Catching counterfeits

Soldertec Global expects to detect all blacktopped counterfeit ICs with its Ultimate black top test, helping buyers ensure they really get what they ordered. Occasionally some counterfeit parts will have been pulled from old boards and sometimes some faulty parts will not have been scrapped at the production facility. However, the vast majority of counterfeit parts will have been remarked to convince the buyer to think that what they are purchasing is exactly what they had ordered. Soldertec has the expertise and laboratory capabilities to identify the remarking, expose the fraud, and mitigate the risk.

We are able to achieve this through using laboratory techniques which have never been used before. However we will not divulge how it is done as the counterfeiter may devise a measure to counteract our testing, comments Soldertec Laboratory Manager, Dr Wayne Lam. It is not magic, or if it is then it is 500,000 worth of magic, because that is the cost of all the equipment being used in the detection process.

The Ultimate test regime involves 25 different tests and is completed in approximately a day. This depth of testing enables the laboratory to pick up all signs of prior use and remarking, with many of the techniques supporting each other and reaffirming earlier suspicions. If a suspect part is found and confirmation is required then the part can be de-capped and the die examined in fine detail to see if it really is what it purports to be.