The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has already put in, at minimum, five full years of research to bettering the semiconductor supply chain and is willing to work side-by-side with the government to research and develop additional technologies that would offer a more effective solution than the DNA-Marking approach.
The truth is, counterfeiters are becoming more technologically-advanced and rehearsed in their practices. Counterfeit devices are harder to detect by simple visual inspection efforts. The Independent Channel struggles to determine if a part is new because a vast majority of the Independent Channel subcontracts true component testing. In a recent event, the DLA received DNA-marked devices that were in-fact suspect counterfeit.
Unfortunately, the devices were not properly disposed of (according to the NDAA, these parts should have been held by DLA) and currently remain in the supply chain. Aside from tagging methods, it is critical that government procurement personnel consistently focus their efforts and continue establishing partnerships with fully-OCM-authorized sources, whose product is factory-direct, NEW, and already guaranteed without DNA marking.
In practicing this, situations similar to this recent DLA incident can be avoided. Policies should be adjusted to make authorized sources exempt from the DNA-marking requirements due to contractual obligations that are already set between themselves and the original manufacturer.
George Karalias, is director of marketing & communications at Rochester Electronics