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Sonoscan Expands Counterfeit Identification Menu

Elk Grove Village, IL — January 26, 2010

SonoLab®, the applications laboratory division of Sonoscan, has recently developed analytical techniques that bring to 25 the number of acoustically detectable features and characteristics used to separate counterfeit plastic IC packages from genuine packages.

"The increase in useful tools is the result of our growing base of experience in separating counterfeit components from genuine parts - often within a mixed lot shipment," said SonoLab manager Ray Thomas. "Our laboratories are seeing more questionable parts because the industry has become much more interested in weeding out counterfeit parts. Ideally, engineers have known genuine parts to which they can compare incoming parts."

Identifying a counterfeit component may be straightforward, he added, but is often more complex. Part of the problem is that counterfeiters are becoming more skilled at making their knock-offs resemble genuine components. Using a greater number of acoustic techniques increases the confidence factor when separating genuine parts from fake parts. Measuring two or three parameters may suggest that a part is genuine or fake, but having a menu of 25 items on hand makes it much easier to make clear distinctions.

"Identifying counterfeit parts may involve multiple disciplines—optical inspection, acoustic imaging, and sometimes X-ray," he noted. "Acoustic imaging is especially convincing because it has the flexibility to go after hard-to-imitate features and material characteristics such as acoustic impedance, filler particle distribution and bond integrity."

For more information, contact SonoLab manager Ray Thomas at 847.437-6400 x 245.

In this acoustic image of two D-PAKs, the diamond shape is the die, attached to its rectangular substrate. In the counterfeit D-PAK at left, the die is rotated (arrows) out of its correct position. It is also closer to the lower edge of the substrate than the good die at right. The die in genuine D-PAK at right is properly centered and aligned, thus indicating that the counterfeit part was manufactured by a different vendor or a different process. In addition, the mold compound shows measurable variation between the two packages.

Sonoscan, Inc. 2149 E. Pratt Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. Phone 847-437-6400. Contact Bill Zuckerman x237. Email; web

About Sonoscan®: Sonoscan is the leading developer and manufacturer of acoustic microscopes and sophisticated acoustic micro imaging systems, widely used for nondestructive analysis of defects in industrial products and semiconductor devices. For over 30 years, Sonoscan’s attention to customer needs and investment in R&D has created systems that set industry standards for speed and accuracy. Key products include C-SAM® systems for off-line and laboratory analysis and FACTS2™ for automated production inspection.

Through its SonoLab division Sonoscan applications engineers, with experience totaling more than two centuries in acoustic microscopy, assist hundreds of customers annually in solving materials problems and quality control issues. SonoLab operates applications testing laboratories in multiple global locations to serve the inspection needs of customers that do not have their own capability.