ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER (OEM):  A company that manufactures products that it has designed from purchased components and sells those products under the company’s brand name.

ORIGINAL COMPONENT MANUFACTURER (OCM):  An organization that designs and/or engineers a part and is pursuing or has obtained the intellectual property rights to that part.

  • The part and/or its packaging are typically identified with the OCM’s trademark.
  • OCMs may contract out manufacturing and/or distribution of their product.
  • Different OCMs may supply product for the same application or to a common specification.

AUTHORIZED/FRANCHISED DISTRIBUTOR:  A distributor with which the OCM has a contractual agreement to buy, stock, re-package, sell and distribute its product lines. When a distributor does not provide products in this manner, then for the purpose of this document, the distributor is considered an independent distributor for those products. Franchised distributors normally offer the product for sale with full manufacturer flow-through warranty. Franchising contracts may include clauses that provide for the OCM's marketing and technical support inclusive of, but not limited to, failure analysis and corrective action, exclusivity of inventory, and compe-ve limiters.

SUSPECT PART: A part in which there is an indication by visual inspection, testing, or other information that it may have been misrepresented by the supplier or manufacturer and may meet the definition of fraudulent part or counterfeit part provided below.
COUNTERFEIT PART: A suspect part that is a copy or substitute without legal right or authority to do so or one whose material, performance, or characteristics are knowingly misrepresented by a supplier in the supply chain. Examples of counterfeit parts include, but are not limited to:

  1. Parts which do not contain the proper internal construction (die, manufacturer, wire bonding, etc.) consistent with the ordered part.
  2. Parts which have been used, refurbished or reclaimed, but represented as new product.
  3. Parts which have different package style or surface plating/finish than the ordered parts.
  4. Parts which have not successfully completed the Original Component Manufacturer’s (OCM)’s full production and test flow, but are represented as completed product.
  5. Parts sold as upscreened parts, which have not successfully completed upscreening.
  6. Parts sold with modified labeling or markings intended to misrepresent the part’s form, fit, function, or grade. Parts which have been refinished, upscreened, or uprated and have been identified as such, are not considered counterfeit.

OBSOLESCENCE: Begins immediately after information about discontinuance is issued. This could be a product discontinuance notice (PDN), end-of-life (EOL) notification, lifetime buy (LTB) notification, or a product change notice (PCN). A component may be considered obsolete once it is no longer available from the OCM, even though parts are still in the supply chain.

DIMINISHING MANUFACTURING SOURCES AND MATERIAL SHORTAGES (DMSMS): Loss or impending loss of manufacturers of items or suppliers of items or raw materials. DMSMS and obsolescence are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, obsolescence refers to a lack of availability due to statutory and process changes, as well as new designs; whereas DMSMS is a lack of sources or materials. Although it is not strictly limited to electronic systems much of the effort regarding DMSMS deals with electronic components that have a relatively short lifetime.

SUPPLY CHAIN TRACEABILITY:  Documented evidence of a part’s supply chain history (e.g., C of C) back to the OCM. This refers to documentation of all supply chain intermediaries and significant handling transactions from OCM to Organization.

DROP SHIPMENT:  Method of delivery in which the purchased parts (Purchase order is from the OEM to the distributor) are shipped directly from the manufacturer’s warehouse to the OEM.

CERTIFICATE OF CONFORMANCE (C of C, CoC):  A document provided by a Supplier formally declaring that all buyer purchase order requirements have been met. The document may include information such as manufacturer, distributor, quantity, lot and/or date code, inspection date, etc., and is signed by a responsible party for the Supplier.

DIE: A small block of semiconducting material, on which a given functional circuit is fabricated. Typically, integrated circuits are produced in large batches on a single wafer of electronic­‐grade silicon.  The wafer is cut (“diced”) into many pieces, each containing one copy of the circuit. Each of these pieces is called a die.

INTEGRATED CIRCUIT PACKAGING: This is the final stage of semiconductor device fabrication, followed by IC testing. The die is encased in a support that prevents physical damage and corrosion and supports the electrical contacts required to assemble the integrated circuit into a system. The term packaging generally comprises the steps or the technology of mounting and interconnecting of devices. 

PACKAGING (COMPONENT):  Component packaging refers to the manner in which electronic parts are packaged in preparation for use by electronic assemblers. The determination of packaging types is determined by product sensitivities such as moisture, physical (lead pitch, co-planarity), electrostatic discharge (ESD), as well as the method (manually, or by use of automated equipment) to be used to place parts on the printed circuit board. There are four main types of packaging: bulk, trays, tubes, and tape and reel.

UPRATED and UPSCREENED:   For the purposes of this discussion, uprating is defined as use beyond the environment and application for which the part was designed.  Upscreening, on the other hand, is defined as performing additional testing and/or lot acceptance to use product beyond data sheet conditions.

