Watch out for well-made counterfeit parts. We always suggest getting the real deal from authorized distributors OR buy from bonded brokers: the only time we ever got bit by this was on a totally discontinued part unavailable through normal channels, and we got our money back because the US-based broker had a policy.
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Shouldn’t all distributors use a chain of custody? This gets truly disturbing with the proliferation of counterfeit medicines and aircraft parts.
Our purchasing guys get a bonus based on how much money they save, so we get hit with this a lot. I swear they buy stuff from guys in alleys wearing trench coats. In May we had 12 reels of counterfeit AVX caps make it into production, every single cap blew up when the assemblies were powered up. The site smelled like failure for weeks.
Counterfeits are becoming a real problem in the semiconductor industry. It is always stated that customers MUST purchase through authorized distributors for a guarantee against counterfeit parts. About 5 years ago when a shortage hit, that made a lot of customers look at brokers and sadly many of those can be faked.
Counterfeits can be very sophisticated which reminds me of a story. I used to work at a semiconductor manufacturer and a customer complained about failures. The devices where marked as they would be, but only after running the production test in the ATE was the device caught. It was decapped and it ended up being a competitor part.
I believe Rochester Electronics is an authorized distributor of discontinued parts, but they are rather expensive.
twenty years ago a friend was in Hong Kong and said that in the electronic component section, there were shops blatantly selling small printing machines for reprinting transistors and chips.