Wednesday, January 16, 2013

USBid Counterfeit Alert - HA7-5137A-5

During the past few months, USBid has purchased several lots of an Intersil, Low Noise Op-Amp, p/n HA7-5137A-5, from different sources - two of the three orders included counterfeit product mixed in with good devices. This report will describe the detection methods used to discover the fraudulent product and summarize the findings.


Overview

Per the data sheetthe HA7-5137A-5 is a precision op-amp from a family that includes HA7-5127, 37 and 47 devices; all are offered in 8 pin Ceramic DIPs with identical pin outs, performance similar to an OP270, with the following specifications:
   Parameter
Slew Rate Gain Bandwidth Offset     Voltage    Noise
Device (Volts/uSec)      (MHz)   (uVolts) (nV/Rt Hz)
HA-5127A      10      8.5      10      3.0
HA-5137A      20      63      10      3.0
HA-5147A      35      120      30      3.2




Test and Inspection


Initial product purchased from an approved vendor appears below and was subjected to a complete suite of AAA Component Test Lab Inspection and Test Services, including electrical testing of all 100 units.
Figure 1. HA-5137A Purchased from Approved Vendor

The product passed and was sent to the customer with no reported problems. The second batch of product came from another source and went through the same procedure. The visual appearance was similar to the above and visual inspection and Resistance to Solvent tests found no non-conformities.
Figure 2. HA-5137A Purchased from Unapproved Vendor

During electrical testing however, ~ 25% product began to fail and a physical decapsulation of several of the passing and failed dice from the ceramic DIP revealed two different devices. We didn't expect to see two different  passing devices - usually the passing de-capped units are consistent in appearance....


Figure 3.  HA-5137A Device 1

Figure 4. HA-5137A Device 2
Subsequent evaluation of the obvious visual differences between the two failed devices showed that the die in Figure 3 was actually a HA-5127 as seen in Figure 5.


Figure 5. "HA-5137A" was actually a HA-5127 device.

The die photo in Figure 4 was similar to the photo from the approved supplier we previously purchased product from and closer inspection revealed expected HA-5137 die markings as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6. Failed HA-5137A Die Markings Up Close

So we now have multiple problems - counterfeit HA-5137A and authentic devices that both pass and fail pin correlation testing.  How do we sort out the defective product? How do we cull the HA-5127's that pass pin correlation testing?  The first step was to develop a comprehensive DC functional test that distinguishes HA-5127's from HA-5137's. From the Parameter Table above, the Gain Bandwidth spec was the most drastically different parameter between these two devices. This test would remove all devices of both part types that didn't meet this specification.

Once the Gain Bandwidth testing was done, the passing parts were subjected to another round of pin correlation testing - a small percentage (<1%) still failed the test. The  pin correlation test was set up to match our customers incoming test procedures - if the parts failed their test they were rejected regardless of data indicating otherwise. 


Conclusion

Pin Correlation testing provides certain insights to gross functionality performance but can also produce incorrect assumptions that functional testing can alleviate. To satisfy customer requirements, USBid pulled (and assumed liability for) the "failed" parts from the pin correlation testing and shipped the rest. The customer reported 0% incoming failures and 0% final product failures for these parts. Further analysis of the counterfeit HA7-5137A's (i.e. - the ones with the HA-5127 die) revealed that the bottom markings shown in Figure 2 were all from a few specific date codes that didn't match Intersil's nomenclature.


Happy Customer = Happy Ending


About USBid
USBid is an independent distributor of electronic components located in Palm Bay, Florida, USA. Since 1998, we have been helping customers locate and purchase hard-to-find and long lead time components. We are AS9120:2009 and ISO 9001:2008 certified and ESD S20.20-2007 compliant. We provide comprehensive visual, physical, and chemical analysis of all orders including electrical parametric testing to manufacturer datasheet specifications when applicable. For more information, checkout our USBid Overview on YouTube.





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

AAA Components Test Lab Report - 3C-2189-AA Controller

This report deals with an interesting case of an electronic component recently tested in the AAA Components Test Lab. The lot consisted of 10 pieces of p/n 3C-2189-AA and 3 pieces failed - can you pick them out?


