The European part funded ChipCheck consortium has announced the release of the first version of the 'ChipCheck Inspection of Counterfeit Electronic Components Guide'. This interactive guide is the world's first training CD on this important subject and provides an overview of the problem, corrective action and methods of test. The guide also includes two members from the electronics industry answering some of the most common questions asked by engineers.
The plan is to publish further versions of the guide as the project progresses with information on equipment developments, and further guidance on dealing with counterfeit components in the industry.
Counterfeit electronic components are typically substandard components misrepresented by the supplier. For example, it could be a lower rated, or completely different, chip made to look like a higher rated chip. Typically, this is done by grounding down the surface and relabeling with ink or laser etching to make it look like a genuine chip. From the outside both components look identical. However, by using non-destructive testing differences can be revealed.
The need for detection arises from the fact that no electronic product manufacturer is immune from counterfeit electronic components. Counterfeit components are a growing issue in the electronics industry, and the cost to electronics' manufacturers of inadvertently purchasing counterfeit components includes lost yield, field failures, product recalls and damage to reputation, as well as the all-important safety issue. Despite manufacturers taking extra precautions when sourcing components for safety critical electronic systems, there have been recent reports of counterfeit components entering the supply chains in both the defence and aerospace industries.
ChipCheck seeks to address this through the development of a counterfeit electronic component detection system that will automatically inspect components in their original packaging. A number of non-destructive testing methods will be investigated and developed to establish the best detection method that can be automated. Automated detection algorithms will be developed for sentencing of good and bad components.
ChipCheck is an EU project which is managed in the UK by TWI, supported by funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA-Research Executive Agency (FP7-SME-2008-2) under EU Grant Agreement: 262212.
For more information about ChipCheck please visit the ChipCheck website�or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.