Home News Electronics 2023 Report | Which brand has the most counterfeits?

Electronics 2023 Report | Which brand has the most counterfeits?

2024-05-13

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Which device types, brands, and regions have the highest counterfeit rates?


ERAI recently released its 2023 Counterfeit Parts Report, and the number of parts reported to ERAI has been increasing over the past two years. In 2023, ERAI reported a total of 786 suspected counterfeit parts, a slight increase from 768 in 2022.


ERAI Reports Data

As shown in the figure below, the number of counterfeits dropped significantly in 2020 and 2021, most likely as a result of the supply chain shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the downward trend in global semiconductor sales, the number of parts reported to ERAI has been increasing over the past two years (2022 and 2023).


ERAI compared the types of parts reported in 2023 to the past 5 years and the past 10 years. For 2022, we can see that the distribution of the most counterfeited component types continues to follow the general trends of the past 5 and 10 years, with analog ICs, programmable logic ICs, and microprocessor ICs remaining the most targeted component types, accounting for more than half of all counterfeit component types reported.

As with last year, the number of counterfeit reports received for capacitors was low, indicating that the surge in shortage-related counterfeit capacitors has ended, with capacitors accounting for only 0.5% of the total number of reported parts in 2023, compared to 6.72% in the past 5 years.


Specific ICs reports

When examining the trend graph of the most targeted component types over time, we find that the peak in analog ICs that we observed in 2022 did not continue in 2023. However, analog ICs remain the most reported component type. Microprocessor ICs, memory ICs, and programmable logic ICs all show modest growth.


Manufacturer brands differs

When examining the manufacturer brands marked on parts reported to ERAI, we noticed that Texas Instruments (TI) continued to be the most targeted brand by counterfeiters (9% of all parts reported), with Xilinx being the second most targeted brand. While the overall list of manufacturers most frequently targeted by counterfeiters remained largely unchanged from previous years, there was one notable change, the absence of Murata Manufacturing, which became the most counterfeited brand in 2019 due to the aforementioned capacitor shortage.


Analysis of parts previously reported to ERAI shows that the majority of parts reported in 2023 (75.8%) are new incidents that have not been previously reported to ERAI. In total, 13.5% of parts have been previously reported to ERAI once, and 10.7% have been reported to ERAI multiple times over the years. This reiterates that if a part has not been previously reported to ERAI, it is no less likely that the part is counterfeit. While previously reported parts may trigger a higher level of scrutiny, all parts not purchased from the original component manufacturer or authorized distributor must be tested appropriately for the risk.


The next data set is the geographic location of the parts suppliers when supplier information is available. In the past, more than half of the known substandard parts suppliers were located in the United States, with China a distant second. In 2022, U.S. suppliers were roughly even with Chinese suppliers among the known suppliers. In 2023, the distribution looks similar, with China (27.1%) in second place behind the United States (32.5%). When taking a more comprehensive look at the parts reported by known suppliers, we find that the majority of parts (47.8%) are from Asia, 36% are from North America, and only 16.3% are from Europe. The overall numbers are consistent with the 2022 data.

We further examined the entities that report parts to ERAI. 41.3% of parts were reported by U.S. companies, while 58.7% of reports came from international sources, indicating that counterfeiting remains a global epidemic.


A closer look at the organizations reporting to ERAI shows that the largest reporting segment is provided by independent distributors (63.5%), with testing laboratories close behind (17.8%). Significant in 2023 is the large increase in the number of parts reported by authorized dealers (9.6% compared to less than 1% in 2022); however, reporting by manufacturers (OEMs, OCMs, and CMs) dropped to 3.6%.


In summary, the 2023 results continue the trend of 2022, a "post-pandemic transition year." There are no significant changes compared to the trends of previous years. The key takeaway for 2023 is confirmation that active parts are not inherently "safer" than obsolete parts. As always, we would like to thank those organizations that regularly share data with ERAI. We strongly encourage all companies to report suspect parts to ERAI to ensure that all organizations in the electronics industry are aware of potential threats. Anyone can report parts to ERAI, regardless of ERAI membership status. To report a high-risk or suspected counterfeit part to ERAI, please send a copy of your internal failure report or third-party test report (you may remove supplier or customer information at your discretion) to reportparts@erai.com



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