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Most of the counterfeit parts detected in the electronics industry are either novel or surplus parts or salvaged scrap parts. This article begins by discussing the type of parts used to create counterfeits. It discusses the three most commonly used methods used by counterfeiters to create counterfeits. These include relabeling, refurbishing, and repackaging. The article presents a systematic inspection methodology that can be applied for detecting signs of possible part modifications. The methodology consists of external visual inspection, marking permanency tests, and X-ray inspection followed by material evaluation and characterization. These processes are typically followed by evaluation of the packages to identify defects, degradations, and failure mechanisms that are caused by the processes (e.g., cleaning, solder dipping of leads, reballing) used in creating counterfeit parts.

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