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According to published reports, South Korean chip manufacturer LG Semicon has discovered a ring of Southeast Asian counterfeiters who are sending fake memory chips to the US. The reports say the manufacturer found that a counterfeit ring has been selling 16- megabit DRAM chips under the LGS brand, stamping the LGS name brand on memory chips and selling them on as the real thing. The counterfeit chips are reportedly originating in Singapore and turning up in the US through the San Francisco Bay Area. The parts are easily identified because they have a false serial identification where LG chips have a blank underside. The packaging also indicates that the chips come from Singapore, rather than South Korea, where LGS makes its chips. The counterfeit chips are stamped T4174OC 69A4TC Singapore; the markings on the genuine chips are made with a laser. The fake chips are also marked in gold ink. LG Semicon said a sudden drop in the company’s memory prices alerted it to the problem. Fake DRAM hasn’t been a big problem to date because the average cost of a 16-megabit DRAM module is only $80, which makes counterfeiting other products such as CPUs more profitable. There’s no indication of who is involved in the ring, how many of its DRAMs made it to market or what action is being taken.


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CBR Staff Writer

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