Market research firm IHS has released a list of the most likely chips to be pirated.
According to the company, analog ICs account for 25.2 percent of reported incidents of counterfeit semiconductors, followed by microprocessor ICS with 13.4 percent, memory ICs with 13.1 percent, programmable logic ICs with 8.3 percent and transistors with 7.6 percent. The annual "risk" of counterfeit products in these segments is about $169 billion, IHS estimates.
In a vertical analysis, counterfeit analog ICs are most likely to be found in wireless (29 percent of all counterfeit analog ICs), consumer (21 percent) and compute (14 percent) applications. Counterfeit microprocessors and memory ICs end up commonly in computers (85 percent and 53 percent share, respectively).
“There has been a great deal of focus on the issue of counterfeit parts in the defense industry, but the majority of reported counterfeit incidents are for commercial components which have broad use across both military and commercial applications,” said Rory King, director, supply chain product marketing at IHS. “Take analog ICs, for example. One out of every four counterfeit parts reported are for analog ICs—components which are used in everything from industrial and automotive situations to wireless devices, computers, or consumer electronics. A single counterfeit could impact end products in any of these markets and the potential problem is pervasive, amounting to billions of dollars of global product revenue subject to risk.”
IHS warned that counterfeit products represent a significant risk for the user. “A faulty counterfeit analog IC can cause problems ranging from a mundane dropped phone call to a serious tragedy in the aviation, medical, military, nuclear or automotive areas,” King noted. “Furthermore, the excessive cost of rework, repair, and customer returns for component failures is significant."