Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics Vol. 22, No. 10, pp. 1511-1522

Screening for Counterfeit Electronic Parts

Bhanu Sood, Diganta Das and Michael Pecht


Counterfeit electronic parts have become a significant cause of worry in the electronic parts supply chain. Counterfeit parts detected in the electronics industry can be new or surplus parts that are modified in some manner, or they can be salvaged scrap parts that are refurbished to look like new. In the latter case, the packaging of these parts is altered to modify their identity or disguise the effects of salvaging. The modification can be as simple as the removal of old markings and the addition of new markings, or as complicated as the recovery of a die and repackaging in a new package. In this paper, we discuss the types of parts used to create counterfeit semiconductor parts and the defects/degradation inherent in these parts due to the nature of the sources they come from. We also discuss proposed inspection standards and their limitations. The processes used to modify the packaging of these parts to create counterfeits are then discussed along with the traces left behind from each of the processes. We then present a methodology for detecting signs of possible part modifications to determine the risk of a part or part lot being counterfeit.

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