SIA Semiconductors

Policy Priorities

Anti-Counterfeiting

Unauthorized or counterfeit semiconductors have the potential to pose major threats to the health, safety, and security of our country and its citizens. SIA and its member companies are actively working to ensure the security and authenticity of our products. 


Semiconductors are embedded into countless products and systems that perform critical functions in our society, and the failure of a single component in one of these products or systems can have catastrophic consequences.  Known incidents of counterfeits causing or potentially causing health, safety, and security issues include:

  • A counterfeit semiconductor component was identified in an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), resulting in a defibrillator over-voltage condition.  Failure to detect and address this issue could have resulted in improper electrical shocks being applied to heart attack victims, thus jeopardizing their lives. 

  • A counterfeit semiconductor component caused a fire in the control circuitry in a vacuum cleaner for residential use.  This fire was successfully contained, but it had the potential to result in major property damage or even loss of life.

  • A counterfeit semiconductor failed in a power supply used for airport landing lights.  This did not result in any reported airline take-off or landing incidents, but the potential for such incidents was obvious.

  •  A broker shipped counterfeit microcontrollers intended for use in braking systems in high-speed trains in Europe.  

  •  A broker shipped counterfeit microprocessors intended for use in automated medication applications, including intravenous (IV) drip machines.

 

These examples represent just a fraction of the incidents where counterfeit semiconductor components jeopardize the health, safety, and security of the general public worldwide.  While some counterfeited products, such as jewelry and apparel, result in economic harm and do not endanger consumers, counterfeit semiconductors can be particularly dangerous depending on their end application.  This is why it is so critical that semiconductor components be procured exclusively through authorized sources. 

 

 

  1. Encourage the use of genuine, authorized semiconductors by advocating for changes in U.S. procurement policies;
  2. Limit the entry of counterfeits into the U.S. through cooperation with enforcement authorities and policy changes that stem the flow of counterfeits;
  3. Minimize counterfeit semiconductors at the source through development of an action plan for SIA companies and other organizations working to prevent counterfeits; and
  4. Prevent unnecessary and burdensome mandates (e.g., specific marking and authentication techniques) from being implemented in the U.S. supply chain without industry input.

Government Procurement

SIA seeks to work with government on procurement policies that promote the government purchase of semiconductors directly from OEMs or their authorized channels to the extent possible, instead of their current practice of buying “lowest price, technically acceptable” and most readily available. 

Supply Chain Security

The semiconductor industry employs stringent security and supply chain management practices to ensure the security of semiconductor products.  The industry is engaged in numerous efforts to develop industry standards to promote a secure supply chain. 

U.S. Anti-counterfeiting Customs Advocacy

SIA will continue work to reduce the flow of counterfeit semiconductors entering the U.S.   SIA is collaborating with other regions through the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) on anti-counterfeiting initiatives, and we are working to permanently end Customs and Border Patrol’s policy of obscuring or redacting photos of suspect counterfeit chips, which they send to our companies to determine authenticity.   

Addressing Counterfeits at the Sources

SIA is developing a coordinated “on the ground” anti-counterfeiting engagement plan for SIA member companies at address counterfeits in the countries where they originate.  SIA is working with groups with substantial expertise in China, including the U.S. Information Technology Organization (USITO), and the Quality Brands Protection Committee (QBPC), a group dedicated to anti-counterfeiting efforts. 

Preventing Burdensome Mandates 

SIA advocates for the adoption of sensible policies and the use of industry standards in product authentication, and against burdensome and ineffective mandates.  For example, SIA has been leading efforts to limit the use of a specific marking technology by the Defense Logistics Agency. 

Working closely with distributors, customers and government agencies, SIA has developed straightforward, proven approaches for avoiding counterfeit semiconductor products.  These tactics – outlined in SIA’s anti-counterfeiting white paper – include:

  • Buying semiconductor products either directly from Original Component Manufacturers (OCMs) or their authorized distributors or resellers. 
  • Increasing awareness of counterfeit components among lawmakers, government agency officials, and military leaders.
  • Working closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop dangerous counterfeits before they enter the U.S. marketplace.
  • Partnering with law enforcement to prosecute those responsible for manufacturing or trafficking in counterfeit products.
  • Developing international standards for supply chain assurance and anti-counterfeiting.
  • Launching legal actions against suppliers erroneously identifying themselves as authorized distributors.

 

Working together and using the SIA white paper as a roadmap, we can win the battle against counterfeit semiconductor products and help ensure the safety and security of critical technologies that are vital to American consumers and to the United State economy.



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