Since my previous article, I’ve done some more research into the problem of counterfeit/remarked ICs, and basically come to the conclusion that if they work, don’t worry. That’s at least for my non-critical purposes! Obviously if you’re building business critical, military or health devices, you probably want to look closely at your supply chain and do some serious inspection of the devices you receive.
I’ve discovered some other tips for identifying remarked chips however:
- Moulding marks very rarely have a texture in them, they are normally shiny. Texture in the molding marks suggests potential “blacktopping” (where chip is sanded down and then the top is painted with a black paint to recreate the texture of the package top)
- Laser etched markings where the legitimate chips are silk screened