Counterfeit Analysis


Global sourcing of semiconductors has made counterfeit chips a pervasive problem for the industry. Identification of counterfeit components has become a costly, but necessary step for every manufacturer.


Counterfeit Analysis - Nanolab Technologies 


Counterfeit Analysis - Lithium Cell - by Nanolab Technologies, Milpitas, CA 


Counterfeit Analysis for Microchip at Nanolab Technologies, Milpitas, CA 


Counterfeit Analysis for Paper Bill and Coin - Nanolab Technologies  Counterfeit Analysis Service - Nanolab Technologies 


Some Facts about Counterfeit ICs:

  • Counterfeit electronics originating from China accounted for $1 billion to $10 billion in lost global sales in 2002
  • For each $1 billion in counterfeit electronics in China, between $300 and $400 million consists of ICs.  That’s 30% to 40%!
  • In 2002, US Customs Service intercepted only about $10 million in fake electronics. This means that they only prevented about $3 million to $4 million in ICs.  In other words, well over $300 million in ICs made it to US shores – and therefore into your warehouse – conpletely undetected!
  • Counterfeit ICs cost your business time and money
  • Distribution of counterfeit ICs causes customers to lose faith and trust in your product

What you can do to protect yourself?

Efficient counterfeit detection is through (a) visual package inspection, (b) X-ray inspectionm, (c)XRF inspection (for ROSH
usually), (d) die inspection (after opening) and (e) electrical testing. And don’t forget to document it well: Quality of the
report on your effort to detect counterfeit is key for distributors.

External visual inspection:
 is the first step to identify different marking – answering if component was sanded and re-coatted
for instance? is this a refurbished device? how good is the marking?

X-ray inspection:
 aims to see connections and die is as expected

Die decapping:
 is done through sampling of your incoming supplier – then enabling visual silicon/bounding inspection as well as specific electrical testing.

Electrical testing:
 would support to detect if chip is electrically functioning. More efficient tester solutions to validate
‘datasheet’ (through Teseda’s tester for instance) are however challenging to implement for distributor without strong expertise.

Questions remain on how good supply chain management.


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