Fake semiconductors?

Counterfeit semiconductors are an increasing problem. At least, that’s what the Director of the Semiconductor Industry Association testified in front of the U.S. Trade Policy Staff Committee on China’s compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO).

They can result in anything from a consumer paying for a fast computer but getting a slow computer, to more serious problems including failures in applications involving health and safety. In fact nowadays semiconductors are found everywhere, including in medical equipment, automotive or aerospace applications, or communications infrastructure for first responders.

Before you skin your computer to check if Intel is really inside, you should know that the most common problem is a remarked product, where the counterfeiter scrapes off the marking on the outside of an integrated circuit and remarks it with a different brand, speed, or part number. So, next time your computer slows down, don’t immediately blame Microsoft or your anti-virus provider…