This is great information from one of our premiere partners in quality inspection methods. White Horse Labs
Is your MLCC Original?
The world around us is increasingly electrified and microelectronics are everywhere. Whether smartphones, displays, or cars: multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC) are used in almost all types of electronic circuits. At the same time, the number of MLCCs per unit has grown by up to 40%. This has led to an unprecedented increase in demand, which has pushed manufacturers‘ production capacity to their limits since the middle of 2017. According to industry experts, the tense market situation will continue until at least 2020.
Given the current delivery times of up to one year or even longer, many MLCC users have been forced to buy products on the open market. Of course, this opens the door to clones and counterfeit contaminating the supply chain. White Horse has developed a comprehensive test procedure for you that verifies the authenticity of the components accurately, reliably and at high throughput speeds so that you can confidently counter the uncertainty when purchasing MLCCs.
We have seen a dramatic rise in MLCC counterfeiting since 2016.
In 2017 and YTD 2018, roughly 25% of received lots have been found to be substandard or counterfeit.
Simply put, MLCCs are layered electrodes with ceramic dielectric material in between. Their electrical properties are determined by the compounds used for the dielectric and the electrodes as well as by the number of electrodes and the distance between the electrodes.
The challenge in identifying MLCCs is that counterfeits and substandard devices cannot be detected using conventional testing methods. Neither an external visual inspection (EVI) nor electrical testing of capacitance and voltage alone provide a reliable indication of whether the product is cloned or original. Even standard protocols for component testing such as X-ray or decapsulation cannot be used for passive discrete components such as MLCCs.
In order to meet the unique identity requirements for MLCCs, the engineers of White Horse Laboratories have conducted extensive studies with verified original products and their clones, analyzed the data and paid particular attention to the manufacturing signatures of the MLCC manufacturers. This way, White Horse Laboratories has been able to develop a comprehensive test procedure that not only measures the performance of the capacitor to its specifications, but also the way it has been produced and whether it matches the signature for its designated manufacturer. The test procedure goes far beyond EVI and basic capacitance testing and evaluates the entire MLCC fingerprint.
A UNIQUE TESTING PACKAGE:
FAST, RELIABLE AND COST-EFFECTIVE RESULTS
The external visual inspection (EVI) of our test profile focuses on the packaging labels and reels as well as the color and dimensions of the components. The parametric measurement targets capacitance (C), Q or dissipation factor (DF), insulation resistance (IR), dielectric strength, or equivalent series resistance (ESR) according to manufacturer specifications. Not only do we check whether the measurements are within the tolerance limits, we also consider the distance between the dimensions themselves. We check at ambient temperatures as well as at defined min/max operating temperatures. After the cross section, the materials and layering of the electrodes and terminals are examined.
|OUR MLCC TESTING SERVICE AT A GLANCE*|
|Documentation & packaging||All||Documentation & packaging (DPI) labels, reels, date/lot code verification|
|External visual inspection (EVI)||122pcs||Dimension and colour variation|
|Parametric testing at ambient conditions||122pcs||Tested at 25C before and after overvoltage testing|
|Parametric testing at temp range conditions||5pcs||Tested at manufacturer-defined min/max operating conditions|
|Insulation Resistance (IR) and Dielectric Strength test||5pcs||Tested at manufacturer-defined test condition|
|Cross section||2pcs||High magnification microscopy|
|Composite materials analysis||2pcs||Concentration of elements present in target area|