: September 14, 2020, 02:17:50 pm »
I think we now have what appears to be a definitive answer.  Here's what I posted this morning on AVRfreaks:

"Kevin Darrah sent the suspect chip to a company called Sensible Micro, which has lots of experience testing for bogus chips.  They decapped both the bad chip and a known good chip and compared them.  Their report is included in Kevin's followup video:



"Their conclusion is that the part is "suspect counterfeit".  It contains the logo "Aries" instead of "Atmel", and there are other differences.  So unless Microchip engaged someone else to make chips for them, it looks like this is indeed a counterfeit.

"The bad news is that this means the entire "clone" market may now be infected with bogus processors, with no practical way to tell the difference.  I don't know whether Kevin plans to refer this to Microchip, but if anyone here has a good contact there, you might refer them to Kevin's videos.  One thing that would be nice to have is a test sketch of some kind that works one way on a good chip, but another way on a bad one.  Microchip might be able to provide something like that.  Removing regulators and LEDs to test for sleep current isn't practical for most hobbyists."


I wish I had better news.  I don't begin to understand how it could be profitable to duplicate all of the engineering for something as complicated, and cheap, as the 328P.  But it seems that has happened, and it could affect any clone Uno, Nano, Mini, or anything else that uses the 328P.
 
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Online DrG

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #101 on: September 14, 2020, 03:23:57 pm »
This is a fascinating story and my thanks to you and Kevin Durrah.  It is not an Atmel chip as I would define an Atmel chip, and as far as we know, all the Atmel chips have the 'appropriate' low power capabilities.

Looking through the thread again after seeing the results of the decapping raises some questions that may never get answered. The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, ostensibly because of the possibility of "mergers / acquisitions"  that could have resulted in a packaging of the Aries die - a die which does not meet the published Atmel specs. Furthermore, since they (the Video producers) are not the manufacturers, they lack the IP to call it a counterfeit. I get that and think that it is a responsible and objective position which I agree with.

Still, I feel like I have some common street-level understanding about the concept of liability. To me, a simple-minded consumer, if this is not a counterfeit in every sense of the word, except maybe a legal/technical sense [pending Atmel/Microchip declaring it a counterfeit], I don't know how we can determine any chip is not genuine.

This situation is far more insidious than a relabeled part see this story for example, https://www.sparkfun.com/news/364 and https://www.sparkfun.com/news/395

With all that PR $$ it would be nice if Atmel/Microchip responded.
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Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #102 on: September 14, 2020, 03:57:08 pm »

Wow, that is pretty amazing. 

Just over the Aries logo, I make out "Xiao Bao"  ...    Dim sum?  :D
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 03:58:57 pm by SilverSolder »
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #103 on: September 14, 2020, 04:01:00 pm »
[...]  The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, [...]

...because he is not the owner of the Atmel IP, he cannot call it a counterfeit - this is a legal technicality, only Atmel is able to officially call it a counterfeit.   

He is, however, calling it a counterfeit as strongly as he can, within the legal maze that is IP!

Would be interesting to find out more about this Aries company...
 

Online DrG

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #104 on: September 14, 2020, 04:17:01 pm »
[...]  The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, [...]

...because he is not the owner of the Atmel IP, he cannot call it a counterfeit - this is a legal technicality, only Atmel is able to officially call it a counterfeit.   

He is, however, calling it a counterfeit as strongly as he can, within the legal maze that is IP!

Would be interesting to find out more about this Aries company...

Thanks for agreeing with me as your explanation is included explicitly in my complete quote on that issue....

The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, ostensibly because of the possibility of "mergers / acquisitions"  that could have resulted in a packaging of the Aries die - a die which does not meet the published Atmel specs. Furthermore, since they (the Video producers) are not the manufacturers, they lack the IP to call it a counterfeit. I get that and think that it is a responsible and objective position which I agree with.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 04:19:21 pm by DrG »
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Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #105 on: September 14, 2020, 04:59:18 pm »
[...]  The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, [...]

