Fake chips start circulating in the supply chain! How to identify fake chips?

Recently, according to a number of media reports, many fake chips have begun to circulate in the supply chain due to the global shortage of semiconductors. Industry analysts believe that the global chip shortage creates a golden window for fake chips to enter the market. This will bring quality risks to more Electronic products, and damage the interests of complete machine manufacturers and end consumers.

According to the Economic Observer, a chip agent said, “Counterfeit or refurbished components have been circulating in the electronic field, and their production and sales have even formed a fraudulent assembly line, but the change is that (this kind of fraud) situation this year. Since then, it has become more and more serious, and the original sneaky fraud has also become high-profile.” This has been reflected in the transaction price. Originally, the price of second-hand chips was only 50% of the market price of new products. Now the price is rising, even the market price of new products.

The above-mentioned agents also revealed that there are currently two forms of “fake chips” on the market: one is that companies recycle chips from e-waste, remove evidence on old chips, carry out clean packaging, and sell “fake chips” at lower prices. Second-hand goods” are sold to the downstream; the other is to package the defective wafers on the regular manufacturing line, and then sell them to the downstream as shoddy ones. Compared with the real product, the performance, reliability, and shelf life of fake chips are usually insufficient.

Such chips are mainly distributed in consumer electronics. Unlike automobiles and industries, some consumer electronics manufacturers do not conduct long-term verification and testing of chips and their suppliers. In some products with lower profits, lower requirements for chip performance and process, or products with faster replacement, fake chips are easy to circulate.

At present, there is a shortage of cores, a large-scale supply chain is in an unbalanced state, and various components are in short supply. China has almost the world’s largest electronic component trading center. There are large and small businesses here, carrying out tens of thousands of electronic components every day. Trash dismantling. These all provide market opportunities for fake chips, most of which are circulated domestically, and some are also circulated to overseas supply chains. An industry insider said that fake chips also have a complete production and sales network, involving military connectors, microprocessors, FPGAs, discrete devices and other semiconductor products. In the case of extreme abnormalities in the supply chain, the prevalence of fake chips is likely. will be higher.

Counterfeit chips are harder to detect than counterfeit electronics

As we all know, the production of electronic products needs to take into account both software and hardware. Simply put, the integration of operating systems and hardware is a science. After consumers obtain an electronic product, the appearance and use experience can get feedback at the first time. Even if a separate hardware or operating system can be faked, the integration of the two still has a considerable threshold, and the integration is not good enough will directly affect consumers. Use experience.

By contrast, it is much easier to produce counterfeit chips. First, the challenges of producing counterfeit chips are not as daunting as finished products, and counterfeit chips are not directly confronting consumers. In the case of an industry-wide chip emergency, no chips means closing the production line, which makes it impossible for downstream manufacturers to strictly test the chips they receive. Ultimately, counterfeit chips can more easily reach the market.

The rampant “fake chips” stems from the “chip shortage”? It is said that the shortage of chips has made the fake chip industry expand day by day, and the reason for the “chip shortage” is that the United States is stuck in China’s neck. Since the United States began to impose sanctions on China’s Huawei in 2018, including banning government departments from using products from Huawei and ZTE. The United States has repeatedly imposed “stuck neck” sanctions with no bottom line. After the Biden administration took office in the United States, it continued the policies of the Trump era. At the U.S.-Japan summit and the U.S.-South Korea summit held in April and May this year, Biden, the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of South Korea pledged to cooperate in the semiconductor field. Therefore, my country’s chip supply is insufficient, resulting in a shortage of chips and the rampant proliferation of fake chips. But in fact, even if the United States does not “stuck”, fake chips will still exist in the market.

How to identify fake chips?

Here are also recommended several better methods to help you identify fake chips and avoid losses:

The first step: verify the supplier

If you are looking for an agent, then the possibility of fake goods is much smaller, but sometimes you will encounter fake agents, so the best way is to confirm on the official website or call first. , to see if the manufacturer has agents in the area. If it is not an agent, but in some other places, if it is a company but the office space is simple, you should be vigilant; if the registration time is less than one year, be vigilant; if you don’t even have a special website or business email, you should also be vigilant. Be vigilant; then ask the question: do they know the product itself? For example, brand, package, grade, type, characteristics, etc., whether to issue VAT** and so on. Through these, there should be a preliminary judgment.

If you are in Taobao or the electronic market, it is best to find a stable supplier, don’t be greedy for a little bit of cheap and always change suppliers.

I have a great way to teach you:

If your materials are more important, you can say: You are supplying military products. If there is a quality accident, you need to do quality traceability and check the source of the chip.

But there are even more pitiful things. Even the chip sellers don’t know that they are selling fake chips. You can only sigh with emotion: Did I enter a fake Taobao?

The second trick: see if the model is refurbished after disassembly

This is a very common and relatively crude method. These chips are removed from the used circuit board and then classified. The pins are obviously soldered, shiny, and the pin spacing is obviously different. There are differences in the size, font, and depth of the printed text and patterns, the production batch numbers are generally different, and the origin identification on the reverse side is more complicated. This is basically a better identification.

The third trick: identify whether to polish the sheet

The chip that has been polished after disassembly is very similar to a brand new chip. There is basically no significant difference in the size, font, and depth of the text and pattern on the surface. The batch number is basically the same. , the origin logo on the back is also different, the pins are generally not shiny but matt with traces of oxidation, and the pin spacing is basically the same.

Generally speaking, the polishing film is mainly because the brand new film has been put for too long or the batch number is more complicated. It is polished and printed into a unified and relatively new production batch number for better sales. There are some polished ones that are relatively good according to the original model, but they are fake and inferior products. There are also commercial-grade to industrial-grade, industrial-grade to military-grade, military-grade to 883-grade, low-speed to high-speed, low-frequency to high-frequency, and so on. The purpose of the change is obvious, but what’s more, let’s just change the day, if you can buy it and use it, it will be strange;

The fourth trick: domestic brands act as foreign brands

Now many domestic products are similar to foreign products, which are counterfeit and shoddy products, but they can still be used, but some performance indicators may not meet the requirements of some discrete devices, active devices, connectors, and connectors. . And the lifespan is relatively short.

The fifth trick: debate packaging

It should be relatively high-end for the original product to package itself. It only depends on experience when encountering this kind of chip, but not all packaging can be done in China. It is not an old buyer, so it is not very easy to distinguish.

The sixth trick: debate fonts

These chips are generally printed with different sizes, fonts, and patterns, and the production batch numbers are generally not the same. In other words, this type of chip is sold in a tube by merchants who have collected unused chips from various sources.

In fact, none of the above methods can guarantee that what you buy is a real chip. Do you have any other methods? You can share and communicate.

Author: Yoyokuo