Updated: Oct 25, 2019
Recycling and Ghost Marking (Examples of Remarked and Recycled Chips)
It’s the most common way of counterfeiting. More than 80% of the counterfeit components are recycled and remarked . In recycling, components are removed from scrapped printed circuit boards (PCBs) and their package is repainted or “blacktopped” and/or remarked and then they are sold as new parts.
In some cases, the die is removed from the packaging and then repackaged and remarked to the device in demand. What is really dangerous about recycling is when the recycled part is not functional or the prior usages have done some damage to its functionality.
Taking the die out of a package includes acid decapsulation of the plastic package, removing the bond wires (the wires that connect the die with the outside pins) using tweezers, heating the package to loosen die from the leadframe and sanding the back side of the die. Dies are sent later to the assembly house in China for new packaging.