...because he is not the owner of the Atmel IP, he cannot call it a counterfeit - this is a legal technicality, only Atmel is able to officially call it a counterfeit.   

He is, however, calling it a counterfeit as strongly as he can, within the legal maze that is IP!

Would be interesting to find out more about this Aries company...

Thanks for agreeing with me as your explanation is included explicitly in my complete quote on that issue....

The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, ostensibly because of the possibility of "mergers / acquisitions"  that could have resulted in a packaging of the Aries die - a die which does not meet the published Atmel specs. Furthermore, since they (the Video producers) are not the manufacturers, they lack the IP to call it a counterfeit. I get that and think that it is a responsible and objective position which I agree with.

There is no merger/acquisition angle to this, since that would have had to be disclosed to investors (i.e. the public) by a listed corporation as a material fact affecting their prospects. 

In the same vein, it is not possible that Atmel could have sub-contracted or licensed its core IP in this way without disclosing that material and significant information to investors as well.

 

Online DrG

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #106 on: September 14, 2020, 05:59:39 pm »
[...]  The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, [...]

...because he is not the owner of the Atmel IP, he cannot call it a counterfeit - this is a legal technicality, only Atmel is able to officially call it a counterfeit.   

He is, however, calling it a counterfeit as strongly as he can, within the legal maze that is IP!

Would be interesting to find out more about this Aries company...

Thanks for agreeing with me as your explanation is included explicitly in my complete quote on that issue....

The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, ostensibly because of the possibility of "mergers / acquisitions"  that could have resulted in a packaging of the Aries die - a die which does not meet the published Atmel specs. Furthermore, since they (the Video producers) are not the manufacturers, they lack the IP to call it a counterfeit. I get that and think that it is a responsible and objective position which I agree with.

There is no merger/acquisition angle to this, since that would have had to be disclosed to investors (i.e. the public) by a listed corporation as a material fact affecting their prospects. 

In the same vein, it is not possible that Atmel could have sub-contracted or licensed its core IP in this way without disclosing that material and significant information to investors as well.

I note, first of all, your refusal to validate my response which was that your "explanation" based on the only sentence of mine that you decided to quote, was, in fact, included in subsequent sentences. That speaks volumes to me. A simple little "yeah, you did say that" was a bridge too far for you.

Second, the "mergers / acquisitions" issue comes directly from the video [~8',29"]. That is why it is quotes. The author is stating that he is unaware of any such merger or acquisition that could have allowed one or the other to produce chips with that die. That you don't believe that there is no "angle" like that is something that you should take up with the author of the video and not me.

Thirdly, I am distinctly underwhelmed by your proposed expertise or credibility on all information released to investors of any of the companies involved....

and with that, I am done discussing the matter with you.
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Offline Peabody

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #107 on: September 14, 2020, 06:01:22 pm »
I've made the point to Kevin in email that the elephant in the room here is Microchip.  So far as I know, nobody has contacted them about this.  But it seems to me that Kevin, or particularly Chris at Sensible Micro, needs to talk to the Atmel product manager, link those video, and try to get an official ruling on the bad chips.  If I were the product manager for the 328P, I think I'd like to be told about this.
 

Online DrG

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #108 on: September 14, 2020, 06:09:43 pm »
A few hours ago (after viewing the video but before the noisy exchanges), I decided to write Microchip and simply ask them about the issue. Large semiconductor companies, like Microchip, employ marketing and PR folks that could (I would argue, should) be able to respond to the general issue and specifically, "how can a "regular" consumer draw a conclusion?".

But, who do I email? Well, I recalled that 4-5 months ago, I had a short but pleasant conversation with a "Marketing Specialist" at Microchip. Since I still had the email thread, I wrote her. Hey, I figure, why not ask?

I will wait for a good two weeks (as hard as it is to believe, people may have other things to do than answer me :) . I will post here if I get a response that contributes to the discussion.
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Offline Peabody

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #109 on: September 14, 2020, 06:24:10 pm »
I'm glad you did that.  The approach I would default to, if nothing else works, is to write a snailmail letter to the president of Microchip.  I believe they are in Chandler, AZ.  This method is not always productive, but sometimes it works, and usually always gets some kind of reply.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #110 on: September 14, 2020, 07:57:30 pm »
[...]  The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, [...]

