Fighting Counterfeit Electronic Products

Fighting Counterfeit Electronic Products
Author provides a framework for analysis of the choices brand owners must make, to protect their brands from counterfeiting activities.
Supply Chain


Authored By:

James R. Williams, Ph.D.
Polyonics, Inc.
Westmoreland, NH, US


The author provides a framework for analysis of the necessary choices brand-owners must make, to protect their brands from product counterfeiting activities. A new paradigm for fighting counterfeit electronics is presented, based on the existing strengths brand owners have in today's supply chain.


The problem of counterfeit electronics is global, with enormous economic repercussions for the electronics industry. It affects us all. Denial does not work. Pointing to independent distributors is not identifying the root cause, but reacting to a symptom. The industry is pre-positioned to move away from its defensive posture without major disruptions to operations. Technologies utilized within our existing infrastructure indicate that strategies can be formulated which can mitigate the effects of counterfeiting.

Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings


Implementation of x-ray inspection in conformity with DoD requirements.

Although x-ray inspection is recognized as one of the tools for determining authenticity of an electronic component, it has not been acknowledged in any of the present Component Authenticity Programs or standards that for military applications, the Department of Defense has very specific image resolution requirements for the x-ray inspection of "Microcircuits."

These requirements are spelled out in MIL-STD-883H (26February2010) and MIL-STD-750-2 (3 January 2012) with reference to ASTM E801 and ASTM E1000. Although these standards were originally written for "radiography" mode, that is, film based x-ray imaging; these standards also have provisions for "radioscopy" meaning real-time or fluoroscopic imaging. Most of the commercial x-ray inspection systems that are presently being promoted for this application are real-time but many do not comply with these MIL-STD requirements.

The basic tenant of these requirements is that a radiographic "image quality standard" as prescribed in ASTM E801, be recorded at the start and end of the x-ray inspection of each lot of electronic components. The "IQS" image must demonstrate that the smallest detail of the component such as wires, wire bonds, die attachment voids,etc. are detectable with the x-ray system being used.

For more details go to:
Gil Zweig, Glenbrook Technologies

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