Nowadays, the chip shortage situation has been delayed. In the case of global chip production in an emergency, counterfeit and inferior chip products have gradually emerged. According to foreign media reports, a large number of counterfeit chips have entered the tight Japanese market, giving birth to a new profession of “core appraisers”.

It is understood that CoreStaff, a Japanese semiconductor distributor, has begun to provide customers with services to distinguish between true and false. Professionals use microscopes and X-ray devices and other inspection equipment to carefully observe the magnified images of semiconductors to find defects: for example, by observing whether the surface is damaged to determine the possibility The marking is replaced, and the machine is used to measure the electrical characteristics. If the original waveform is not sent out, it is judged as a counterfeit, etc. In short, there are many ways to identify whether it is a counterfeit or inferior chip.

CoreStaff said that the number of semiconductor appraisal inquiries received has increased three to four times the previous year. In the context of the global core shortage, many manufacturers have to purchase the backlog of stocks that have been circulating in the market in the past, and there may be counterfeit products, which will affect the back-end finished products manufacturers.

In addition, RYOSAN, a semiconductor distributor, also launched an appraisal service in April 2020. Restar Holdings in the same industry used to have about two or three inspection orders per year, but now it has also increased to dozens. Identifying the authenticity of chips has also become one of the hottest occupations in Japan.

Where do the counterfeit chips come from?

Generally speaking, there are two forms of illegal components such as counterfeit chips. One is that companies collect chips from Electronic waste, remove evidence on old chips for clean packaging, and sell second-hand goods to downstream at lower prices; The other is to encapsulate the defective wafers on the regular manufacturing production line, and then sell them to the downstream.

Because most companies are lax in supervision or unable to identify products, they can only use unsold inventory that is difficult to track and the supplier has no guarantee. Once a defective chip is encountered, it will only lead to the whole machine manufacturer or The terminal equipment manufacturer’s products have quality problems.

How to identify genuine and fake chips?

1. Looking at the surface, all polished chips will have fine lines on the surface, and even micro marks from previous printing. Some of them are covered with a thin layer of paint on the chip surface to make the chip look a little shiny and plastic-free;

2. Looking at the printing, most of the current chips use laser marking, or use a special chip printer to print, the handwriting is clear, neither conspicuous nor blurred, and it is difficult to erase. The refurbished chip is either “jaggy” on the edges of the writing that is corroded by the cleaning agent, or it is too conspicuous, the printing is blurred, the shade is different, the position is incorrect or it is easy to erase, and the overall coordination, the level of the old and new pins And so on, there are also handwritings that do not match the background. If the wordmarks are too new or clear, there is a great possibility of problems;

3. Looking at the pins, all tin-plated pins that are as bright as “new” must be refurbished. Most of the pins of genuine ICs should be so-called “silver powder pins” with darker color but uniform color;

4. Looking at the edge of the device, since the plastic packaged device must be “released” after injection molding, the edge corner of the device is round (R angle), but the size is not large. It is easy to grind the rounded corner into a right angle during polishing, so the front edge of the device Once it is right-angled, it can be judged as polished.

Of course, having said so much, in fact, the best way is to find a regular agent, and the supply chain is guaranteed so that the progress of the project will not be delayed.

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