...because he is not the owner of the Atmel IP, he cannot call it a counterfeit - this is a legal technicality, only Atmel is able to officially call it a counterfeit.   

He is, however, calling it a counterfeit as strongly as he can, within the legal maze that is IP!

Would be interesting to find out more about this Aries company...

Thanks for agreeing with me as your explanation is included explicitly in my complete quote on that issue....

The author of the video refuses to call it a counterfeit but, instead, calls it a suspect counterfeit, ostensibly because of the possibility of "mergers / acquisitions"  that could have resulted in a packaging of the Aries die - a die which does not meet the published Atmel specs. Furthermore, since they (the Video producers) are not the manufacturers, they lack the IP to call it a counterfeit. I get that and think that it is a responsible and objective position which I agree with.

There is no merger/acquisition angle to this, since that would have had to be disclosed to investors (i.e. the public) by a listed corporation as a material fact affecting their prospects. 

In the same vein, it is not possible that Atmel could have sub-contracted or licensed its core IP in this way without disclosing that material and significant information to investors as well.

I note, first of all, your refusal to validate my response which was that your "explanation" based on the only sentence of mine that you decided to quote, was, in fact, included in subsequent sentences. That speaks volumes to me. A simple little "yeah, you did say that" was a bridge too far for you.

Second, the "mergers / acquisitions" issue comes directly from the video [~8',29"]. That is why it is quotes. The author is stating that he is unaware of any such merger or acquisition that could have allowed one or the other to produce chips with that die. That you don't believe that there is no "angle" like that is something that you should take up with the author of the video and not me.

Thirdly, I am distinctly underwhelmed by your proposed expertise or credibility on all information released to investors of any of the companies involved....

and with that, I am done discussing the matter with you.

LOL ok.  I've made a note, Dr. G is always right.  It would have been simpler if you had just said that in the first place!  :D
 

Offline Peabody

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #111 on: September 14, 2020, 10:15:43 pm »
Kevin provides what looks to be a good test sketch to differentiate between good and bad chips without having to desolder stuff.  Bad chips are mostly FFs past the first line.


https://gist.github.com/krdarrah/6e6cb94c1df015e8e9f910ae5cf85299


Real Digikey 2020

1E BA 95 FF F C6 0 26
FF 9 FF 17 FF FF 57 39
39 31 36 31 FF 1 29 1D
17 5 12 9 13 9 FF FF


Fake Ebay  2019

1E B8 95 FF F FF FF 26
FF FF FF FF FF FF 5D FF
FF FF FF 0 FF FF FF FF
FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF


Older Pro Mini with real looking chip 2015

1E 96 95 FF F 9A FF 26
FF A FF 17 FF FF 58 35
32 31 38 36 FF F A 13
17 1 12 6 13 6 FF FF


Real Digikey 2016

1E 87 95 FF F D0 FF 26
FF A FF 17 FF FF 58 36
30 30 33 34 FF B 21 10
17 1 12 6 13 6 FF FF


Another Fake looking ProMini 2019

1E CF 95 FF F FF FF 26
FF FF FF FF FF FF 58 FF
FF FF FF 0 FF FF FF FF
FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF


Mine look the same:


last bad Pro Mini clone - 2019 date code
1E    BE    95    FF    F    FF    FF    26   
FF    FF    FF    FF    FF    FF    58    FF   
FF    FF    FF    FF    FF    FF    FF    FF   
FF    FF    FF    FF    FF    FF    FF    FF   


good Pro Mini clone - 2015 date code
1E    A2    95    FF    F    B8    FF    26   
FF    9    FF    17    FF    FF    57    35   
37    34    39    33    FF    7    18    2   
17    1    12    6    13    6    FF    FF   


good Nano clone - 2018 date code
1E    A8    95    FF    F    C6    0    26   
FF    8    FF    17    FF    FF    57    38   
38    35    38    39    FF    9    19    B   
17    3    12    9    13    9    FF    FF   


 
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Online Ian.M

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #112 on: September 14, 2020, 11:09:09 pm »
More on the signature bytes from 'the horse's mouth':
https://microchipsupport.force.com/s/article/Serial-number-in-AVR---Mega-Tiny-devices

I think that now you and Kevin have popped the lid on this can of worms, there are going to be an awful lot of fakes found to be out there.

