While I have previously discussed 32F103 microcontrollers from different manufacturers, I’ve not discussed pricing before. The world has changed, with all this silicon shortage madness. A STMicroelectronics MCU is made of unobtainium. RS and Farnell don’t have them in stock. It seems, LCSC can deliver them, but the prices are insane. US$ 19.56 for a single piece. US$16.26 if you order a 100 pieces. That is the reality of today. We are no longer taking about saving a few pennies, these days, looking at third party suppliers of 32F103 chips seems essential for keeping the costs at a reasonable level.
So, let’s have a look at the prices of a 32F103 on the 11th of May 2022 (2022-05-11) at LCSC.
|STM32F103CBT6||US$ 19.56||US$ 17.91||US$ 16.26|
|FCM32F103CBT6||US$ 2.18||US$ 1.90||US$ 1.58|
|MG32F103CBT6||US$ 1.71||US$ 1.50||US$ 1.25|
|RX32F103CBT6||US$ 5.52||US$ 4.89||US$ 4.20|
|GD32F103CBT6||US$ 3.04||US$ 2.73||US$ 2.40|
|APM32F103C8T6||US$ 3.73||US$ 3.29||US$ 2.81|
When I was looking at the prices the other day, my eye fell on the CH32V203C8T6. I’ve ordered 4 pieces on the 8th of May, but today, they’re already sold out. Those prices are even cheap for the old days before the silicon crisis. I should have ordered some more when I had the chance, but hey, I was buying 4 pcs of each of the parts in the list above (except the STM32 obviously), and then this CH32V203 part. I should have ordered more… but hey, I just saw that part in the list, and I hadn’t looked up the specs yet, I just hit order.
|CH32V103C8T6||US$ 1.59||US$ 1.38||US$ 1.15|
|CH32V203C8T6||US$ 0.82||US$ 0.68||US$ 0.56|
I am currently having a look st the CH32V103C8T6, which I’d ordered on the 19th of February 2022 10 pcs at US$ 1.62, so that price went down. How is that possible in 2022? In the mean time I had a quick look at the datasheet. It looks like, what the name would suggest, it has even more peripherals, but on the first glance, they would be compatible with the CH32V103. The peripherals they’ve in common are at the same addresses. So, a more capable chip for less, for a price I’d consider cheap in 2019. No wonder they’re sold out.
On another note, the GD32VF103CBT6 is out of stock at LCSC, the latest prices was US $4.98 per unit, going down to US$1.93 when you order 200. So, if they were in stock it would be cheaper to buy then to buy 100.
Some historical prices, these are from my orders at lcsc in the past.
|5 Mar 2020||MM32F103CBT6||US$ 2.30||4 pcs|
|5 March 2020||APM32F103C8T6||US$ 1.32||4 pcs|
|5 March 2020||HK32F103CBT6||US$ 1.43||4 pcs|
|11 June 2020||CKS32F103CBT6||US$ 1.03||10 pcs|
|28 November 2019||GD32F103CBT6||US$ 1.25||10 pcs|
|6 June 2019||BLM32F103CBT6||US$ 1.85||4 pcs|
|11 April 2019||STM32F103CBT6||US$ 2.27||4 pcs|
|5 January 2019||STM32F103CBT6||US$ 3.19||2 pcs|
The situation with ordinary hobby MCU’s had been ridiculous for quite some time now.
When life was good, 3 years ago, I could get blue pill boards for around $1.50.
STM32F103C8T6 chips could be had for around $1.20/ea … and there was a bonus!
All those I ordered, including the pill boards (some were black), had 128kb flash, so they were really CB boards, instead of C8.
(sigh) — wished I ordered 50 of them at the time. May never see another MCU at that price with USB2 functionality.