With every market upswing comes a surge in counterfeit parts, and this one is no exception. In EE Times this week, John O’Boyle of QP Semiconductor offers these guidelines for avoiding fraudulent components from entering your product stream:
- Follow the procedures for product assurance and traceability (C of Cs).
- Understand that the price umbrella created by high-value parts encourages unscrupulous vendors to sell imitation parts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Recognize that the military/aerospace community is just a fraction of the world’s total IC consumption and is of little interest to the IDM. So we’ll need to enforce our own “best practices” and require buyers to follow them.
- Don’t play into the unscrupulous vendors’ hands by ordering parts from them and then not reporting the fraud. Get some dialogue going. There are government agencies eager to locate, arrest, prosecute and shut down these vendors.
- Investigate security markings. There are firms that provide such services. We need to be able to trace the materials back to the original manufacturer via trusted paths.