Counterfeit Components: Size & Breadth of Counterfeiting Risks

iNEMI Tech Topic Series: Counterfeit Components
Size and Breadth of Counterfeiting Risks
October 19, 2023

See other webinars in this series.

The initial session of iNEMI’s Counterfeit Components Tech Topics Series focused on the size and 
breadth of counterfeiting risks and set the stage for future discussions in this webinar series.  The three 
presenters each provided unique insights into the topic of counterfeit components.

Counterfeit Risk Runs Throughout the End-to-End Supply Chain
Ben German (Intel Corporation) 
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Ben began the session by setting the stage for how the risk of counterfeits runs throughout the supply chain. He highlighted five key pillars in the supply chain —  design, sourcing, manufacturing, delivering and returns — and how each of them has several areas of unique risks, from planning for the whole life cycle through the traceability of where parts and products are sourced.  One key area he highlighted was appropriate scrap dispositions — the need to make sure that defective products, excess product or other "scrap" is destroyed effectively so it cannot re-enter the market.

Size and Breadth of the Problem
Michelle Lam (IBM) 
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Michelle continued with the theme of risk in the supply chain, specifically around the opportunities to counterfeit due to both supply shortages and high demands, like what occurred during the pandemic for many products. She presented examples of components that were purported by brokers to be genuine but, after investigation by the IBM team, were determined to be counterfeit.  She went on to talk about how these parts likely were modified to try to pass as genuine and some of the discrepancies that gave them away when scrutinized.  Misbranded parts and claims for warranty returns were also discussed.

Onshoring Advanced Packaging and the Impact on Counterfeiting  
Charles Woychik (SkyWater Technology) 
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Charles talked about onshoring advanced packaging and the potential impact on counterfeiting. He noted how the vertical manufacturing of the 80s minimized opportunities for counterfeiting because most of the operation was under the direct control of the organization, while today’s dispersed supply chain is more vulnerable to counterfeits.  He discussed SkyWater’s plans to develop the only U.S.-owned pure-play foundry and how it will “reverticalize” the Si interposer supply chain.

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About the Speakers

Ben German 
Senior Technical Program Manager
Supply Chain Security & Privacy
Intel Corporation

Ben German is a senior technical program manager with Intel’s Supply Chain Security & Privacy team responsible for Federal security compliance, counterfeit prevention and insider threat risk management programs. Based in Austin, Texas, he has over 17 years of experience as a leader and consultant in the global electronics manufacturing industry, with specializations in supply chain security and assurance, logistics and contract manufacturing risk management, asset protection and traceability, incident response, and supply chain threat intelligence.


Michelle Lam
Senior Technical Staff Member
Supply Chain Engineering 
IBM Infrastructure

Michelle Lam has more than 23 years of experience in data archival storage hardware. Her expertise spans from device failure analysis to future product development. Michelle also holds the role of Counterfeit Prevention Program Manager at IBM's Supply Chain organization, with a primary focus on ensuring product authenticity.



Charles G. Woychik, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Advanced Packaging Platforms
SkyWater Technology

Charles G. Woychik is Senior Director of Advanced Packaging Platforms at SkyWater Technology in Kissimmee, FL.  Prior to joining SkyWater he was the Chief Scientist at i3 Microsystems in St. Petersburg, FL.  He also previously served as Senior Director of 3D Technologies at Invensas Corporation and Senior Scientist at GE Global Research Center.  Most of his career was at IBM Endicott, NY where he held both engineering and managerial positions. His area of expertise is materials and processes for advanced electronics packaging.  He holds Doctorate and Master of Science degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Chuck has presented at numerous conferences and has many publications.  He has 123 issued US patents to his credit.