TEST SUMMARY INFORMATION
Part #:                      3C-2189-AA
Manufacturer:         Galileo Technology (Marvel Technology Group)
Category/Sub:         Communication/Controller 
Package:                  24-pin PDIP
Lot Size:                   10 Pieces
Description:             Monolithic Communications Controller Chip


Figure 1. Three defects in this lot - which ones are they?




Tests Performed:
  • Visual Inspection
  • Marking Permanency
  • Surface Test
  • Electrical Test
  • X-Ray Test
  • XRF Test

Results:
The lot consists of two date codes: 8752 (three pieces) and 9707 (seven pieces). All parts passed visual inspection, marking permanency and surface tests, but the electrical test yielded 3 failures that were subsequently confirmed by X-Ray failure analysis. Two of the devices that failed electrical testing had a much smaller die size and different leadframe than the others, as well as a known good die. 

Figure 2.) Failed Part With Smaller Die and Different Leadframe, (Also, note difference in bond wire pattern with an acceptable device, in Figure 3, below.)


Figure 3.) X-Ray of Known Good Device


The other failed devices exhibited a different bond wire pattern than the rest - notice the crossed wires in the center on the right side of the die.
Firgure 4.) Non-functional Device with Crossed Bond Wires.



Conclusion
The failed electrical devices were analyzed using X-Ray technology which confirmed various inconsistencies with similar X-Rays of a Known Good Device. The substandard parts were quarantined pending proper disposal.


About USBid
USBid is an independent distributor of electronic components located in Palm Bay, Florida, USA. Since 1998, we have been helping customers locate and purchase hard-to-find and long lead time components. We are AS9120 and ISO 9001:2008 certified and ESD S20.20-2007 compliant. We provide comprehensive visual, physical, and chemical analysis of all orders including electrical parametric testing to manufacturer datasheet specifications when applicable. For more information, checkout our USBid Overview on YouTube.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

AAA Components Test Lab Report - LM310N

This is the first in series of articles about electronic components recently tested in the AAA Components Test Lab. The reports will highlight test results, discuss select services and provide a summary of the findings. The data for these reports was taken directly from tests performed on product we sold. This testing is included at no charge on all orders purchased from USBid.

Part #:                      LM310N
Manufacturer:         National Semiconductor
Category/Sub:         Amplifier/Op-Amp
Package:                  8-pin PDIP
Description:             Monolithic op-amp used in general applications such as S&H and Voltage
                                  Follower circuits

Services Performed:



  • Visual Inspection
  • Marking Permanency
  • Surface Test
  • Heated Chemical Test
  • Die Authenticity
  • Electrical Test
  • X-Ray Test

Test Results
USBid has sold this part on multiple occasions which provides a better basis for observing any nonconformities with the existing test. Photographs of the device were consistent with past product:

Figure 1: LM310N Op-amp from National Semiconductor
Likewise, the mold cavity and die topography shots both matched photos of previous devices.
Figure 2: LM310N Mold Cavity
Figure 3. LM310N Die Topography
 In fact, most aspects of the visual, physical and chemical analysis of this product were consistent with previous records of this product, excluding 7% parts with non-conforming x-rays (missing bond wires, different lead frames). The most critical aspect of this device, the electrical characteristics revealed that >7% of the product failed electrical testing. 100% of the order was electrically tested and the nonconforming product was removed.

Conclusion
A comprehensive test of the visual, physical, chemical and electrical parameters of any electronic component is required to provide sufficient confidence that a given product is likely to meet the original form, fit and functional requirements.

For more information on effective electrical testing of components, visit our YouTube Channel.


About USBid
USBid is an independent distributor of electronic components located in Palm Bay, Florida, USA. Since 1998, we have been helping customers locate and purchase hard-to-find and long lead time components. We are AS9120 and ISO 9001:2008 certified and ESD S20.20-2007 compliant. USBid understands that sourcing parts in the “open market” is challenging. That’s why we provide comprehensive visual, physical, and chemical analysis of all orders including electrical parametric testing to manufacturer datasheet specifications when applicable. For more information, checkout our USBid Overview on YouTube.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

USBid Review of Solderability Testing


One of the AAA Component Test Lab Services offered by USBid to customers is Solderability Testing for both RoHS and non-RoHS devices. Solderability Testing examines the terminations of devices including component leads, lugs, terminals, and wires for their suitability to be electrically connected to a circuit using solder.

