IBM Roped in by Darpa to Make Self Destructing Chips

February 6, 2014, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

You have known all about chips and their different makes. What if you encounter self-destructing chips now? Technology giant IBM has been roped in by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, aka Darpa to create such chips.

Darpa is learned to have paid IBM £3.4m to go about undertaking the project. The amount has been earmarked from a government scheme called Vanishing Programmable Resources, which was kickstarted last year.

The aim is to develop “electronic systems capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner”.

IBM Roped in by Darpa to Make Self Destructing Chips

With the new project in its kitty, IBM is now looking to chips which turn into dust when remotely prompted to destroy themselves.

So as to go ahead achieving this goal, IBM will be putting to play a fuse that would break a thin glass substrate that forms the base of the chip. The self destructing mechanism will also be capable of destroying the CMOS chip.

The upcoming creation could well help military personnel in many of their endeavours where they would need to ensure that no sensitive stuff is left behind after a well planned important mission.

It is also being reported that Darpa had also invested an amount of $4.5m in BAE last month so as to create a sensor that will dissolve when it is not needed any longer.

According to the government document, IBM is expected to “utilise the property of strained glass substrates to shatter as the driving force to reduce attached CMOS chips into Si and SiO2 powder. A trigger, such as a fuse or a reactive metal layer will be used to initiate shattering, in at least one location, on the glass substrate. An external RF signal will be required for this process to be initiated. IBM will explore various schemes to enhance glass shattering and techniques to transfer this into the attached Si CMOS devices.”

Hope the new creations would stay within the military infrastructure, and not extend their reach to devices like handsets and the like.

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