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New DARPA Program Targets Counterfeit Components

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The electronics industry has tried very hard at cracking down bootleg components,  marking to x-raying. Now the DARPA (Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is calling upon engineers to solve the problem.

Counterfeiter components are prevalent in the defense supply chain. They exist in both expensive chips and components that cost pennies. This is an important issue in the industry as system failures caused by counterfeit parts can lead to loss of life and failure of military missions.

The new DARPA Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense (SHIELD) program is hoping that engineers can develop a tool that will verify protected electronic components without disrupting or harming the system.

The resulting component would be affixed to the components being protected and would be scanned for information. It would not maintain an electrical connection with the host component. The dielets could be scanned individually or in batches. The information would be stored and shared in a centralized server, which would send a challenge to the device to confirm that no tampering has occurred.

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