11 Nov 2020 -
 Defence

Counterfeiters showing increased sophistication, says Semi Engineering

Respected semiconductor engineering magazine, semiengineering.com, is reporting evidence of “increased sophistication” in the counterfeiting of electronic components, especially passives and ICs.

Passives, such as resistors and capacitors, are often considered to be low-value components that don’t merit the attention lavished on ICs. But there are significant efforts to counterfeit them as well, semiengineering.com says, and reports comments from Tom Katsioulas from Mentor, a Siemens Business. “I went to this MTA counterfeit summit, and I was blown away by people talking about fake resistors and counterfeit capacitors and the impact it has in the supply chain.”

They say he’s not alone. “The greatest increase in counterfeiting has been in ceramic condensers,” said Michael Ford, Aegis Software, and committee chair with the IPC standards body. “It’s because there was a shortage in the market. [The counterfeits] looked like capacitors and they behaved like capacitors. The only difference was the dielectric was of a lower quality than normal.”

This can have real-world impacts. “There was a specific case where an Air-Force jet went up, and the ‘Friend or Foe’ circuit failed,” continued Ford. “They thought one of the big PGAs had been counterfeited. But it was the ceramic condenser, because the signal goes through the passive component to get to the PGA.”

Read more here

For more help in this area, Astute Electronics offer very reliable on-site labs for carrying out a range of destructive and non-destructive testing, as shown here:

Astute is a highly accredited, quality-driven procurement expert, with a list of clients that includes the world’s leading defence suppliers. Our mission is to shield you against inferior quality products and services. As such, our operations are run in accordance with quality processes including AS6081 that mitigates the risks of purchasing and supplying fraudulent/counterfeit electronic parts.

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