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DARPA’s Kerry Bernstein: SRI Builds Instrument to Find Counterfeit Chips

electronics motherboard microchip_EBizDefense Advanced Research Projects Agency research partner SRI International has delivered the Advanced Scanning Optical Microscope to the Naval Surface Warfare Center‘s Crane division to aid forensic analysis of integrated circuits and other microelectronics.

DARPA said Tuesday the technology supports its Integrity and Reliability of Integrated Circuits program, which aims to detect counterfeit microelectronics on U.S. military cybersecurity and weapon systems.

“Without the ability to influence and regulate the off-shore fabrication of IC, there is a risk that parts acquired for DoD systems may not meet stated specifications for performance and reliability,” said Kerry Bernstein, a program manager at DARPA.

“This risk increases considerably with the proliferation of counterfeit IC in the marketplace.”

ASOM works to use an infrared laser beam to perform nondestructive, nanometer-level analysis on the microchip and determine information such as chip construction, modifications and functions, the agency said.

Bernstein added that the instrument aims to help ensure hardware security and reliability at Defense Department facilities such as NSWC Crane.

DARPA said the IRIS program began in 2010 and also provides processes and technologies for IC lifespan and functionality.

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