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I already know about Chinese counterfeit / fake op amps, AKA getting a totally different op amp and re-etching the IC or faulty op amps going to china and these op amps getting sold.

But what about Chinese clone op amps? Companies in China that are apparently designing and making op amps? What are your thoughts on these?

For example:

HGSemi HG741N, which is obviously a UA741 clone.

HGSemi makes various op amp clones, like for example the TL072 etc. Either these are real op amp made by them or are they faulty op amps, like could it be a real UA741 die but it didn't 100% pass the testing that Texas Instruments does?? Since I know there are Chinese companies that sell faulty components.

From looking online HGSemi is a real manufacturer of ICs etc..

Datasheet: HG741N datasheet

HGSemi 741 clone

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How pressed for cost are you to consider 741 in the first place and clones of it secondly? \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Commented Jun 29 at 10:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @winny In this post , its just an example of an clone op amp, I don't really use 741s anymore, I could have obviously picked a more modern op amp for the example. For example that above company that makes op amp clones, makes TL072s too. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30 at 3:32

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What about them? Companies in Taiwan were making clones of the 741 30+ years ago. It's not rocket science. And US companies would often clone their competitor's parts.

I tested many samples of one of the clones (not a 741, even back then that op-amp was too old) back then and found it was basically no better or worse than Motorola when it came to process-related issues like TCVos.

Those companies went on to become TSMC and similar spinoffs of ERSO (Taiwan state-sponsored semiconductor initiative) so it paid off.

I suspect cloning a 741 is something a grad student could do in a weekend with modern tools.

Chinese companies make 200+ layer memory chips and dense MCU and MPU chips, cloning an old analog part like that is no issue if they're still running the bipolar process that it takes to fabricate the parts.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So you are saying its more safe to use a clone op amp ic, than going online to ebay, aliexpress and buying a known apparently genuine Texas Instruments op amp ic, than finding out later it is most likely fake , that the die is either faulty or a completely different op amp entirely. Whats the chance that a Chinese IC manufacturer making clone ICs putting there own name on the IC, is fake???? Probably less likely than what could happen what I said previously above. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 29 at 4:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, of course. Anything that can be reliably traced back (from a reliable distributor such as lcsc) to a known manufacturer is safer than dealing with some fly-by-night small seller on an online platform like ebay or ali (where asymmetrical shipping costs encourage bad behaviour). Whether you trust that particular manufacturer or not is another matter, but they do have a reputation to protect. I have not had any problems myself with such manufacturers. You can look up their employee numbers and years in business to do your due diligence. I have done factory visits to check out QC. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 29 at 5:07

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