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There seems to be a growing awareness of counterfeiting in the parts supply chain and the government seems to be pushing responsibility back onto suppliers and manufacturers (Clamping down on counterfeits)

I would like to know what steps and procedures people are using to identify and test if parts are genuine?

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A good start is using suppliers who are experienced and who demonstrate ethical behaviour. Resellers who are authorised by manufacturers as preferred sales agents has got to be good (I think :-) ). You can expect most of the names on Findchips to be careful with their sourcing. (That said I'd need to look who is there these days - more than in the past and MAY be more variable in prudence. – Russell McMahon Feb 23 '12 at 8:17
Seems like you also have to make sure the distributors are who they say they are. Someone posing as Mouser has been shipping counterfeit parts: blog.makezine.com/2012/02/17/… – morten Feb 23 '12 at 10:57
@morten - if you read the article you link, you will see that it turns out that the reference to mouser was incorrect (there is a correction at the end of the article). Apparently mouser was not involved at all. – Connor Wolf Feb 23 '12 at 11:34
@FakeName As I mentioned in the comment, "someone posing as Mouser" sold the parts. It was not Mouser, but someone pretending to be Mouser. – morten Feb 23 '12 at 11:47
@morten - From the article, it sounds like the whole mouser thing was a mistake. It was not someone posing as mouser, it was someone accidentally saying they got the parts from mouser, when they got them from somewhere else. – Connor Wolf Feb 23 '12 at 11:49

Elliot Sound Products has an excellent writeup on counterfeit devices, including a lot of photographs of counterfeit devices next to the real version of the same device.

The page lists a significant number of previously counterfeited components, categorizing the vulnerable items as "any component that is priced higher than another of similar shape and size". There are writeups for each of the following parts, mostly BJT power transistors:

  • MJ15003/4
  • Sanken 2SA1216 (and the NPN type 2SC2922)
  • 2SA1302 and 2SC3281 Toshiba
  • OP-07 Opamps
  • 2N2773 Power Transistors (probable)
  • NTE37 and NTE37 (probable)
  • LM3915 LED VU Meter
  • Toshiba 2SA1943 (and presumably 2SC5200)
  • 2N3773
  • MJL21193/4 ON Semi MJL21193/4 (branded Motorola)
  • 2SA1386 and 2SC3519 Sanken (branded IEC)
  • BU505 and MJE8502 ST and On-Semi

The author notes that the actual price of the counterfeit components is often insignificant, and that "loss of confidence, time, 'collateral damage', etc. are far worse"

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Care to explain what they are talking about? Maybe a short summary? Your answer will be worthless as it is now if/when the link dies. – Kellenjb Feb 23 '12 at 12:46
@Kellenjb - Considering the contents of the link is basically a few dozen sets of real/fake images with commentary, no. The only way to quote it would be to steal all the images. – Connor Wolf Feb 23 '12 at 12:50
We can't clone the entire internet as a precaution against link rot. – Connor Wolf Feb 23 '12 at 12:52
If that is the case then this is nothing more then a comment. I know you can't clone the entire internet, thats not the point. The point is for you to write an answer that can remain useful independent of link rot. – Kellenjb Feb 23 '12 at 14:13

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