The Real Score on Counterfeit Electronic Component Parts

14 Jul












With current increases in the price of electronic components, the market has grown vulnerable to counterfeits. This phenomenon was likewise precipitated due to the fragmentation of supply chains. Electronic manufacturing services have become rampant and this has allowed counterfeiters to permeate the market and introduce their substandard electronic components.

The spotlight was cast on the problem of counterfeit electronic components in late 2011 after news reports suggested fake electronic components were used in numerous pieces of US military equipment. A number of witnesses testified in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the Pentagon purchased $1 million worth of alleged counterfeit electronic parts with seventy percent of this linked to Chinese firms.

From 2005 to 2008, incidence of counterfeiting rose to 142 percent, according to a study by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security. Moreover, the Semiconductor Industry Association estimated semiconductor companies in the United States lose $7.5 billion a year in counterfeit goods. As of late, 10 percent of technology products throughout the world are suspected to be counterfeit.


The primary victims of electronic component counterfeiting are the original manufacturers who are stripped of their ability to take full advantage of their intellectual property and who lose on revenues.

However, there is a trickle-down effect in that manufacturing firms that use these counterfeit products, whether deliberately or unknowingly, end up producing goods which may harbor quality problems that not only threaten to ruin the reputation of companies, but are also passed on to consumers who make use of the final products.

The problem of counterfeit materials isn’t just isolated to your neighborhood kids using game consoles that may be made up of fake electronic components. When you think about transportation, infrastructure, medical and other safety-critical applications, the existence of counterfeit materials is a problem that can lead to devastating results.

The Roots

Not all counterfeit materials are the same and these items are actually classified into various groups. For instance, there are reverse-engineered parts which consist of batteries, breakers, and resistors and capacitors—Items that are basically easy to manufacture. The lure of creating counterfeits for these items comes from the fact that there are supply shortages for such components. The second type of counterfeit electronic components is defective items that are re-introduced into the market. The third type is essentially components which are legitimate but are re-branded and sold for much higher prices.

Ryan Thomas loves all the things that has to do with electronic component parts and has been in the industry for a decade. You may check to see the things he discovered for Electronic Component Parts.


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