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How to Spot Counterfeit Electronic ComponentsHow to Spot Counterfeit Electronic Components

This video gives handy tips on identifying electronic components that may originate from grey market sources.

Spencer Chin

October 9, 2023

While the ending of the COVID-19 pandemic has eased many of the drastic shortages of electronic components, shortages of some parts still persist. One problem that has long plagued design engineers has been the presence of counterfeit electronic components from grey market sources, which originate from China or other sources outside of established component suppliers and distributors.

These counterfeit electronic components may at first glance look like real components, but as this video from YouTube site Fixed Until Broken shows, a closer look is needed to visually detect parts that may be grey market. Grey market components are potentially plagued with issues such as poor traceability, substandard quality, poor storage, and unproven performance. Once such a part is in a system, it could fail and cause issues with other parts as well.


This informative 19-minute video covers some of the investigations of rebadged chips one might find on eBay or Chinese fleamarket IC websites. While these suggestions may not result in catching every fake component, they are a good place to start.

You can view the video here.

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor with Design News, covering the electronics beat.

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