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Microelectronics support nearly all Department of Defense (DoD) activities, enabling capabilities such as the global positioning system, radar, command and control, and communications. Ensuring secure access to leading-edge microelectronics, however, is a challenge. The changing global semiconductor industry and the sophistication of U.S. adversaries, who might target military electronic components, suggest the need for an updated microelectronics security framework.
See that black speck on the Lincoln’s penny-minted nostril? And on the right, notice another three
of those specks comfortably framed by the eye of a needle? Those semiconductor chiplets, or “dielets”
as DARPA Program Manager Kerry Bernstein calls them, could become Lilliputian electronic
tamper-watching sentinels affixed to virtually every chip built into commercial and military systems.