14 Jul 2021 -
 Defence

Fake Chinese chips could spread overseas, says report

Electronics counterfeit mitigation

A large amount of refurbished, substandard fake chips have flooded the Chinese market, the world’s largest manufacturing hub, reports The Epoch Times, raising the spectre of them entering overseas markets. 

“The global chip shortage has already increased the prices of components and electronics, but there is another negative effect that tight supply might bring: a flood of counterfeit chips, reports the computing journal, Tom’s Hardware.

“In a world where manufacturers can’t get enough chips from their usual partners, they may sometimes have to buy components from small resellers on the open market. The resellers get chips from various sources, including large makers that have surpluses and some less trustworthy vendors.

“Occasionally these resellers inadvertently (and at times knowingly) sell counterfeit chips. Most manufacturers understand the risks and tend to buy from known and reliable sources and test components before using them, but some might take a risk in the current situation.”

Tom’s Hardware suggest it’s nearly impossible to avoid. “Nowadays we use dozens of electronics devices that can potentially be equipped with a forged component. Some devices do not play a crucial role, but various smart home products are important for everyday life and may actually affect safety.”

“The counterfeiters now, in fact, have original manufacturers’ equipment. They can silkscreen and really make the parts look to be very, very much the part that you require and in some respects, can actually go past first initial tests, electrical tests, or they could actually meet some of the characteristics that would indicate that it’s the same family,” says Astute’s owner and MD, Geoff Hill.

There are several ways to combat fake chips. Says Geoff, “When you’re buying products without any warranty or traceability, you have to test. There’s a AS6081 spec that we use mainly for semiconductors and for components generally. It ranges a whole range of equipment that we’ve been doing for many, many years.”

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. Find out more about our counterfeit mitigation techniques by contacting one of our experts.

We have on-site anti-counterfeit testing facilities in both the U.K. and U.S. for carrying out a range of destructive and non-destructive testing, as shown here:

Either through the hundreds of manufacturers we purchase directly from, or the international network of component supply-partners offering full product traceability, Astute Safe-Supply, run by sourcing experts and offers a deeper insight into the global components markets.

With real-time access to the latest listings and prices cultivated through several decades of close supplier partnerships, we are able to spot price disparities and leverage product price variances to deliver cost-effective solutions to customers, whilst ensuring a quality, risk-free supply.

For more help with looking at supply chain options, contact Astute Electronics here

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