Waveshare R7FA4 PLUS A and B boards are clones of the Arduino UNO R4 Minima and WiFi

Arduino UNO R4 WiFi clone

Arduino board clones have been around for many years, but I don’t think I have ever seen clones of the new Renesas-based Arduino boards so far. Waveshare changes that with the R7FA4 PLUS A that clones with Arduino UNO R4 Minima, and the R7FA4 PLUS B board duplicating the Arduino UNO R4 WiFi. The Waveshare boards are not 100% clones with some small differences in the PCB layout, support for 5V and 3.3V shields, an additional 6-pin “power output header” with 5V, 3.3V, and GND signals, and a USB communication jumper to select between the Espressif ESP32-S3 and Renesas RA4M1 microcontrollers. Waveshare R7FA4 PLUS A and B specifications: Microcontroller – Renesas RA4M1 Arm Cortex-M4F MCU @ 48 MHz with 32KB SRAM, 256KB flash Wireless (B model only) – ESP32-S3-MINI-1 module based on ESP32-S3 dual-core Xtensa LX7 microcontroller with 512KB SRAM, 384KB ROM, WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, PCB antenna […]

Fudan Micro JFM7K325T is a clone of AMD Embedded Kintex 7 325T FPGA

Kintex 7 325T FPGA clone board

Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics Group, also known as FMSH, has designed a clone of the AMD Embedded (previously Xilinx) Kintex 7 325T FPGA found in some boards and modules in mainland China. We are used to seeing clones or fakes of the STM32 microcontrollers, but somebody called “whatever” on Twitter noted a full-featured board based on a clone of the Kintex-7 325T FPGA with 326,080 LUTS and 16 transceivers. Twitter users were quick to point out the board was based on Fudan Micro JFM7K325T, and that it was indeed a clone of the Kintex 7 325T FPGA. The company describes itself as a “domestic leading company specializing in the design, development, production (testing), and system solution provision of super-large-scale integration”, but the company’s website does not have any information about the JFM7K325T chip. I could not find the board above online, but I still found MagicChips’ MC-JFM7K325T core board based on […]

Sumolink Erhu RP2040 is a $3.60 Raspberry Pi Pico clone with a USB-C port

Raspberry Pi Pico USB-C port

The Sumolink Erhu RP2040 is a Raspberry Pi Pico clone with the exact same features except the micro USB port has been replaced by a USB-C port that may be preferred by some people, and the Wisdpi claims it is one of the world’s cheapest RP2040 MCU boards at $3.60, although that price does not include shipping. We had seen some other replicas, but most offer something different rather than just the USB-C port. Two examples that come to my mind are the WeAct RP2040 with a USB-C port, but also a Reset button and up to 16MB SPI flash, instead of the 2MB flash in the original board, and the Banana Pi BPI-Pico-RP2040 with an extra I2C connector and an RGB LED. Sumolink Erhu RP2040 specifications: MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ 133 MHz with 264KB SRAM Storage – 2MB QSPI flash (Note: the specs list […]

Air32F103 is a clone of STM32F103 clocked at up to 216 MHz

AIR32F103 development board

Air32F103 is yet another clone of the STM32F103 microcontroller that can be faster if needed with a clock of up to 216 MHz instead of 72 MHz for the original STMicro STM32 Arm Cortex-M3 microcontroller. The first SKU of the family is the Air32F103CBT6 whose peripherals and hardware design are compatible with equivalent STM32F103CBT6 parts and offered with 32KB RAM and 128KB flash. There’s also a Bluepill-like development board, but with a different pinout, made by LuatOS. Documentation for the board and microcontroller can be found in a Wiki including the MCU datasheet that indicates models with 256KB flash and 64KB SRAM (Air32F103CCT6) and 96KB SRAM (Air32F103RPT6). Since the wiki is in Chinese only, you may want to head over a post in English on Chowdera to learn how to get started with the Keil IDE using code hosted on Gitee. The chip and board were also spotted on EEVBlog […]

Flashchip FCM32 is yet another alternative to STM32 microcontroller

Flashchip Microelectronics FCM32 development board

Once upon a time, people tried to avoid STM32 fakes and clones, but in a world where companies are allegedly purchasing washing machines to extract a few unavailable components, people have started to look for alternatives, and last week I wrote about the Geehy APM32 family of STM32 clones. But I had never heard about Flashchip Microelectronics FCM32 microcontrollers, and they are not that easy to find in search engines, so they must be relatively new. The company appears to make both FCM32F clones and FCM32H derivatives with no direct equivalent STM32 part numbers, a higher clock frequency, and faster flash. For example, the FCMF030F4P6 will match the specifications of STMF030F4P6 as far as I can tell. The good news is that the datasheet is available in both Chinese and English. The FCM32H030C8T6 appears to be a higher performance version of STM32F030C8T8 / FCM32F030C8T8 with a 100 MHz frequency, and […]

Geehy APM32F103 clone of STM32F103 MCU has been tested to work without PCB or code modifications

APM32F103 STM32F103 clone

Geehy APM32F103 is a clone of STMicro STM32F103 MCU that has been tested by at least one person who claims it was just a drop-in replacement and PCB, code, hex, testing, and production did not have to be changed at all. Most STM32 microcontrollers are in short supply with 52+ weeks lead times and prices going through the roof, so people may be looking into the long list STM32 clones and fakes including APM32F103. They all claim to be pin-to-pin and firmware compatible, but when theory meets reality, things may go wrong. For instance, last year I had a conversation with one person who switched to GD32 microcontroller and had all sorts of issues (translated from French): I ordered samples from the GD32F103RCT6 (LQFP64) “clone”, tested them, and it’s a catastrophe… Out of 6 chips, I only managed to flash one. And that one will not boot either. I’ve dived […]

How to Detect STM32 Fakes

Real vs Fake STM32

STMicro STM32 microcontrollers are very popular, and it’s a well-known fact there are some fakes on the market. What I did not know is that many don’t even pass the blinky test. I learned this in Greaseweazle Github repository, a “tools and USB interface for accessing a floppy drive at the raw flux level”, where keirf explains how to detect STM32 fakes, notable clones of STM32F103C8 found in Bluepill board. The photo above shows a real STM32F103C8T6 microcontroller, and all should have a similar top marking and only one circular depression on the bottom left to indicate pin 1. [Update July 9, 2023: STMicro has issued PCN MDG/22/13318 in November 2022 that changes the way chips are marked, so it’s no longer true that genuine chips from STMicro must look like the one above. Thanks to George for the update] keirf goes on to show two boards that are sold […]

Beelink X45 Basic/Premium NUC Clone Launched for $220 and Up

Beelink X45 SSD HDD

Last week, we started to read about Beelink X series mini PCs powered by Gemini Lake processors, and with a design similar to Intel NUC mini PCs. Three models will be available at first with Beelink X45 Basic/Premium based on Intel Celeron J4105 processor with respectively 4GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB RAM/storage configurations, and Beelink X55 with a more powerful Intel Pentium Silver J5005 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. The Beelink X45 models have now showed up on GearBest with pricing starting at $219.99 shipped, but you can bring that down to just under $200 with GBmidyear2018 coupon. Beelink X45 Premium model sells for $259.99 before applying any coupon. [Update: Banggood lists Beelink X45 for $172.99 shipped] Beelink X45 Standard/Premium specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron J4105 quad core Gemini Lake processor clocked @ 1.50 GHz / 2.50 GHz (Turbo) with Intel UHD Graphics 600; 10W TDP System Memory / Storage […]

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