Genuine Arduino Uno with a socketed DIP ATmega328P-PU, date code 1602:
Code: [Select]
boot sig dump
1E 8F 95 FF F B8 0 26
FF A FF 17 FF FF 58 35
32 34 30 33 FF 10 12 2A
17 2 12 6 13 6 FF FF

I seem to have plenty of fakes, some in PDIP. :(
 

Online DrG

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #113 on: September 15, 2020, 12:43:23 am »
I'm not sure, but if I am reading this https://microchipsupport.force.com/s/article/8-bit-AVR-MCU-with-unique-serial-number correctly, the ATmega328/P does NOT have a unique serial number...

"Most classic AVR mega and Tiny devices do not have unique serial number except ATmega328PB/48PB/88PB/168PB. And all Xmega, megaAVR0 and ATtiny0/1 families have unique serial number which can be used to identify a specific device in the field."

The ATmega 328PB is the one with the QTouch® Peripheral https://www.pololu.com/file/0J1464/Atmel-42559-Differences-between-ATmega328P-and-ATmega328PB_ApplicationNote_AT15007.pdf But, that is not the one you would find in the Pro Mini - that's the 328/P right?

In any event, if you can distinguish genuine from other, I am in favor of that. Ran the program(s) on a few Pro Minis that I have with these results"

Code: [Select]
Sparkfun (i would guess, a genuine part).
boot sig dump
1E AA 95 FF F F6 FF 26
FF D FF 17 FF FF 55 35
30 31 35 38 FF E 16 1E
17 1 12 6 13 6 FF FF

Signature :  0x1E 0x95 0xF
Serial Number :  0x55 0x35 0x30 0x31 0x35 0x38 0xFF 0xE 0x16 0x1E


DIY Mall clone
boot sig dump
1E 9E 95 FF F 9C FF 26
FF B FF 17 FF FF 58 35
32 31 38 36 FF 2 17 1D
17 1 12 6 13 6 FF FF


Signature :  0x1E 0x95 0xF
Serial Number :  0x58 0x35 0x32 0x31 0x38 0x36 0xFF 0x2 0x17 0x1D


The Simple clone
boot sig dump
1E A7 95 FF F C8 FF 26
FF A FF 17 FF FF 55 37
32 30 38 37 FF 4 17 14
17 1 12 8 13 8 FF FF

Signature :  0x1E 0x95 0xF
Serial Number :  0x55 0x37 0x32 0x30 0x38 0x37 0xFF 0x4 0x17 0x14

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Offline westfw

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #114 on: September 15, 2020, 01:44:22 am »
Quote
it is not possible that Atmel could have sub-contracted or licensed its core IP in this way without disclosing that material and significant information to investors as well.
I'll note that Microchip (and Atmel before them) seems to be very careful about announcing even minor changes like
Quote
"Product Change Notification - LIAL-30BVKD482 - 17 Sep 2018 - CCB 3321 and 3321.001 Final Notice: Qualification of MTAI as an additional assembly site for selected Atmel products of the 59.91k wafer technology available in 20L VQFN package."
https://www.microchip.com/product-change-notifications/#/12112/LIAL-30BVKD482
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #115 on: September 15, 2020, 03:05:06 am »
Quote
it is not possible that Atmel could have sub-contracted or licensed its core IP in this way without disclosing that material and significant information to investors as well.
I'll note that Microchip (and Atmel before them) seems to be very careful about announcing even minor changes like
Quote
"Product Change Notification - LIAL-30BVKD482 - 17 Sep 2018 - CCB 3321 and 3321.001 Final Notice: Qualification of MTAI as an additional assembly site for selected Atmel products of the 59.91k wafer technology available in 20L VQFN package."
https://www.microchip.com/product-change-notifications/#/12112/LIAL-30BVKD482

