New SEMI Standards to Combat IC Chip Counterfeiting

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New SEMI Standards to Combat IC Chip Counterfeiting

SEMI and SIA Collaborate on Approaches for Industry-Wide IP Protection Issues

SEMI has published new standards designed to facilitate identification of counterfeit IC chips. The secure technique of product authentication covered by these standards can be practiced consistently at key points in the trade stream, driving unintended counterfeit purchases to a minimum. The authentication can be deployed easily and relatively inexpensively in a wide variety of settings.

These new standards help trusted manufacturers of authentic goods use strongly-encrypted batch numbers. Using a free authentication service, anyone considering the purchase of a batch of goods can use the encrypted batch number as the basis for a validation check. Secure serialization is a major deterrent to counterfeiters

“Counterfeit products in semiconductor manufacturing are profitable, so counterfeiters will continue to break the law. But now we have an early warning system if counterfeiting occurs,” said James Amano, Director, SEMI International Standards, “so more counterfeiters will be caught and punished. Plus, reduced counterfeiting will result in increased downstream manufacturing yield and less down time.”

These standards were developed because the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force asked the SEMI Traceability Committee to develop a suite of global, open, consensus-based industry standards that cover: the overall system description, object labeling, authentication service communication, and Authentication Service Body (ASB) qualifications. The new standards are the result of work by members of the Traceability Committee in the United States and Japan over the past several years. These standards constitute three of the four standards to be developed in this area. The fourth will describe the various communication links in greater detail.

Although secure serialization systems alone do not prevent the copying or theft of codes, they can be effective at detecting that such fraud has occurred. Thus, secure serialization serves as a deterrent and an early warning system. Developed for use with semiconductor circuits and devices, these procedures can also be extended to apply to other electronic parts and other types of products.

The new SEMI Standards that are focused on deterring IC chip counterfeiting include:

  • SEMI T20 — Specification for Authentication of Semiconductors and Related Products
  • SEMI T20.1 — Specification for Object Labeling to Authenticate Semiconductors and Related Products in an Open Market
  • SEMI T20.2 — Guide for Qualifications of Authentication Service Bodies for Detecting and Preventing Counterfeiting of Semiconductors and Related Products

The SEMI Standards Program, established in 1973, covers all aspects of semiconductor process equipment and materials, from wafer manufacturing to test, assembly and packaging, in addition to the manufacture of flat panel displays, photovoltaic systems and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). More than 2,100 volunteers worldwide participate in the program, which is made up of 19 global technical committees.

SEMI Standards are published three times a year. The new standards, part of the November 2009 publication cycle, join more than 780 standards published by SEMI during the past 35 years. More information about the SEMI standards is available at For pricing or product information, please contact Susan Turner at 408.943.7019.

The new and the revised standards were developed by technical experts from equipment and materials suppliers, device manufacturers and other companies participating in the SEMI International Standards Program. The standards are available for download purchase at They are also available through a new SEMI Standards product called SEMIViews, an online Web 2.0 service enabling access to SEMI International Standards 24/7 from any location. For more information, visit

November 2, 2009