The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a tool to verify the trustworthiness of electronic components.
The new DARPA program, called Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense (SHIELD), focuses on the creation of a small component, known as a dielet, for authenticating electronic parts at any step of the supply chain. DARPA wants hardware that contains a full encryption engine and sensors to detect tampering, and also has the ability to attach to current electronic components. The dielet would be inserted into an electronic component's package at a manufacturing site or attached to existing components, according to DARPA.
In addition, technology coming from the SHIELD program would guarantee protection against threats related to counterfeit electronics. SHIELD technology also would protect against clones and copies, as well as parts that have been repackaged for unauthorized applications. "What SHIELD is seeking is a very advanced piece of hardware that will offer an on-demand authentication method never before available to the supply chain," says DARPA's Kerry Bernstein.
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