Securing Chips During Manufacturing

David Lam, chairman of Multibeam, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how next-gen lithography tools can be used to prevent cyber attacks and counterfeiting of hardware. SE: How did you get into the anti-counterfeiting business? Lam: About three years ago we were working with some customers that were troubled by the counterfeiting problem. We became aware of that sense o... » read more

DoD Scratches Its Head Over Foundry Security

When the GlobalFoundries deal with IBM to acquire its foundries closes, as it is slated to sometime during 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense has a small problem on its hands. Military programs no longer will have access to a trusted fab to manufacture semiconductors. How do you ensure that the foundry did not modify or alter your design, add backdoor access or implement a remote control mech... » read more

System Bits: May 5

Fight counterfeiting with fingerprint chips Given that no two human fingerprints are exactly alike, an MIT spinout uses random variations in silicon chips as authentication identifiers for consumer products. Silicon chips are similar as manufacturing processes cause microscopic variations in chips that are unpredictable, permanent, and effectively impossible to clone. MIT spinout Verayo ... » read more

DNA For Cryptography Chips

Counterfeit chips are here to stay. There are all kinds of reasons they should never be used, but certain segments of the chip market have more critical fallout from such chips than others. In most cases counterfeit chip use is unintentional. It simply goes undetected in the vast supply chain, sometimes with life-threatening repercussions. But whether in life-safety or low-end consumer produ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 22

Detecting counterfeit goods Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are critical for use in the production of cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy, health care, national defense systems and others. Researchers are looking for new ways to integrate rare earths into potential chips and other applications. For example, the Massachuset... » read more