ATTiny 88 chips

I received 600 “Atmel ATTiny 88” chips from Electronic Supermarket (HX). I use Microchip Studio and a Microchip ICE in-system-programmer to program these after placing them on our PC board. I could not get any of these chips to acknowledge any programming commands. There was no response when simply trying to read the chip ID. I have programmed thousands of ATTiny 88 chips with this method.

This is a photo of the chips I received from Electronic Supermarket (HX):

Atmel88 Bad

This is a previously purchased functional chip:

ATTiny 88 functional


Note the different size and placement of the dot. This case has smaller radius corners and edges. The printing is not the same. This chip was used to replace the first chip on the same PC board and instantly was recognized by the manufacturers software and hardware.

I have worked in good faith trying to communicate with the supplied chips. I have reduced communication speeds and checked all connections. I have attempted to program 30 chips. All have failed. At this point I am reworking the 110 boards that already have the chips placed, and mounting chips from an alternate supplier, which all program properly.

I can return the unused chips if necessary, but I am not pleased at the thought of paying any additional costs for this already very expensive effort. I need to have the payment returned for these unusable chips.

Kevin Hunter


Part 2

I have tried to erase each chip. This fails every time. The programmer cannot perform any programing or erase operation without first determining the Device Signature. The programmer will show an error for any Device Signature for a misidentified Atmel or Microchip chip. The chips you sent return no Device Signature, and so cannot be identified, programmed, or erased. This is the error when trying to erase your chips. Note that the Device Signature is blank. I have now tried to erase over 40 of your supplied chips, with no success. Replacing each of these chips with those of another supplier has let us program those 40+ boards immediately.

I set the ISP clock rate to the default of 125kHz. We are using the internal clock settings for the chip.

This is the error box showing the result of pushing the “Erase” button just below. Notice the empty Device Signature field shown:

Erase Failure


When the Device Signature is for a different Atmel or Microchip device an alert is shown pointing out the incorrect chip and identifying the chip associated with that ID. This alert appears when the ISP programmer connected to another board with a different chip. In this case it correctly identifies the onboard microcontroller as an ATmega328P:

Wrong Chip Error

The correct Device Signature for an ATTiny88 is 0x 1E9311 as shown here:



I have now given samples of these boards with each example of chip to another individual with his own lab. He has the same manufacturers recommended equipment and software. He has reproduced each attempt and had the same result in each case.

I have exhausted all testing I can think to perform. I see no way forward to deal with this batch of chips which do not respond, erase, or take any other commands. These chips are not as described and I must insist on returned funds.

Kevin Hunter


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