Industry standards solderability testing is referenced in  the following industry standards:
1)     Mil-Std-883 Method 2003 - "Solderability"
2)     IPC/JEDEC J-STD-002 - "Solderability Tests for Component Leads, Terminations, Lugs, Terminals and Wires"
3)     IPC/JEDEC J-STD-003 - "Solderability Tests for Printed Boards"
4)     JESD22-B102
5)     Part 21 of the IEC 60749.
    
The two most commonly used methods of solderability testing are the “Dip and Look Method” and Wetting Balance Analysis. The Dip and Look Method is used in the ECAL Lab, and is commonly used in process QA and reliability monitoring, as a qualitative test process that passes or fails based on the physical and visual attributes exhibited by the sample.

Wetting balance analysis is a quantitative test used primarily as an engineering tool to measure the wetting forces imposed by the molten solder on the test surface as it is dipped and held in a solder bath as a function of time. The time it takes to go from a non-wet starting condition until wetting occurs (i.e. solder starts to flow) is used to evaluate solderability, although no industry specifications for wetting balance analysis exist, which is why it is not used as a production monitor.  Wetting force depends on the density and surface tension of the solder.
      
Mil-Std-883 Method 2003 - Solderability Testing
   
The Mil-Std-883 Method 2003 is one of the oldest and most widely used standards for solderability testing. It will be used as the basis in the discussion below to provide more details on how solderability testing is normally done.
  
Mil-Std-883 Method 2003 employs the Dip and Look Method, requiring the following equipment: 1) a solder pot of sufficient size that can maintain solder at a specified temperature; 2) a dipping mechanism capable of controlling the rates of immersion and emersion, as well as dwell time, of the terminations; 3) an optical and lighting system that facilitates inspection at a minimum magnification of 10X; and 4) steam aging equipment for 'aging' the samples prior to testing.
  
The AAA solderability test procedure consists of the following steps: 
1)     Visual inspection per IDEA-STD-1010-B, then prepping the part for testing which DOES NOT include wiping, cleaning, scraping, or abrasive cleaning of the terminations to be tested
2)     Application of flux to the terminations; 
3)     Solder dipping, which consists of immersing non-RoHs terminations in static solder at a uniform temperature of 240 +/- 10o C and RoHS terminations at 250 +/- 10o C
4)     Examination of the terminations at 10-15X magnification.

The main criterion for acceptable solderability is 95% coverage of the dipped portion of the terminations by a new and continuous solder coating.  Thus, pinholes, voids, porosity, nonwetting, or dewetting must not exceed 5% of the total dipped area.

Examples
Below are samples of acceptable and nonconforming parts. In the first set of photos the pre-dip leads exhibit no scratches, oxidation or foreign matter. The resulting solderability test satisfactorily wet and covered the leads with a continuous coating of solder.

   Acceptable

Figure 1. Pre-Dip Leads in Good Condition
Figure 2.  Acceptable Solder Coverage of  Leads











The next set of photos were taken from a BSS199 Siemens Transistor and enlarged to better illustrate lead condition. The pre-dip visual inspection of the leads reveal pitting, scratches and discoloration that could be the early stages of oxidation. The resulting dip test clearly displays the erratic solder coverage of the leads - this product is nonconforming and should be rejected due to the voids and nonwetting of the terminations.

Nonconforming


Figure 3. Pre-Dip Leads with Scratches and Pinholes




Figure 4. Nonconforming  Solder Coverage
The leads on this device did not properly wet and the solder did not properly flow resulting in non uniform coverage. The discoloration of the solder indicates contamination,  possibly caused by scratches.


About USBid

USBid is an independent distributor of electronic components located in Palm Bay, Florida, USA. Since 1998, we have been helping customers locate and purchase hard-to-find and long lead time components. We are AS9120 and ISO 9001:2008 certified and ESD S20.20-2007 compliant. USBid.com understands that sourcing parts in the “open market” is challenging. That’s why we provide comprehensive visual, physical, and chemical analysis of all orders including electrical parametric testing to manufacturer datasheet specifications when applicable. For more information, checkout our USBid Overview on YouTube.


