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August 2023 – Avoid Counterfeit Components

GD Rectifiers explains ways to avoid the industry’s most deceptive challenge: the counterfeit market

Counterfeit semiconductor components

Counterfeit components are becoming widely spread, with engineers under increasing pressure to deliver projects on time and on budget, often grey market components are purchased without even realising it. Counterfeit components are a huge threat to the global electronic supply chain and with the market growing every year, it’s having a massive affect on authorised manufacturers and the components they supply. Counterfeit components are jeopardising authentic manufacturers and putting immense strain of the electronic manufacturing industry.

Many grey market operators will manufacture replica components to make large profit margins and capitalise on OEMs long lead times. The danger with counterfeit semiconductors is that they are often not fit for purpose and cannot withstand the applications the authentic part is supplied for. The component life is dramatically reduced, forcing engineers to ‘buy cheap, buy twice’.


Issues with counterfeit components

Grey market goods can potentially be very dangerous and can compromise the electronic device no matter how small the incorrect parts are. If all parts within a device break or do not perform as expected, they can cause safety and product performance issues which is likely to damage supplier relationships. Counterfeit components are generally a much lower quality compared to the authentic parts which almost guarantees the device will not perform to the required standard. In industries where public safety is top priority, such as: aerospace, manufacturing, military and medical sectors, high performing, reliability and safety in electronic components are of paramount importance.

Counterfeit components can easily damage a company’s reputation and customer or supplier relationships. These grey market goods could cause major failures and delay some of the economies biggest infrastructure projects.


How to avoid counterfeit components

Parts should be purchased directly through authorised distributors or the original component manufacturer where possible.

Customers will have peace of mind that knowing that they are purchasing authentic components from a reputable source.

Most original component manufacturers will display a list of their authorised distributors on their websites for customers to contact, if customers are in doubt they can always call the manufacturer to ask whether a particular company or website is an official distributor.

It is often possible to identify a counterfeit component just by looking at it, sometimes you can see incorrect labelling or misspelling of the component or if in doubt you can always check the date code and parts on the labels match up.


GD Rectifiers prides itself on being a reliable source for engineers, buyers and procurement specialists sourcing power electronic components. GD Rectifiers is an authorised distributor for over 25 of the world’s leading electronic component manufacturers including IXYS, Semikron and EDI, we only source components direct from OCMs and authorised sources.

GD Rectifiers often has customers contact them regarding advice on recent counterfeit purchases and order the authentic parts from them. Whilst it is a terrible situation, costing engineers’ lots of time and money having to re-source the components and effectively pay for the component twice, GD Rectifiers always encourages customers to buy from a reliable source and to check date codes, country of origin and confirm that companies are authorised distributors before placing an order.

For further information on GD Rectifiers’ product range, or to discuss your project requirements, please call: 01444 243 452 or email:

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