Contract no.194EU/22.10.2012 for co-financial support of Romanian partners in FP7 projects participation (ChipCheck)

National funded projects
October, 2012 to January, 2013

Partially Financed by Romanian Ministry of National Education UEFISCDI–CAPACITIES Programme-3rd Module–FP7

Development of Novel X-ray Inspection Systems for Fast Automated Detection of Counterfeit PCB Components

Acronym: ChipCheck
State Budget value: 438.451,12 RON
Duration: 3 months
Project manager: Dr. Mihai IOVEA; e-mail:
Official web Address:

ObjectiveThe aim of the project is to develop an automated X-ray inspection system for detecting counterfeit electronic components (primarily integrated circuits) before planting them on the printed circuit board in the production line.

The system is fully automated the entire process being driven by the computer. Our contribution to the project was linked to the development of tests and preliminary experiments with linear radiation detectors, including the TDI type as a cheaper and with better results technical option.

Seventh Framework Programme


Single stage:  20/10/2012 – 31/12/2012

Phase objectives: The purpose of this first phase is to present our achievements in the project, consisting of some tests and experiments on detecting internal structure of integrated circuits by high resolution X-ray digital radiography to identify counterfeit components. Altogether, on this basis was made and a proposal for mechanical design using a prototype based on the linear high resolution X-ray detector.

Phase summary: In the context of this phase was projected a scan driver of the IC samples consisting of minifocus X-ray source, a radiation beam detector having a pixel of 50 microns and a mechanical scanner, a CT adapted solution existing in our laboratory. With this system were scanned various integrated circuits and electronic components, aiming to identify their internal structure. In addition, it was shown a possible solution to the final prototype, by shaping a solution based on the use of a linear radiation detector.


Single stage: 01/01/2013 – 20/02/2013

Execution phase objectives: This last phase of the project on the implementation of an automated X-ray inspection for detecting counterfeit electronic components (primarily integrated circuits) was devoted to presenting the results of a last experiment conducted in optimized conditions, and to achieving a new general draft of such facilities. Experiments were conducted with a TDI type radiation detector but this time we used a microfocus source this combination being ideal for the project’s purpose. Based on the components used and the results obtained was made a general concept design of such a facility dedicated to the automatic detection of counterfeit electronic components and PCBs verification.

Phase summary: In this phase was used a X-ray microfocus source which, together with a TDI radiation detector, has made the system’s resolution to reach about 18 microns (see images bellow), results based on the measurements carried out in configuration with a 3-4 times magnification. Altogether, based on the gathered results was also performed a project proposal of mechanical prototype system, based on using a linear high resolution X-ray TDI detector and a type of X-ray minifocus sources. As an innovation, this design allows the scanning of PCBs at different angles, managing to encapsulate two cars in one - a counterfeit detection component and a complex PCB investigation system.

These last tests and experiments have shown that using a linear radiation detector in combination with a TDI type microfocus source to identify all significant internal details of counterfeit electronic components so they can be identified easily by comparison. Altogether, the overall design presented included the possibility of scanning the PCBs, which resulted in increasing the utility of the product and its competitiveness, taking into account its relatively low estimated price.