When pension fund managers (and other investors, even private individuals) make decisions about whether (or how much) to invest in the securities of a company, the concept of risk is paramount in their minds.   They rely on accurate information from company management to make their assessments.  If the company withholds or "embellishes" material information that affects these assessments, they are in breach of securities legislation and open to class action lawsuits to be reimbursed for any losses incurred due to falling share prices that the hidden or incorrect information prevented them from predicting.  This kind of thing can get extremely expensive and career altering for the people involved.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 03:07:10 am by SilverSolder »
 

Offline Peabody

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #116 on: September 15, 2020, 04:12:20 am »

Genuine Arduino Uno with a socketed DIP ATmega328P-PU, date code 1602:
Code: [Select]
boot sig dump
1E 8F 95 FF F B8 0 26
FF A FF 17 FF FF 58 35
32 34 30 33 FF 10 12 2A
17 2 12 6 13 6 FF FF

I seem to have plenty of fakes, some in PDIP. :(

Well that one looks ok.  But I'd like to know more about your PU fakes.  What does their boot sig dump look like?  What markings do they have, particularly the date code?
 

Offline Peabody

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #117 on: September 15, 2020, 04:21:21 am »
DrG, I don't think Kevin is saying the 328P has unique serial numbers.  It 's just the difference in the overall pattern after the first row of data.  Genuine chips seems to have a variety of values, whereas the fakes have almost all FFs.  Anyway, the three you posted all look good.  I'd be interested in the date code markings on those chips.  So far, all 2018 and earlier, and 2020, seem genuine, but all 2019 are counterfeit.
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #118 on: September 15, 2020, 04:58:41 am »
I believe the lot codes *SHOULD* be ASCII.  They are six characters long in byte reversed pairs starting at location 0x0E.
e.g.
Quote
Real Digikey 2020
Code: [Select]
1E BA 95 FF F C6 0 26
FF 9 FF 17 FF FF 57 39
39 31 36 31 FF 1 29 1D
17 5 12 9 13 9 FF FF
has a lot code of '9W1916'.  The wafer no. and die X,Y position (locations 0x15 - 0x17) are also informative.  Scaling from the X-ray in the video, the genuine die is about 3.35mm square. To get 255 dies across a 300mm wafer, the dies would need to be under 1.17 mm square, and 'FF FF' would be out in a corner and thus off the circular wafer, so 'FF FF FF' there is patently ridiculous, as that would also imply a batch size in excess of 16 million dies, and 36% wasted wafer area!.

Unfortunately, I suspect the Ares 'mega328 clone is likely to have flash memory in the signature byte area, so almost as soon as this 'fingerprinting' becomes widely known, we are likely to see clones with less suspicious fingerprints.   If they have the capability to individually serialise the chips, they could soon become impossible to distinguish by signature bytes fingerprint alone, unless Microchip provides a signature byte verification service, which is fraught with its own problems.

@Peabody,
I'll set up again to dump signature bytes as soon as I get around to it, but I'd rather not wear out my Uno's socket so need to build a 'breadboard Arduino' + have some 'fun' with Zadig and my PICkit 2 so AVRdude can see it as an AVR programmer.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 05:28:57 am by Ian.M »
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #119 on: September 15, 2020, 07:04:17 am »
Quote
I'd rather not wear out my Uno's socket so need to build a 'breadboard Arduino'
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/57tdc7y6 ?It was mostly for fiddling with bootloaders, but it's essentially an Arduino clone with ZIF socket and jumpers to mess with things like power and auto-reset...
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #120 on: September 15, 2020, 11:16:00 am »

Disregarding all non technical issues...  Are there any circumstances where using the Aries chip is actually acceptable?   - e.g. if they have to start selling them as "Atmel compatible" chips in the future...
 

