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Just as fake news became a major concern during the U.S. presidential election, fake components have become a major headache for system companies in recent years. Design engineers spend countless hours creating products that provide optimal performance, but a simple mistake in component acquisition can do severe damage to the company’s reputation when bogus parts fail.

Counterfeiting is a major problem everywhere in electronics – even though the U.S. military has strict purchasing requirements, some government research estimated that 15% of spares and replacement products have some counterfeit components. In 2011, the president of the Semiconductor Industry Association told a Senate Armed Services Committee panel that “counterfeiting costs US-based semiconductor companies more than $7.5 billion per year.”

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