DECAPSULATION: is a failure analysis step performed to open a plastic package to facilitate the  inspection, chemical analysis, or  electrical examination of the die and the internal features of the package.  A widely used decapsulation technique is Manual Chemical Etching. –  Consists of manually dispensing acid on the surface of a package to remove the plastic material covering the die.   Red fuming nitric acid (HNO3) or sulfuric acid (H2SO4) is often used for this purpose.  A cavity is first milled on the top surface of the package.  Red fuming nitric acid heated to about 85-­140 deg C or sulfuric acid heated to 140 deg C is then repeatedly dropped into the cavity to remove the plastic material covering the die.  When the die has been exposed adequately, the unit is rinsed with acetone then with D/I water, before being blow‐dried carefully.   If the package being opened is hermetic, then the process is referred to as 'delidding' or 'decapping.'  The techniques used for decapsulation are very different from those of delidding and decapping.  Delidding/decapping is a purely mechanical process. It may refer to prying off the combo lid of a ceramic package, or to the application of opposite torques to the top and bottom parts of the ceramic DIP to break the seal glass, or to the cutting of the weld around a metal can.

AUTHORIZED SUPPLIER:  OCM authorized sources of supply for a part (i.e., Franchised Distributors, Authorized Distributors).

OPEN MARKET:  The trading market that buys or consigns primarily OEM and Contract Manufacturer’s excess inventories of new electronic parts and subsequently utilizes these inventories to fulfill supply needs of other OEMs and contract manufacturers, often due to urgent or obsolete part demands.

INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTOR:  A distributor that purchases parts with the intention to sell and redistribute them back into the market. Purchased parts may be obtained from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) or Contract Manufacturers (typically from excess inventories), or from other Distributors (Franchised, Authorized, or Independent). Resale of the purchased parts (redistribution) may be to OEMs, Contract Manufacturers, or other Distributors. Independent Distributors do not normally have contractual agreements or obligations with OCMs. See definition of “Authorized (Franchised) Distributor.”

STOCKING DISTRIBUTOR:  A type of Independent Distributor that stocks large inventories typically purchased from OEMs and Contract Manufacturers. The handling, chain of custody, and environmental conditions for parts procured from Stocking Distributors are generally better known than for product bought and supplied by Broker Distributors.

BROKER DISTRIBUTOR:  A type of Independent Distributor that works in a “Just in Time” (JIT) environment. Customers contact the Broker Distributor with requirements identifying the part number, quantity, target price, and date required. The Broker Distributor searches the industry and locates parts that meet the target price and other Customer requirements.

APPROVED SUPPLIER:  Suppliers that are formally assessed, determined to provide acceptable risk of providing counterfeit parts, and entered on register of approved suppliers. Formal assessment can be performed by the procuring Organization or by a third party.

INTEGRATED CIRCUIT PACKAGING: Final stage of semiconductor device fabrication, followed by IC testing. The die is encased in a support that prevents physical damage and corrosion and supports the electrical contacts required to assemble the integrated circuit into a system. The term packaging generally comprises the steps or the technology of mounting and interconnecting of devices.  –  The earliest integrated circuits were packaged in ceramic flat packs, which continued to be used by the military for their reliability and small size for many years. Commercial circuit packaging quickly moved to the dual in­‐line package (DIP), first in ceramic and later in plastic. In the 1980s pin counts of VLSI circuits exceeded the practical limit for DIP packaging, leading to pin grid array (PGA) and leadless chip carrier (LCC) packages. Surface mount packaging appeared in the early 1980s and became popular in the late 1980s, using finer lead pitch with leads formed as either gull-­wing or J-­lead, as exemplified by small‐outline integrated circuit.

A small-outline integrated circuit (SOIC) is a surface-mounted integrated circuit (IC) package which occupies an area about 30–50% less than an equivalent DIP, with a typical thickness that is 70% less. They are generally available in the same pinouts as their counterpart DIP ICs. The convention for naming the package is SOIC or sometimes just SO followed by the number of pins. For example, a 14-pin 4011 would be housed in an SOIC-14 or SO-14 package.

Plastic leaded chip carrier (PLCC) packages. In electronics, a chip carrier is one of several kinds of surface mount technology packages for integrated circuits. Connections are made on all four edges of a square package:

In the late 1990s, plastic quad flat pack(PQFP) and thin small-outline packages (TSOP) became the most common for high pin count devices, though PGA packages are still often used for high-end microprocessors. Intel and AMD transitioned in the 2000s from PGA packages on high-end microprocessors to land grid array (LGA) packages. Ball grid array (BGA) packages have existed since the 1970s. 

DISPOSITION: Decisions made by authorized representatives within an organization concerning future treatment of nonconforming material. Examples of dispositions are to scrap, use-as-is (normally accompanied by an approved variance/waiver), retest, rework, repair, or return-to-supplier.

ERAI: A privately held global trade association that monitors, investigates, reports, and mediates issues affecting the global supply chain of electronics, including supply of counterfeit and substandard parts. (

IDEA: Independent Distributors of Electronics Association, a non-profit trade association representing independent distributors that have formally committed to adhere to prescribed quality and ethical standards. The stated purpose of IDEA is to promote the independent distribution industry through media advocacy; to improve the quality of products and services through a quality certification program, educational seminars and conferences; and to promote the study, development, and implementation of techniques and methods to improve the business of independent distributors.

USED (REFURBISHED OR PULLED):  Product that has been electrically charged and subsequently pulled or removed from a socket or other electronic application. Used product may be received in non-standard packaging (i.e., bulk), and may contain mixed lots, date codes, be from different facilities, etc. Parts may have physical defects such as scratches, slightly bent leads, test dots, faded markings, chemical residue or other signs of use, but the leads should be intact. Used product may be sold with a limited warranty, and programmable parts may still contain partial or complete programming which could impact the part’s functionality. Used parts marketed as refurbished should be declared as such.