A resource sponsored by the National Science Foundation to promote research and awareness for counterfeit electronics
detection and avoidance. This website contains a public repository that allows researchers, students, and practitioners
images and statistical information related to defects of counterfeit ICs
images of defects found by physical inspection of counterfeit ICs
automated counterfeit IC detection techniques
more about the defects found in counterfeit ICs and counterfeit IC detection
Please cite the following paper when using the images, stats, etc. obtained from counterfeit-IC.org:
Counterfeit electronics are a prevailing supply chain issue, which have continued to become more widespread in recent years.
Critical systems have long life cycles and diminishing manufacturing source issues, making them a prime target
for economically motivated counterfeiters. Counterfeit electronics create risks and life-threating issues, especially
when incorporated into such critical systems. Since most of the chips in the market today are not equipped with
mechanisms to aid in counterfeit detection, physical inspection is the most relied upon approach. During physical
inspection, defects related to the exterior, interior, and material composition are extracted from the component
under test, and these anomalies are used to determine if it is counterfeit. Physical inspection does not rely
on electrical functionality, making it widely applicable to the diverse range of electronic chips in the market
(analog, digital, mixed signal, large, small, etc.)
There are many longstanding challenges associated with physical inspection. First and foremost, in order to evade detection
counterfeiters evolve and improve their methods over time. This can result in new defects and/or changes
in the frequency of the defects found in counterfeit parts. There are few (if any) initiatives aimed at tracking
such changes, making it difficult to develop accurate assessment of risk. Second, counterfeit testing is
typically performed by subject matter experts (SMEs), which is time consuming, results in inconsistent/subjective
results, and is difficult to adapt. Automated approaches that could relieve these issues need to be developed.
Third, there are a diverse set of counterfeit IC types within the supply chain, all of which have their own
unique defects that require a gamut of expensive tests/equipment to detect. Any research that could reduce
the time and cost associated with physical inspection would be an immense help.
The main barrier towards overcoming the above challenges is a lack of data. Developing and improving counterfeit
detection through physical inspection requires images and measurements from a variety of counterfeit ICs.
In general, researchers in academia do not have access to the state-of-the-art equipment, counterfeit samples,
and experience necessary to perform physical inspection on suspect parts. On the other hand, the test labs
with access do not have the time, resources, and motivation to devote to exhaustive data collection. Our
goal in developing this repository is to provide the community with access to such data. To this end, the
team at UF/ FICS Research has spent countless hours collecting measurements and will continue to maintain
Counterfeit-IC.org over the course of this NSF sponsored project. We hope that researchers will take advantage
of this resource to push the boundaries of counterfeit research as well as to share their own data with the
rest of the community.
Counterfeit-IC.org Management Team:
Domenic Forte, University of Florida
Navid Asadizanjani, University of Florida
Mark Tehranipoor, University of Florida
The defects that this website seeks to highlight are those commonly specified in counterfeit standards (e.g., AS6171).
We refer to them as ‘counterfeit defects’ in the text below. Please note the following:
Although some of the counterfeit defects shown here may overlap with manufacturing and packaging defects
(e.g., those related to reliability, yield, serviceability, and ship-product-quality-levels), this website
is in no way meant to track such defects. Manufacturing and packaging defects are already well documented
and such information is often kept proprietary (with good reason).
The appearance of any single counterfeit defect does not necessarily indicate that a component is counterfeit.
Similarly, it is impossible to determine if any components have been modified maliciously or nonmaliciously
either at the foundry or while in the supply chain. The Counterfeit-IC.org Management team cannot and
does not draw any conclusions relating to such questions on this website. We simply report the counterfeit
defects that we (or other registered users) have found on components readily obtained in the market.
The images appearing on this website have been collected and provided primarily with research and educational
purposes in mind. Nevertheless, should any manufacturer take exception to images, manufacturer names,
product names, etc. that appear on this website, please contact us to request their removal.