Just a quick post about some dodgy ICs I received from eBay.

I decided to follow along with Ben Eater’s 6502 computer build, so I ordered some W65C02S CPUs (a static CMOS version of the 6502), R65C22 Versatile Interface Adapter, and some HM62256B SRAM off eBay, but something seemed a bit off.

Purported to be 65C02S CPU, 65C22 VIA and HM62256 SRAM
Note the horizontal scratches/grain, suggesting they’ve been belt sanded to remove markings.

Firstly, check out those date codes. They’re all marked 1901, suggesting the 1st week 2019. It’s interesting because UMC, Rockwell, and Hitachi haven’t produced these chips in years. Is Rockwell even in the chip business these days?

There’s a few other tell-tale signs the surfaces have been tampered with. If you look carefully, you can see horizontal scratches or grain, which looks suspiciously like they’ve been run over a belt sander. The light patch on the chip at the bottom centre of the picture, that’s actually a gouge where it’s clearly run off the end of the belt sander. You can actually feel the dip in the surface.

Also note the inconsistent size and depth of the two mould ejector pin circles, if these were all produced at the same time, surely they’d be consistent for each kind of chip. Not to mention they’re missing entirely from the aforementioned chip.

And you can see where they’ve clearly failed to sand down beyond the ejector pin circles on the chip on the right-hand side, second from the bottom.

I’ve never had a problem with fake chips in the past. All of them seemed to be the genuine article, however so far they were all relatively obscure models. These are much more well-known chips, clearly in higher demand, so there’s more incentive for dodgy sellers to make fakes.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend against buying these kinds of well-known chips off eBay. Especially when modern versions are available brand new from electronics suppliers.