SMTA International Conference Proceedings

Can AI Help Us in the Fight Against Counterfeit Components?

Authors: Bill Cardoso, Ph.D., Glen Thomas, Ph.D.
Company: Creative Electron, Inc.
Date Published: 9/22/2019   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: In this work, we introduce the use of the x-ray image as the unique fingerprint for an electronic component or printed circuit board assembly (PCBA). Unique features of the x-ray image such as solder voids, cracks, part alignment, die attach porosity and voiding, die placement and alignment, and wire bonding diagram. These are just a few of the many features in the x-ray image that can be used in tandem to create a unique fingerprint for a single component or an entire PCBA. This technique can also be expanded to mechanical objects by utilizing other idiosyncratic features of the part - such as voids and porosity - to generate the x-ray image fingerprint.

To compare the acquired image with the original fingerprint, we study the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as a powerful image comparison engine. The difference between narrow and general AI is reviewed, and results are presented.

Gartner’s Technology Hype Cycle [1] puts many applications of AI and Machine Learning (ML) in around the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ or headed into the ‘trough of disillusionment.’ Meanwhile, very few have made it onto the ‘slope of enlightenment’ let alone the ‘plateau of productivity.’

We’ve been working with AI for a while now and have seen real application and success in our own field. We believe that AI, when combined with other technologies, can be more than a game changer and can result in superpowers.

In this paper we will discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we think about x-ray inspection and counterfeit detection. Things we would never dream of doing just a few years ago are now reality by combining AI and x-ray inspection. Moreover, we will show you a series of real-life cases on how our team of AI scientists is using AI to solve the most challenging applications in x-ray inspection. And beyond x-ray inspection, we’ll examine how AI is forever changing the way in which we manufacture and inspect anything.

Key Words: 

X-ray, Radiography, NDT, Counterfeit Detection, Reverse Engineering, DFM, DFXI, Artificial Intelligence

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