If you’ve landed on this page, you’ve probably noticed the labels on your YM2612/YM3438 equipped device.
This page will explain why your IC may appear to be counterfeit and/or “not the chip you’ve ordered.”
YM2612’s have come into vogue lately, therefore, their price has gone up significantly. Shady Chinese recyclers and sellers often re-mark ICs and pass them off as genuine in order to make a quick buck. Often, these chips are completely bogus and unusable, as seen on this page where I dissected one of the chips to find out that it was actually a RAM IC.
Occasionally, though, these re-marked chips will actually be genuine YM2612s. Why the seller decided to re-mark them even though they’re real? I’m not entirely sure. Perhaps they had heavy cosmetic damage and the seller wanted to pass them off as “new.”
Recently, though, I’ve discovered a whole new batch of “fake” YM2612s that are actually other chips in the YM family that have been poorly resurfaced with bogus YM2612 details on them. After ordering a set of YM2612s, I actually ended up getting the pin-compatible, but not electrically equivalent, YM3438s with fake YM2612 markings on them. Super annoying. Better yet, the seller refused to give me a refund.
Rather than waste these otherwise good YM3438’s, I’ve decided to use them and include a label instructing users to check this page for an explanation as to why their YM3438 order came with a dodgy looking YM2612. Rest assured, these are genuine chips with annoying fake markings on them. I apologize for any confusion, but I’m simply not willing to waste good YM chips just because their surface markings have been replaced – they’re becoming too uncommon to waste.
You got the chip that you paid for.
It is real, but the markings are inaccurate.
No, China is not making “clones” of YM2612/YM3438s. Trust me, I’d love for new versions of these chips to hit the market, but China is not going to spin up a multimillion dollar fab on an ancient node just to rip-off a couple of hobbyists.
Each IC has been tested by me personally and is guaranteed to operate correctly.
I’m not attempting to rip anybody off, I just don’t want to waste these hard-to-obtain chips.
Thank you for understanding.
Here are some images of a Mega MIDI with a re-marked YM3438:
Thank you for understanding. Feel free to shoot me an email over at my Contact page if you have any further questions.