Offline brucehoult

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #121 on: September 15, 2020, 12:40:46 pm »

Disregarding all non technical issues...  Are there any circumstances where using the Aries chip is actually acceptable?   - e.g. if they have to start selling them as "Atmel compatible" chips in the future...

They appear to be fine if you don't need really deep sleep super low power operation.

Most amateurs never use that.

It's only necessary if you want to run for a long long time off a small battery.
 
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #122 on: September 15, 2020, 12:43:00 pm »

Disregarding all non technical issues...  Are there any circumstances where using the Aries chip is actually acceptable?   - e.g. if they have to start selling them as "Atmel compatible" chips in the future...

They appear to be fine if you don't need really deep sleep super low power operation.

Most amateurs never use that.

It's only necessary if you want to run for a long long time off a small battery.

ADC performance is likely to be suspect. Not that these chips have a good ADC to begin with, but still.
 
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Online DrG

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #123 on: September 15, 2020, 12:56:26 pm »
DrG, I don't think Kevin is saying the 328P has unique serial numbers.  It 's just the difference in the overall pattern after the first row of data.  Genuine chips seems to have a variety of values, whereas the fakes have almost all FFs.  Anyway, the three you posted all look good.  I'd be interested in the date code markings on those chips.  So far, all 2018 and earlier, and 2020, seem genuine, but all 2019 are counterfeit.

Yeah, I wasn't being very clear and was sort of thinking out loud. I was trying to understand exactly what the area that the two programs are looking at represents.

The two programs being Kevin's and the original that he got it from (according to his comment):
https://gist.github.com/speters/f889faec42b510052a6ab4be437d38ca
https://gist.github.com/krdarrah/6e6cb94c1df015e8e9f910ae5cf85299

These appear to treat some of the bytes as a UID. Looking around, there is also a library https://github.com/ricaun/ArduinoUniqueID that looks at those bytes as a UID but acknowledge that they are not "official". There is no such designation of any UID in the 328/p data sheet as noted earlier, and it does not look like the area on a genuine 328p conforms to the 328pb data sheet (right?).

Yet, there does seem to be a UID in the 328p chips, albeit unofficial / undocumented (and therefore unreliable?)- that is what I was getting at.

Your identified 'bad' chip certainly has something different in that area, namely FFs. They are not doing what the other chips are doing and I think that is what you are saying and, yes it looks different.

For example:
Signature :  0x1E 0x95 0xF
Serial Number :  0x55 0x35 0x30 0x31 0x35 0x38 0xFF 0xE 0x16 0x1E

The signature bytes are the same on all the 328p chips in the thread. The UIDs are different but "look" like they could be, in fact, UIDs...EXCEPT your Aries chips where no attempt is made to have a UID (i.e., FFs) - is that where we are at?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 01:05:25 pm by DrG »
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Online Ian.M

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Re: Arduino Pro Mini - two copies have different sleep currents
« Reply #124 on: September 15, 2020, 01:21:36 pm »
Something put those bytes in there (as they are not 0xFF) and it almost certainly has to be the factory wafer ATE.

I think they are *NOT* a UID because Atmel, now Microchip don't *GUARANTEE* that they will be unique.  Obviously X,Y coordinates within a wafer will repeat, and over multiple batches the wafer number will repeat, so if the lot no. isn't guaranteed unique (i.e. due to limited code space of 6 alphanumerics, which probably also encodes the fab and line) they could reuse them, returning to the start when they run out of valid lot numbers for a particular fab/line.  Also, its a management issue - if they have to restart the wafer ATE partway through a run, do they *ALWAYS* guarantee to preset the last wafer no. used correctly?  It obviously benefits them for traceability to have a near-unique serial no. but I suspect the extra costs to publicly guarantee its a UID and make it so aren't insignificant.

If my suppositions are correct, the odds of finding a serial no. collision between current production genuine chips are vanishingly small, and although such collisions between current chips and old genuine chips are possible, your chances of finding one 'in the wild' are infinitesimal, mostly due to the small number of chips that will have survived in active use that are *NOT* in a dedicated application where the firmware will never be changed again.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 01:25:05 pm by Ian.M »
 


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