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counterfeit parts detection

Counterfeit Detection for Electronic Parts


n 2011, a US Senate Armed Services Committee probe found at least 1,800 cases of counterfeit electronics in US weapons systems covering more than 1 million suspect parts. Panel members also testified that counterfeiting costs the semiconductor industry an estimated $7.5 billion a year in lost revenue and about 11,000 US jobs alone. PSI has pioneered a comprehensive counterfeit detection and screening process that combines our industry expertise in SMT failure analysis with our onsite, full-service SMT laboratory to help our clients keep counterfeit parts out of your supply chain.

Real world examples:


At the heart of our counterfeit detection process is the decapsulation and die inspection. After visual and marking inspections are complete, PSI uses heated acids (typically Sulfuric / Nitric) on the area of the package to be removed, exposing the silicon die. Die markings showing die part number and revision, die size and layout, and logos are examined and imaged. PSI compares each die against our extensive library of known good parts and unpublished OEM guidelines, before providing a report of our findings. 

X-ray Screening

Larger lots of components can be screened using X-ray. PSI is able to compare the leadframe, die size, and bond pattern of each part against a known good unit, and can capture images, if required, of each unit or just a sampling. PSI can also inspect the leads of SOIC, QFP, and PTH packages using our SEM/EDS and/or a metallurgical microscope, to verify the integrity of the leads on aftermarket or suspect components, and to inspect for evidence of retinning.

What is a counterfeit electronic part?

  • A part whose identity (e.g. manufacturer, part number, date code, lot code) has been deliberately misrepresented.
  • Copied (reverse engineered) parts that may not perform to OCM specifications.
  • Used parts that are recycled and sold as new.
  • Defective parts sold as new or working used parts.
  • Fake parts that do not function (e.g. incorrect die or no die at all)

Counterfeit Detection Services