Typically, an electronic component goes through process of design, fabrication, assembly, distribution, usage in the system, and finally end of life. Obsolete integrated circuits (ICs) are commonly targeted by counterfeiters through recycling, remarking, and cloning. If counterfeit components end up in critical applications such as defense, aerospace, automotive, or medical systems, the results could be catastrophic. This research will raise awareness of counterfeiting, piracy, and electronic components recycling and remarking issues which will have positive socioeconomic effects on electronic components innovation and growth, rights' holders and consumers.
Detecting these counterfeit ICs is an extremely difficult task because of the large number of counterfeit types, part types, and defects and anomalies associated with the counterfeit parts. In this project, we develop innovative 2D/3D optical imaging for detecting exterior physical defects, novel 3D X-ray imaging technologies for interior physical defects detection and to eliminate the need for decapping of ICs, and a Tera-Hertz imaging technology for exterior and interior physical defects detection.
Detecting counterfeit integrated circuits (ICs) has become a major challenge due to the deficiencies in the existing solutions. This project made a significant contribution to developing innovative techniques for improving detection capabilities and reducing test time/cost. The intellectual merits include (i) development of innovative 2D/3D optical imaging for detecting exterior physical defects in an automated fashion resulting in reduced test time and cost significantly while increasing the confidence level considerably. (ii) developing novel 3D X-ray imaging technologies for interior physical defects detection and to eliminate the need for decapping of parts. (iii) Development of Tera-Hertz imaging technology for exterior and interior physical defects detection. Benefits for society include trustworthy electronics for healthcare and dependable computing platforms for intelligence, weather forecasting, financial transactions, military systems, etc. This research impacted the education of students and professionals through courses, online materials, and on- and off-campus seminars and presentations. Presentations made at many companies, universities, and technical events. Also, the first ever book on detection and avoidance of counterfeit integrated circuits, published by Springer, was authored by Prof. Tehtanipoor. By integrating the results of this project into various existing courses in undergraduate and graduate curriculum, the PIs impart an excellent engineering knowledge to electrical and computer engineering students and improve their skills on hardware security, reliability, and verification.