What You Should Know About Avoiding Counterfeit Parts

Inland Empire Components, Inc. (IEC) has in place a counterfeit avoidance program which meets industry standards for visual inspection.

We follow an extensive inspection checklist that includes reviewing part markings, packaging dimensions and X-Ray inspection.

Often, customers choose to inspect and test components in their own facility to their specifications. We work with third party approved test houses that provide counterfeit semiconductor detection utilizing methods designed to assist you in making a determination regarding component authenticity.

Third party services range from simple marking and X-Ray inspection to full AC/DC/Functional testing across the entire operating temperature range. Our test house partners provide quick turn times, competitive prices and superior customer service. Testing can be performed to your company’s counterfeit specifications or to generally accepted industry standards such as SAE A6081, SAE AS5553 and IDEA-STD-1010B.

In house and third party partner inspection and testing includes external visual inspection, physical dimension, marking permanency, X-Ray, internal visual inspection with a de-cap machine, OEM date code verification, XRF analysis, blacktop testing, AC, DC & Full Functional Electrical Testing, -150°C to 200°C Temperature Test, Burn-in/Qualification, Solderability Testing and custom requests such as software programs.

There is an excellent free webinar available to watch presented by
SiliconExpert Technologies and Dr. Diganta Das of the University of Maryland CALCE Center on the subject of Counterfeit Electronic Component Detection & Avoidance

Purchasing electronic parts from part manufacturers and its authorized suppliers provides the lowest risk in parts procurement. However, you may encounter part obsolescence, lead time requirements, or unavailability of parts from authorized sources which is the reason parts are purchased from independent distributors such as Inland Empire Components, Inc. There is a need for authentication and screening of parts purchased from such sources to verify their authenticity.

Inland Empire Components, Inc. was one of the first independent electronic distributors to receive the CCAP-101 Certification by Component Technology Institute, Inc. (CTI), Huntsville, Alabama.

According to Elena Malykhina, Technology Journalist in Information Week, Government, DARPA Targets Counterfeit Electronics. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s SHIELD program aims to develop a method to authenticate electronic components. Elena writes that “A new DARPA program, called Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense (SHIELD), will focus on the creation of a small component, or dielet, for authenticating electronic parts at any step of the supply chain. The agency is seeking proposals that would “revolutionize electronic authentication with potential scalability and advanced technology not available today.”

DARPA said the dielet would be inserted into an electronic component’s package at a manufacturing site or attached to existing components. Authenticity testing could be performed anywhere with a handheld probe, which would need to be close to the dielet for scanning. A smartphone, or another low-cost appliance, could be used to upload a serial number to a central server. The server would send an unencrypted challenge to the dielet, which would then send back an encrypted answer and data from passive sensors, indicating tampering.

Technology resulting from the SHIELD program would guarantee protection against threats related to counterfeit electronics, such as recycled components that are sold as new, according to DARPA. Other threats include unlicensed overproduction of authorized components or components that failed tests.

The technology would also help identify and reject sub-standard components that have been sold as though they were of higher quality or which have been labeled with a newer date of manufacture. Additionally, SHIELD technology would protect against clones and copies — often of low quality — and parts that have been repackaged for unauthorized applications.

If you are a fan of Marvel comic books and the movies based on many of the characters, this technology sounds like something out of science fiction.  The reality is that military components will often have a self destructive mechanism embedded inside of them.  Awareness of this fact should help to eliminate the danger of counterfeit electronic components.

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/government/leadership/darpa-targets-counterfeit-electronics/d/d-id/1113974

Through education, inspection and working with a purchasing partner such as IEC, you can virtually eliminate the risk of bad product entering the supply chain.

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