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A method to detect counterfeit integrated circuits through the use of a microwave resonator

Engineering & Physical Sciences
Research & Design Tools
Electronic Testing
Electronics
Semiconductors, MEMS & Nanotechnology
College
College of Engineering (COE)
Researchers
Lee, Robert
Gildenmeister, Kraig
Licensing Manager
Hong, Dongsung Hong.923@osu.edu

T2020-120 A novel method to detect a counterfeit integrated circuit (IC) and to authenticate an IC using the electromagnetic characteristics of the IC and a resonator

The Need

The presence of counterfeit integrated circuits (commonly referred to as “ICs” or “chips”) in a supply chain, such as a military supply chain, can result in either a failure of a critical system or a compromise of the data on that system. These counterfeit chips may not be genuine, or genuine but old and resold as new, or a trojan may be inserted into the supply chain for nefarious purposes. In many cases, it is very difficult to discern these counterfeits because they are inside a package that hides the actual electronics. Thus, there is a need to be able to identify the nature of chips in a non-destructive manner.

The Technology

A team of researchers at The Ohio State University led by Dr. Robert Lee has developed a novel method to detect a counterfeit integrated circuit (IC) and to authenticate an IC using the electromagnetic characteristics of the IC and a resonator. This method allows for the creation of a database to maintain values of electromagnetic characteristics of ICs, including authentic ICs. Machine learning may be used to generate and maintain the database.

A microwave resonator has certain electromagnetic characteristics such as resonance frequency, impedance and Q (a term specific to electrical engineering) which is based on the geometry and material composition of the resonator. If one places an object in the resonator, all of the stated characteristic parameters will change value. This amount of change is based on the geometry and material composition of the object, which in this case is the integrated circuit. Because each integrated circuit has a different geometry and composition, each integrated circuit can be categorized by this change. Thus, if one knows the change associated with a genuine chip, one can determine if a given chip is genuine.

Commercialization

  • Defense & Security
  • Networking & Communications
  • Electronics

Benefits

  • Nondestructive Method to Identify Integrated Circuits
  • Identifies circuits through electromagnetic characteristics