Like the weather, everyone talks about the problem of counterfeiting but few really do anything about it. That’s why the government is stepping in with its call for a solution backed by millions in investment.
The electronic supply chain is plagued by counterfeit parts, and even the US military is not immune. That’s why in February 2014 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched the SHIELD program. Unlike in the Marvel universe, the acronym does not stand for Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division but for Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense.
The program’s goal, according to the title of the announcement and call for proposals, is to find a “tiny, cheap, and foolproof” solution for authenticating electronic components. When they said cheap, they really meant it. Kerry Bernstein, DARPA’s program manager, was quoted as saying that the cost should be “less than a penny per unit” while functioning well enough to provide a thorough disincentive for counterfeiters. It was to be no less than “an on-demand authentication method never before available to the supply chain.”
Read more inCountering Counterfeits with SHIELD’s Dialet Solution