Friday, April 20, 2012

USBid Inc. Reviews: X-Ray Inspection Techniques


The proliferation of counterfeit electronic components has necessitated the need for more sophisticated detection techniques. X-ray examination is a non-destructive test used to verify the internal contents of a semiconductor package including the presence of a die, the integrity of the wire bonds, lead frame condition, and the consistency of the internal elements of each device of the lot under test. USBid's subsidiary, AAA Components Test Lab is equipped with an 80kV, 5um resolution x-ray system.



Figure 1.) 80kV X-Ray System in Action
The following is a photo of a AS7C409615JCTR SRAM device from Alliance Semiconductor taken with the system. 


Figure 2.) X-Ray of Known Good Die (KGD)
The die, chip and lead frame were consistent on all products tested and the product came from Alliance via a franchised distributor, therefore the part will be classified as a Known Good Device (KGD) for future analysis purposes.


Another recent order for 800 pieces of a National Semiconductor CD4071BCN, produced much different results. Date codes for most of the devices were from the early 90s and the first 50 pieces produced three different lead frames, different die sizes and some with no die at all.



Figure 3.) Lead Frame & Die Size #1 
Figure 4.) Lead Frame & Die Size #2
Figure 5.) Lead Frame #3 - No Die

X-ray inspections can also be used to measure the die dimensions for comparison to manufacturer’s published data. The inspections can be performed without removing the parts from their ESD bags or Moisture Barrier Bags (MBB) – place the bag directly in the chamber without breaking any seals.

X-ray systems do have limitations – they can’t magnify an image enough to observe information of the die such as logos, part numbers, company names, etc. In addition, the x-ray beam’s ability to detect images of die mounted in ceramic packages requires a higher voltage x-ray tube to attain resolution comparable to plastic epoxy devices.

In order for X-ray examinations to conclusively determine the authenticity of the device being inspected, an X-ray photograph of a KGD is required. However, a thorough evaluation of the entire lot  that reveals consistent conformity to die, bond wires and lead frames throughout the lot reduces the probability of sub-standard or counterfeit product substantially.

About USBid

USBid Inc. is an independent distributor of electronic components located in Palm Bay, Florida, USA. Since 1998, we have been helping customers locate and purchase hard-to-find and long lead time components. We are AS9120 and ISO 9001:2008 certified and ESD S20.20-2007 compliant. USBid.com understands that sourcing parts in the “open market” is challenging. That’s why we conduct visual, physical, and chemical analysis of all orders and offer electrical parametric testing to manufacturer datasheet specifications. For more information, checkout our USBid Inc.Overview on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Analytical Lab

USBid recently undertook construction of an in-house analytical lab that will include a number of new capabilities to more thoroughly test for counterfeit electronic components. Future blogs will focus on the new equipment and  the types of information they provide - this one will discuss the preparation of the space (in particular the floor) to accommodate the lab itself.

The primary consideration for optimal flooring in the new lab is full ESD S20:20-2007 compliance and Zero Ohm Ground measurements. The first step is to strip the bare concrete of glue remnants and other debris, and make sure the moisture level of the stripped floor is less than 10Kg of water per 100 square meters of cement. The most effective solvent we found to strip the cement was Spray Nine Multi-Purpose Cleaner, as shown in the following photo:

Photo 1: Stripping/Prepping Cement

Next, about a quarter of the tile was laid, using ESD glue containing copper shards:


Photo 2: ESD Tile Installation
 Then, 2" copper strips were run both vertically and horizontally across the room and connected to grounded electrical outlets.

Photo 3: Two Inch Copper Strip

Photo 4: Grounding the Copper Strip to an Outlet
 The rest of the tile was installed, and the floor was buffed and waxed using special ESD wax. Preliminary resistance tests confirm a near zero ground measurement. The room is now ready for use.
Photo 5: The Finished Room
When fully outfitted, this lab will include electrical parametric test capabilities, x-ray and XRF/RoHS analysis, decapsulation and die authenticity analysis, and solderability testing as well as baking, and tape/reeling services. We'll discuss each of these capabilities in more detail in future posts.

