Looking for some insight into what drives IC price discrepancies across suppliers. Espcially comparing places like digikey and mouser to aliexpress
I'm looking into buying Maxim Integrated ICs to control LEDs.
I've bought some Dot Matrix modules (with 4 MAX7219 chips each) for around 5 dollars.
On mouser and digikey the hugely popular MAX7219 chips are 8 dollars each. On Aliexpress you can get them for around .60 cents each.
However the less popular MAX6954 are 30 dollars each on digikey, and the same price on aliexpress.
While I know we can only speculate here, I'm wondering what are some of the common causes (I'm new to the world of buying ICs).
- Is counterfeiting of ICs a big problem in the electrical engineering world? I know several vendors can make similar chips that do the same thing, or even knockoffs. But, is it common to see counterfeit ICs complete with name brand logos from places like Maxim and TI?
- How bad is middleman markup in the IC world? Are prices controlled more by the manufactures or the distributors? Mouser and Digikey seem pretty simliar in price. But Aliexpress is all over the place.
- Are there any reputable IC surplus sellers where I am getting surplus parts instead of counterfeit?