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

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

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 the similar top marking and only one circular depression on the bottom left to indicate pin 1. keirf goes on to show two boards that are sold as STM32F103C8T6 Bluepill boards, and it’s fairly straightforward to point out the differences by just looking at the chips. The ugly part is that both fail the blinky sample. The first one is very easy to spot since the part number […]

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

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 […]

$57 Samgle 3G 3310 3G Feature Phone Looks like Nokia 3310

Let’s say you have a product, and need to create a brand or company name… Just think about two world famous brands or companies such as Samsung and Google, and with clever string manipulation come up with your own original brand: Samgle! Now you need a product name… Find a product from a third brand that’s similar to yours, for example Nokia 3310 3G phone, and you’ve got all your names sorted! Meet Samgle 3G 3310 feature phone with 2G and 3G connectivity. Samgle 3G 3310 specifications: SoC – TBD System Memory – 64MB RAM Storage – 128MB flash, micro SD slot up to 32GB (or is it 64GB?) Display – 2.4″ curved 320×240 display Camera – 2.0M rear camera Cellular connectivity 2G GSM – 850/600/1800/1900 MHz 3G WCDMA – 900/2100 MHz SIM Card Type – SIM + SIM/micro SD card; Dual SIM dual standby Other Wireless  Connectivity – Bluetooth […]

Goophone Phone X is an iPhone X “Clone” with Fake 4G LTE, Fake Storage Capacity, and Fake Android Version

Apple recently released iPhone X, but at close to $1,000 it’s not for everybody. If you want the “social status” that comes with owning the thing, but have limited budget, and/or find spending $1,000 on a phone is ridiculous, Goophone has prepared Phone X smartphone for you that externally looks like an iPhone X, and only sells for around $105 and up. It just comes with 8 or 16 GB flash, and 2G/3G connectivity, but don’t you worry losing face in front of your friends, as it has a fake 4G LTE mode, and reports 64GB flash storage. Social life saved! Goophone Phone X specifications:   SoC – Mediatek MT6580 quad core ARM Cortex A7 processor @ up to 1.3 GHz with Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 1GB RAM Storage – 8 or 16GB  (shown as fake 64GB) + micro SD slot up to 64GB Display – 5.5 ” capacitive […]

GigaDevice GD32 is a Faster, Software and Pin-to-pin STM32 Compatible Cortex M3 MCU

Las month, Olimex discovered a Chinese company called GigaDevice has made an STM32 clone called GD32 and compatible with STM32F103, but with higher core frequency (108MHz). Olimex has now posted an update after receiving a letter from GigaDevice, and trying GD32F103RBT6 MCU on their own STM32F103 boards. The company explained that GD32 was their own implementation, and claimed rights on GD32 trademarks, while Olimex discovered than GD32 was working just fine on their board having passed “all functional tests without any modifications”, and with all the same development tools and software code running fine. GD32F103xx datasheet (PDF / English version) can be downloaded to find a few more details: The GD32F103xx device incorporates the ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit processor core operating at 108 MHz frequency with Flash accesses zero wait states to obtain maximum efficiency. It provides up to 3 MB on-chip Flash memory and up to 96 KB SRAM memory. […]

CX-S500 is a Xiaomi Mi Box Mini Clone with Amlogic S805 Processor and a USB Port

Earlier this year I reviewed Xiaomi Mi Box Mini, and so far this year it’s one of my most popular blog posts despite being basically usable for non Chinese speakers, and lacking a USB port. A Chinese company decided it might be a good idea to design an Android mini PC lookalike, but powered by Amlogic S805, while also adding a much needed USB port. C-S500 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S805 quad core ARM Cortex A5 @ 1.5GHz with quad core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 1 GB RAM Storage – 8 GB NAND flash Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (Realtek RTL8723) , and Bluetooth Video & Audio Output – HDMI USB – 1x USB 2.0 port Power Supply – Integrated into device. Probably 100-240V input (TBC) Dimensions – TBD (Specs listed as 208 x 83.05 x 22 mm, but clearly wrong) Weight – N/A The company (Sunchip?) did not […]