FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the DTEK?
DTEK is a quantitative optical inspection tool for the inspection of monolithic integrated circuit (IC) packages. It is primarily intended for use as a counterfeit mitigation tool to identify resurfacing, re-marking, or non-conforming integrated circuit packaging.

What does it do?
The DTEK optically analyzes the surface of an electronic component and outputs unambiguous quantitative information about the surface for the purpose of comparative analysis.

How does the system work?
A trained DTEK operator inputs the component data into the Covisus software application and follows the guided steps to capture a scan of the component using the DTEK hardware. After completion of all steps, the system outputs a report. The report includes a “pass/fail/not-applicable” summary result and additional detailed data.

Can I use DTEK in instead of other analytical techniques?
DTEK is not designed to be a stand-alone counterfeit mitigation tool and should be used as part of a comprehensive quality system. DTEK is not a quality system. Users should refer to documentation published by ISO, ANSI, SAE International, IDEA, the University of Maryland Center for Lifecycle Engineering (CALCE), and others in addition to federal and customer directives for information on quality systems.

Do you need a golden sample for the system to work?
No. Having a golden reference does improve the amount of information available in the report, but useful analysis can be performed without a golden sample in many instances.

Is training required?
DTEK is useable by a non-expert but does require a brief training session.

Can anyone use this?
DTEK training can be accomplished in under 1 hour and is operable by non-experts. Results interpretation is best accomplished by individuals with expertise and training in counterfeit screening and quality systems.

Is DTEK capable of analyzing all types of electronic components?
Quantitative optical inspection (as an analytical technique) is applicable to most common electronic components in metal, plastic, or ceramic packaging. DTEK is designed to analyze single-piece monolithic integrated circuits within specific size ranges. See the DTEK Test Component Specification Sheet for details (available upon request).

What is the recommended sample size?
The minimum recommended sample size is five (5) components. Analysis may be performed with less than five (5) components for the DELTA AND TANGO tests, but the quality of results will be lower. The ECHO and KILO tests, which test for variance within a sample of components, require a minimum of five (5) components.

Does it damage the test components?
If used properly, the DTEK test is nondestructive and does not damage the component.

Does the DTEK modify, tag, or change the component surface?
No. DTEK does not tag or add any marking to the components.

How long does it take?
Each scan takes under 1 second. For a trained operator, a lot sample can be analyzed in as little as five (5) minutes from start to finish. Automatic entry of component information saves considerable time and reduces errors.

Does this tell me if the part works?
No. The DTEK is not a functional testing tool.

Does a “pass” result mean that components are authentic?
No.

Can DTEK identify all types of counterfeit electronic components?
No. DTEK is primarily intended as a tool to help identify surface characteristics seen with re-marked, re-surfaced, or non-conforming integrated circuit packaging. DTEK may not identify certain types of counterfeit components such as used product that has not been remarked or counterfeits with pristine original packaging that illegally enters the supply chain.

Can the system be used for other types of products?
The DTEK system is designed for electronic components. Quantitative optical inspection techniques can be applied to other products and commodities. Covisus and its parent company, ChromoLogic LLLC, have applied quantitative optical inspection techniques to other commodity areas such as medical device parts, aerospace turbine blades, weapons, and specialty materials.

Will scratches, dust, or fingerprints confound the results and cause errors?
DTEK is designed to be resistant to common confounders such as scratches, dust, and fingerprints. However, reasonable steps should be taken to avoid unnecessary confounders. Highly damaged, scratched, or dirty surfaces may cause one or more components to fail, or to be flagged in the ECHO or KILO tests as non-conforming as compared to the other sample components. Wearing latex gloves or finger cots is not required, but is recommended.

Can lot-to-lot variation or different manufacturing facilities cause “false positive” results?
Yes. Quantitative optical inspection is based on comparative analysis. If manufacturing differences create different surface features, a “fail” summary result may occur when comparing one or more authentic components. Covisus testing on components from different date codes and countries of origin have not shown large variations in surface characteristics or high false positive error rates, but that may not be the case for all manufacturers.

Is it safe?
DTEK does not use any harmful chemicals or emit harmful radiation. However, the system emits high-intensity white light (“illumination”). Operators should not disassemble the system or look directly into the illumination banks. Users should follow all instructions in the user safety manual.

Can it be used by Component Manufacturers to protect their brands and products?
Yes, component manufacturers can implement Covisus technology to provide authorized references samples to customers. Covisus has also demonstrated optical “tag-free” track-and-trace. This allows supply chains to track individual components with a high degree of confidence throughout its lifecycle without the addition of markings, codes, tags, or any physical changes to the component at the time of initial data capture. DTEK does not require an initial scan by a component manufacturer to operate.

 

Please contact us if you have any additional questions about the DTEK system.

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