About USBid
USBid Inc. is an independent distributor of electronic components located in Palm Bay, Florida, USA. Since 1998, we have been helping customers locate and purchase hard-to-find and long lead time components. We are AS9120 and ISO 9001:2008 certified and ESD S20.20-2007 compliant. USBid.com understands that sourcing parts in the “open market” is challenging. That’s why we conduct visual, physical, and chemical analysis of all orders and offer electrical parametric testing to manufacturer datasheet specifications.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

USBid Inc. - AS6081UPDATE


SAE G19 AS6081: Counterfeit Electronic Parts Avoidance Protocol Document Out For Balloting


The final draft of the AS6081 document, which will be the new standard for electronic component distributors to detect counterfeits when buying from the open market, has met a major milestone.  The G19 committee has finished their final draft to go out to government and industry for balloting.  After the month long process is over the committee will review the comments made during the balloting period and make changes to the draft if the suggestions are warranted or reject changes which are not deemed necessary.  The committee hopes the final document will be released early in 2012.


USBid Inc supports the implementation of this new standard and the increased emphasis placed on counterfeit product avoidance guidelines as a result. Additional updates will be provided as they become available. If you have any further questions about AS6081 or would like to discuss the standard in more detail, please contact me through this blog.




About USBid
USBid Inc. is an independent distributor of electronic components located in Palm Bay, Florida, USA. Since 1998, we have been helping customers locate and purchase hard-to-find and long lead time components. We are AS9120 and  ISO 9001:2008 certified and ESD S20.20 compliant. USBid.com understands that sourcing parts in the “open market” is challenging. That’s why we conduct 100% visual inspections and offer die authenticity analysis and functional testing to manufacturer datasheet specifications.


USBid Inc. reviews customer feedback to achieve 100% customer satisfaction through continuous improvement.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mechanical Inspection - Counterfeit Electronic Component Detection Technique

An often overlooked and easy check for conforming electronic components is a mechanical inspection of the packaged device using a digital calipers. Most semiconductor manufacturers include the package dimensions on product datasheets and companies like Texas Instruments provide a detailed section of their website to physical package data.


Taking the Measurement
The inner measuring surfaces of the device should be free of any foreign matter and read "0.000" when completely closed. As a minimum, the following six dimensions should be measured:


  • Length: The distance between ends or the long dimension of the component.
  • Width: The dimension from side to side.
  • Height: Measurement of total vertical distance.
  • Body Thickness: Vertical distance of the device body - diagonally and end to end.
  • Lead Pitch: The center-to-center distance between 2 leads.
  • Lead Width: The measurement of the width of 1 lead.

The data should be compared to relevant data from the manufacturer; if the product has a 2006 date code, then try to compare it to a datasheet that precedes that date by as little as possible. Compare the measurements taken with manufacturers specifications, incorporating the specified tolerances for each of the above parameters. If all measurements are within spec, the part conforms.

 Figure 1: Example of Digital Calipers Thickness Measurement

Thickness Variation
Pay close attention to the uniformity of the thickness - measure diagonally and from end to end; there should be (almost) no variation between the two. Any slope or unevenness in the thickness can be the result of sanding.

Counterfeit devices have been sanded to remove the original marking from the component, and then a thin layer of blacktop is applied to make the part appear shiny and prepare it for remarking. Remarking can be done to upgrade the part to a higher performance level, give the part a newer date code, or remark it as a completely different product with the same package type. If you suspect the parts may be remarked, check at least 5% of total quantity - there should not be more than a 1% part to part variation between any of the six measurements.


Conclusion

Mechanical inspection, along with simple solvent tests, provide an effective, quick means to determine if the device being tested might be counterfeit and positive results (part fails test) from either can save you time and money. However, negative results are not necessarily grounds for assumption that the parts are authentic as much more rigorous testing is required.



About USBid
USBid Inc. is an independent distributor of electronic components located in Palm Bay, Florida, USA. Since 1998, we have been helping customers locate and purchase hard-to-find and long lead time components. We are AS9120 and  ISO 9001:2008 certified and ESD S20.20 compliant. USBid.com understands that sourcing parts in the "open market" is challenging. That's why we conduct 100% visual inspections and offer die authenticity analysis and functional testing to manufacturer datasheet specifications.

USBid Inc. reviews customer feedback to achieve 100% customer satisfaction through continuous improvement.