Anti-Counterfeiting Standards Task Force Launched at SEMICON West 2007
At SEMICON West 2007, SEMI and the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced the formation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF), which addresses the pervasive problem of counterfeit products, resulting in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars on an annual basis. Initially conceptualized by the SIA, SEMI was enlisted as the standards developing organization of choice because of its longstanding experience in developing global industry standards. Currently, companies such as Intel, YottaMark, Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, Verify Brand, Kinesys, Rochester Electronics and TUV Rheinland are represented in the group, and an open call for new participants has been issued.
Anti-counterfeiting—a new SEMI Standards program
“We welcome this new activity into the International Standards program, as SEMI can provide the platform and process to allow volunteers to collectively and globally address this pressing issue,” said Bettina Weiss, director of International Standards at SEMI. SEMI hopes to generate greater industry awareness and increase participation in the task force.
Steps necessary start with batch encryption
The ACTF will initially act as a forum to discuss the steps necessary to protect the industry against counterfeiting, but it will begin evaluating requirements for the development of standards that allow suppliers to place encrypted codes on containers, which will enable online authentication of content by distributors and purchasers further down the supply chain.
In addition, the group has proposed an initial solution that involves two related activities: labeling batches of authentic goods with strongly-encrypted batch numbers and offering a free authentication service to those who are considering making a purchase of a batch of goods, using the encrypted batch number as the basis for a validation check.
Open standards are needed
Key issues in implementing this solution are consensus-based open standards incorporating input from suppliers, users and others, and product authentication service providers, which incorporate system architecture, object labeling, authentication service communication and authentication service provider qualifications. Because of its strong experience in traceability, the SEMI North America Standards Traceability Technical Committee has been tasked with developing appropriate standards for the ACTF. The North America Traceability Standards Anti-Counterfeiting TF believes the activity will grow rapidly into an international effort and will work closely with the Japan Standards Traceability Technical Committee and other interested parties in the development phase.
The anti-counterfeiting workshop at SEMICON West 2007 introduced the topic of counterfeit products, and provided a platform for enabling stakeholders at all levels of the semiconductor value chain to exchange views on a proposal to promote industry-wide use of Authentication Service Providers to counter the growing counterfeit problem. To better illustrate the issues, the workshop featured live demonstrations on how authentication services are used to protect products, companies and brand identities.
About The SIA
Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is the leading voice for the semiconductor industry and has represented U.S semiconductor companies since 1977 and SIA member companies comprise more than 85% of the U.S. semiconductor industry. Collectively, the chip industry employs a domestic workforce of 232,000 people. More information about SIA can be found at www.sia-online.org.