One dodgy semi component reported every 15 seconds

The semiconductor supply chain is throwing up one counterfeit part every 15 seconds.

More than 12 million parts have entered supply since 2007, and the number of incidents is continuing to rise. Last year the number of counterfeit incidents rose to the highest ever, according to IHS iSuppli and ERAI data.

During 2011 the number of incidents of counterfeit components being recorded amounted to 1,363, with each incident accounting for thousands of dodgy parts.

While the finger is often pointed at China for hooky goods, the reality is that most actually turn up in the States.

Companies in both China and the US accounted for the overwhelming majority of counterfeit incidents last year, but it was America which unearthed the most with 33 percent of the total. China meanwhile accounted for 32 percent.

The countries of origin for the dodgy goods were less clear, as the accuracy of data is limited because counterfeiters are adept at covering their tracks.

It was in Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines that 64 percent of reports came from.

This has repercussions throughout the electronics industry, with IHS estimating that the counterfeiting threat amounts to $169 billlion risk in term of the semi market.