The electronics supply chain is being increasingly infiltrated by non-authentic, counterfeit electronic parts, whose use poses a great risk to the integrity and quality of critical hardware. There is a wide range of counterfeit parts such as leads and body molds. The failure analyst has many tools that can be used to investigate counterfeit parts. The key is to follow an investigative path that makes sense for each scenario. External visual inspection is called for whenever the source of supply is questionable. Other methods include use of solvents, 3D measurement, X-ray fluorescence, C-mode scanning acoustic microscopy, thermal cycle testing, burn-in technique, and electrical testing. Awareness, vigilance, and effective investigations are the best defense against the threat of counterfeit parts.

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