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Free IC Samples: Good or Bad Answered

Every now and then I order a sample of an integrated circuit from companies such as TI, Atmel, or Microchip. But can I get too many. If I order too many do you think they will catch on to my using of their free samples for hobby use and not research? I stopped ordering because I am afraid they might start charging me for all the chips I ordered. What's your opinion?


They won't charge you, to a large IC manufacturing company this is classed as an advertising expense so it is a tax write off to start with..... And how many is an interesting question, wait till you get to meet and talk to one of the factory reps in person, I have gotten a fully built remote control switch, which the rep insisted I needed of course not to be rude I agreed , large packs of panasonic blue LED's ( yep they are the expensive ones on the back cover of the digikey catalog ) Motorola, ok now freescale has goofed and shipped me full reels of transistors and I offered to ship the reels back and they said to keep them, I guess it cost more to restock them then they are worth ??.... ((( Yes both of those sent out reps to meet and greet, and reps usually do several companies and will offer you products you don't even know you could get samples of, like huge 10lbs heatsinks Thank you wakefield... for a motor speed controller... ))) So just don't abuse it and think of sample amount like this, One to use, One to Abuse, and One to lose... And order three.... And should you ever make some thing, and are going to sell it commercially, make sure some where in there you buy and use one of there products they have so willingly given to you for free....


8 years ago

where can i get blue LEDs and ALLOT of 100 and 1000 ohm resistors?

if you have your credit card number in their system, then you might get charged, otherwise, your good to go.

YAY Mine Are on the way Fed Ex says they should at my house tomorrow at five pm FINALY.....

OH MY GOSH! I really didn't realize so many people didn't know about this! When you go to the website of the manufacturer of the IC you want (say it's a picaxe), You can request free samples of it. You have to choose packageing type I.E. DIP or SOIC, but they come free of charge. You don't even have to pay shipping. Some companies require you to make an account (not a big deal, no credit card info), and others don't. Some companies make you pay for the samples (just a few cents), but that's it! Go to the manufacturer and see if your chip offers samples. When filling out the form, you may require some...imagination.

Do you even know what SOIC is? Of course you have to chose the packaging type :P

There's been a distressing trend recently for manufacturers to have "special offers" of chip samples where they DON'T let you pick a package type. Naturally, the package they send is usually ... difficult...

Ever get one of those ICs the size of a LED? I hate those! The contacts are on the bottom!

I think it's small outline integrated chip I rarely use them

Where is it located at on the site? What are some other manufacturers? I looked on the picaxe site and saw that they can take BASIC. I TOOK BASIC LAST YEAR!

I never took BASIC and use them for everything :-P

this is great! i needed a chip. it looks like i might be able to get it cheap.


10 years ago

Hey. I have a disorder known as Toomanyprojectus Poorness-us.

Which sites can I use to get free IC's and other components? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

Texas instruments makes a majority of every chip on the market, start there. You need to create an account with them. Microchip (PIC microcontrollers) gives samples. Again, need an account. So does Atmel. They make the AVR microcontrollers. No account needed for samples. There are lots of other companies, but those are just the main ones I use.

Microchip won't let me order any because they say that I need a "business account." How did you get parts from them?

Well that has changed since I signed up. Try using the email account that came with your internet service.

use a school email only order from places if you actually need the chip, not because "cool i get something for free that if have no use for"


10 years ago

I'd say that if you're really using the chips, go ahead and ask for samples. The worst that will happen is that you won't get any, and the company may tighten their policies (there are a couple companies that no longer send samples to people with "suspicious" hostnames (.edu sites, "comsumer email" sites (yahoo, gmail, msn, aol, etc) Companies are pretty aware of how "influenced" students are by their positive (or not) experiences with their products... Don't resell free samples, though. That would be ... wrong.

A few times I have gotten "mecanical" samples (functionally unusable, but more for testing if one's current equipment could handle the device).

What are IC's and how can I get them for free?
Do I need to register, pay, or give them a credit card info?

Integrated Circuits - chips, of whatever kind.

I'd like to know how to get freebies as well?

What could one use Integrated Circuits for. Are they like circuit boards, breadboards of some sort? But yeah, gimmelotsarobots, let the cat out of the bag, man. Quit hogging all of the freebies.

They're computer chips - what can't you use them for?

Just search this site for "555" (a simple, yet versatile timer chip).

Of special interest to makers are programmable microcontroller chips (like Picaxe), which are, basically, a whole computer on a single chip.

Oh, I'll have to look into it.

I'll be able to experiment with them if gimmelotsarobots would tell me where to get them free!

If you don't know what it does, don't order it.

Well, after reading a Wikipedia article, I know what they do. But I'll never know in full until I get my hands on one. And by the way, Mom, they're free and it's not like I'm taking 10, I'd only order like 2.

You should be able to know exactly what they do by looking at the datasheet. If you can't figure it out from the datasheet, then you won't be able to use it.

Agreed. On a lighter note, I found a datasheet for a production mouse IC I have lying around! Home made mouse here I come!

HAHHAAAHAHAAHAA A wikipedia article LOLZ, zach's right, don't waste the resources.

If the company produces them and has enough to give them out to people, I'm sure they can spare 1 for lil' old me.

Ok everyone, back off. The IC's are in large supply. You don't need to worry. (how do you think I got started). Ok, well, with certain MCUs that is.

replace IC in your statement with any other resource and it explains the problems we have in the world.

Amen! My head's spinning with the possibilites. Naughty, nice, and naughty-to-a-conservative.

if you dont really know how to use it, or arent into electronics, spare it for those who do need it or know how to use it.

yep, and I won't tell you how to get free samples because you don't know what to do with it. IC's that'd I've sampled: CMOS 555 from IT because normal ones can't do 2.1mhz various boost converters from maxim stuff for my cnc machine a couple uControllers, but I just bought a ton, so I don't need samples anymore ... I think that's it

can you pm me the links? please? i could use some motor controllers, and i actually need the cmos 555 for a jacobs ladder project.

Well LM339 op amps and 555 timers are a good start. Find yourself a good book/internet guide though. Search the internet for an IC and when you find a manufacturer, go to the webpage for that IC. Somwhere on that page you can request samples. You may have to make and account.

That has been standard practice for a long time. Back about 30-35 years ago, I would get an occasional chip form Analog, Maxim, XC, Advanced Micro, Dallas Semiconductor, EDI, National Semiconductor, Elantec, Siemans, International Rectifier, Signetics, NEC, SGS Thomson, etc. They send them to "business addresses" and offer them after sending quite a few Advertisements first; upon request. Most were a bit "specialized" in function, and when they started sending SM parts, I quit, since I was starting to have troubles seeing such small parts :-) I still have a few 8-16 PIN devices no bigger then a gnat.