In Electronics Manufacturing Industry:

  • Substitutes or unauthorized copies
  • A part in which the materials used or its performance has changed without notice
  • A substandard component misrepresented by the supplier

The following figures show some counterfeit parts. The first figure presents two parts that were re-topped and/or remarked to disguise parts differing from those offered by the original part manufacturer:

Previously used parts salvaged from scrapped assemblies:

Some other examples:

Other examples in depth:

Example 1: reclaimed (i.e. removed from circuit boards) SRAMs that were sold as new devices in the open market. The reliability of these parts is suspect. The documentation received with these parts did not include certificates of conformance from either the previous distributors or the original manufacturer.

Typical condition of leads on these devices:

Example 2: A DPA revealed that the internal semiconductor die did not match the supplier listed on the packaging. It should be noted that the supplier listed on the packaging stopped manufacturing this product in 1997.

Example 3: Counterfeit devices with incorrect device leads and incorrect internal die

Example 4: Counterfeit device with dual markings (i.e. ink marking stamped over the laser etching).

Example 5: Counterfeit parts that failed a programming sequence. Counterfeits had a three line marking sequence while the known good parts had only two lines of marking.

The below is a GIDEP (Government-Industry Data Exchange Program) report by Texas Instruments:

To: SAE G-19 ...
Texas Instruments just issued a GIDEP report "multiple seizures of counterfeit TI military grade devices were made by United States Customs in 2006, 2007 and 2008 to date". See GIDEP Problem Advisory CE9-P-08-02.
In addition to the specific findings, this report is noteworthy because ...

  • It reflects continued and increasing incidents of counterfeit semiconductor products,
  • It is a rare report from an Original Component Manufacturer, and
  • It is intended to educate customers (e.g. aerospace and defense contractors) "as to the nature and scope of these counterfeit incidents".

Henry Livingston
BAE Systems