EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 10 (UPI) -- Counterfeit computer chips finding their way into phones, military hardware and hospital equipment could put lives at risk, a U.S. research firm says.
Semiconductor analyst company IHS iSuppli said more than 1,363 instances of fake chips were reported in 2011.
The military and aerospace firms were the most likely to be hit with the fakes, it said, with the most widely counterfeited chips being memory chips, microprocessors and analogue integrated circuits.
Most of the fake parts are either cheap copies as substitutes or salvaged waste components that fail to meet quality requirements, an iSuppli release said.
Using counterfeit chips could have serious consequences because they are much more likely to fail, an iSuppli spokesman said.
"A faulty counterfeit analogue IC can cause problems ranging from a mundane dropped phone call to a serious tragedy in the aviation, medical, military, nuclear or automotive areas," Rory King said in a statement.
"For the global electronics supply chain, tackling the problem of counterfeit and fraudulent components has become an issue of paramount importance."