Sorry, I think I woke up on a soap box this morning. When I got a link to an article about counterfeit ICs
, I read it, but I couldn't help but laugh.
Let's show some scary photos of a electronic waste reclamation
project next to a jet fighter and use the names of suspicious sounding people. "Hakimuddin says she knows little about the parts she has bought and sold."
"The Navy's Ernst became concerned about IT Enterprise in March 2007.
His team found a suspicious transistor?a basic type of
microchip?supplied by the firm for use in the AV-8B Harrier, a Marine
Corps fighter jet. The transistor, which turned up during an inspection
of a military depot in Cherry Point, N.C., was supposed to contain lead
in its solder joints, but didn't. That defect could cause solders to
crack and the flight control system to fail, Ernst explains. When a
member of the team telephoned IT Enterprise in Bakersfield, he heard
children chattering in the background, Ernst recalls. "It was the
'Aha!' moment for me on counterfeit parts," he says.
You've obviously never met a sales person. Ever. I regularly talk to sales reps from Arrow, Digikey, Future, Microchip, Atmel - and while I consider them great contacts and some are even friends, even they do not know what the hell they are selling me most of the time.
Wait, wait, wait. You mean the military ordered a transistor
, probably paid way too much for it, and when it turned out the be lead-free (probably even RoHS compliant
they freaked out? Hah! That's just funny. Notice how the entire paragraph
doesn't mention the IC being a 'fake chip' but it's in an article about
fake chips? Ugh, my head hurts.
The writer doesn't even describe what a 'fake chip' is. There are important and unique differences between:
- New ICs (like an EEPROM from digikey)
- OEM ICs (like a no-longer manufactured chip that is licensed and brought back - thank goodness for NTE!)
- used ICs, pulled from recycled equipment
- empty ICs (now that would be funny)
- fake chips (chips that are sold under false pretenses - like an IC labeled 'MAX232' but was really a shift register)
- and 'fake chips' that this article refers to (correctly labeled, functioning chips that are the wrong grade - ie, not military grade)
The entire article is written to scare people. Grr. Bad Media! Stop that.