The solution is easy. Don't buy from parts brpkers. The government and its contractors should only buy frDirectly from the OEM or from a Licenced Distibuter that buys directly from the OEM. Buying from Brokers is the equivalent of buying parts at swap meet.
I realize that there will be issues with obsolete parts, but there are options, i.e. one time builds with the OEM with engineering fee or aquiring the licence of licencing the IP
best way to prevent this is to create a secure supply chain by marking chips with a unique marker that cannot be duplicated. Such a program is already underway as a trial with an undisclosed vendor and I suspect it will become prevasive. See www.adnas.com
One common way is to recycle used parts, repackage them and remark them as higher spec (military grade)parts. Sell as new.
There is an entire industry in China that does nothing but remove and repackage ICs from PCBs sent to China for recycling.
Perhaps it would make sense for us to stop sending PCBs to china for recycling?
What is the point of that since the implementation of this would end up being in China anyway.
Biggest risk to doing business in China is that the typical turnover in engineering is less than 2 years. Within a year the counterfitters will have all the information they will need to defeat this measure.
Counterfeit parts are nothing new. In 1973, I joined a DoD weapons laboratory (all right! The USAF Armament Laboratory) in Florida. Among other things, I designed and fabricated instrumentation for subsonic wind tunnel and aeroballistic range (sub- to hypersonic) testing. We were warned almost daily by the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) about counterfeit electronic parts...sometimes by telephone. I recall a desperate phone call from Warner-Robbins (I think) about fake 2N2222 transistors; We used them as in large quantities as buffers on paper projectile penetration screens. Other problems were MS38510-certified TTL ICs. At the lab, we could sometimes pick out the fakes by the sloppy, smeared silver printing and/or the uneven leg widths. Sometimes we were required to simply discard whole lots of ICs (the "Dumpster Solution". Not just electronics either: Counterfeit nuts, bolts, and other hardware has been a major recognized problem (in the USAF, anyway) since at least the early 1970s.
I couldn't agree more with your view of the supply chain cycle and the legitimate (and economically needed niche) recycling of components fills. Please contact me at your convenience to discuss some ideas that we have had concerning this very concept you describe (Gil@pcxco.com)
Nice story about the military, but how about small commercial companies like the one we have? We have had a couple of really annoying counterfeit problems in a few of our products... And I can assure you that Authorized Distributors do not always guarantee original silicon (and passive, yes passive parts can be counterfeit too)
A couple of 1000 large capacitors had 2pF capacity in stead of 220nF/400Vac. A little investigation with X-ray showed us that they are completely empty and that the wires were 1mm apart from each other to give- at least - a few pF of capacity. And how about this: A well known brand Instrumentation Amplifier with offset going through the roofs... They were the dropouts from a test facility in Taiwan and found their way -via China- repacked stamped with markings and date codes etc. and shipped to us to be used in our boards. Huge damage we had from this. Finding is 1 but solving it is 2: the boars -of course, Murphy tells us, were stuffed with the parts already.
The way we solve these issues now is to use well known good available parts only and no obsolete or near obsolete parts. These will assure you to get into trouble. (Some military stuff is soooo damned old that I wonder how they get those parts needed for it anyway ;-)
Not to tell you about letting stuff produced in China where they use everything they can get their hands on, except when you really supervise it well, hence, lots of extra costs...The heck with it. Now we stay in The Netherlands with our productions and we deliver ALL parts to the assembly company. In our design phase we start ordering and by the time the software is ready and hardware is okay we produce boards. Lead time is less critical this way. And I see lots of other companies here do exactly the same.
Just my 5 cents, but hopefully some people will read this and learn a bit from it.
@agk: the burden is really the customer companies who when buying from an "approved vendor" depend on that vendor to sell them genuine parts. Many defense companies (I worked for one!) will require you DESC certification of your components, enforced by a component engineer (& frequently verified by that person).
Well, that role is now a days lot like the Dodo bird, extinct!
Scary, the way this is has unfolded (including one for my former employer, Peregrine Semi).
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