IEEE Spectrum Vol. 43, No. 5, pp. 37 – 46, May 2006

Bogus: Electronic Manufacturing and Consumers Confront a Rising Tide of Counterfeit Electronics

Sanjay Tiku
Redmond, WA

Michael G. Pecht
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE),
University of Maryland


This paper discusses the growing concern over the counterfeiting of electronics components and systems. Three key factors are identified as the root cause of this problem: the shift of manufacturing to China where intellectual property laws are not strictly enforced and supply chains are convoluted; the growing sophistication of technology that enables cheaper and more convincing fakes; and the rise of the Internet as a marketplace, allowing buyers and sellers make fast trades without ever meeting face to face. As many companies are learning the hard way, counterfeiting requires a constant, deliberate, and multifaceted effort, vigorous monitoring of potential trouble spots, and judicious use of anticounterfeiting technologies.

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