Engineering Uncategorized

Counterfeit Electronics Detection – An Ontonix Success Story


From a Hill’s article:

“… counterfeit electronics that threaten the reliability of military hardware and our critical infrastructure for telecommunications, energy and transportation. A study by the Senate Armed Services Committee found more than 1,800 cases of suspected counterfeits in advanced missile systems, helicopters, submarines and more. Because our company provides counterfeit detection services and parts to Department of Defense agencies, we participated in the study.

Why are counterfeits a problem? Today’s defense technologies require sensitive electronic components assembled in ultra-clean room environments; a foreign object smaller than a flake of dandruff can compromise reliability within a single device.”

There are numerous methods of counterfeit electronics detection. SAIC, in collaboration with Ontonix, has utilized our QCM (Quantitative Complexity Management) technology and has obtained outstanding results. The following slides are from a publicly available presentation made by SAIC:






Counterfeit components, depending on the excitation method used, can be detected because their complexity is different from that of genuine components. This can be difficult with more conventional methods.

Write to to obtain the full presentation.

Established originally in 2005 in the USA, Ontonix is a technology company headquartered in Como, Italy. The unusual technology and solutions developed by Ontonix focus on countering what most threatens safety, advanced products, critical infrastructures, or IT network security - the rapid growth of complexity. In 2007 the company received recognition by being selected as Gartner's Cool Vendor. What makes Ontonix different from all those companies and research centers who claim to manage complexity is that we have a complexity metric. This means that we MEASURE complexity. We detect anomalies in complex defense systems without using Machine Learning for one very good reason: our clients don’t have the luxury of multiple examples of failures necessary to teach software to recognize them. We identify anomalies without having seen them before. Sometimes, you must get it right the first and only time!

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