DARPA awarded a $12.3 million contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation and its partners for the agency’s SHIELD (Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense) program in 2015. SHIELD aims to stop counterfeit electronic parts from entering the supply chain by implementing an authentication solution consisting of a miniaturized chip called a dielet, under development by Northrop Grumman, and software to validate the authenticity of electronic parts, being developed by RFID Global Solution.
RFID Global Solution, under contract from Northrop Grumman, has led the development of an enterprise-class electronics parts authentication application. If successful, the technology would help provide a secure, scalable authentication solution suitable for global roll-out to commercial and defense electronics manufacturers and their customers. The SHIELD program aims to eliminate counterfeit parts at a fraction of the cost of today’s manual processes, and will transition to commercial release in 2019.
A 2012 Senate Armed Services Committee report on counterfeit electronic parts in the DoD supply chain found counterfeit parts to be a widespread problem in the defense supply chain. Faulty or fake components present a critical risk in military systems, electronics systems and sensors, where a malfunction of a single part could endanger missions and lives.
With the SHIELD program, DARPA wants to develop dependable, yet inexpensive technology which will provide unprecedented levels of assurance against recycled components that are sold as new; substandard components sold as high-quality; parts marked with falsely elevated reliability or newer dates of manufacture; low-quality clones and copies that may include hidden functionality; components that are covertly repackaged for unauthorized applications, and unlicensed overproduction of authorized components, DARPA officials say.
SHIELD uses the latest advances in 14 nanometer integrated circuit technologies for producing the world’s smallest and least expensive anti-tamper/counterfeit detection technology.
The goal of DARPA’s SHIELD program is to eliminate counterfeit integrated circuits from the electronics supply chain by making counterfeiting too complex and time-consuming to be cost effective.
SOURCES- DARPA, RFID Global Solution
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