March 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
The greatest threat to the global electronics supply may be a break at a weak point in the chain.  Shutterstock/Sashkin

The electronics supply chain to the West faces a greater threat from total cutoff than from having its components tinkered with by malefactors, according to some experts. Many measures currently in place to help ensure quality also serve to thwart saboteurs and counterfeiters. However, a far greater menace looms in the potential for a complete damming of the flow of chips and circuit boards, as the United States and most Western countries lack the infrastructure to pick up fabrication and manufacturing on short notice.

November 20, 2019

iCAMR Inc., Kissimmee, Florida, has been awarded a $7,585,850 cost-type contract with no fee for research and development. The Trusted Semiconductor Manufacturing Pilot Project involves developing a Secure Digital Twin for Semiconductors manufacturing methodology by applying block-chain trust and assurance security concepts and "digital twin" manufacturing concepts to the semiconductor manufacturing process. While the focus of this project is on security aspects, the "digital twin" concept provides the framework on which the security and provenance data will be collected and analyzed. Work will be performed at Kissimmee, Florida, and is expected to be complete by Sept. 22, 2022.

July 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The need from the semiconductor manufacturing industry to be able to validate circuits will only grow in the future, says Lynford Goddard, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Shutterstock/fotografos

As semiconductor manufacturers aim to produce devices at the 5-nanometer node, the ability to find tiny defects created inadvertently during the fabrication process becomes harder. In addition, there is a growing need to verify that a chip was built as specified and doesn’t contain a malicious agent. Harnessing optical methods for semiconductor wafer inspection is one way to effectively look for anomalies, says Lynford Goddard, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

May 22, 2019

IBM Global Business Services, Reston, Virginia (HQ0727-19-D-4000), is being awarded a $275,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.  The purpose of this contract is to enable “trusted” manufacturing flows in the Trusted Foundry Access II contractor’s fabrication facilities; to enable a wide-range of associated leading-edge semiconductor technologies and services; and to create a trusted supply chain with the contractor, fully certified and accredited, to deliver classified and trusted mask and wafer fabrication within an “open” commercial environment.  This program provides the additional layer of security to the commercial environment that permits government access to advanced technology manufacturing capabilities for t

July 25, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Teams selected by DARPA may help revolutionize the semiconductor industry. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

The Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced a myriad of teams from industry and academia to jumpstart innovation in the electronics industry under the approximately $1.5 billion Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI). The initiative is designed to nurture research in circuit design tools, advanced new materials and systems architectures through a mix of new and emerging programs.

April 11, 2018

Leidos Inc., S&R and Intelligence Systems Services, Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $13,870,939 ceiling cost-reimbursement contract for compact semiconductor mid- and long-wave opto-electronics research (COSMO). This contract provides for the advance of semiconductor lasers suitable for current and future infrared countermeasure applications. Work will be performed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and is expected to be complete by April 2023. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and two offers were received. Fiscal year 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $500,000 are being obligated at the time of award.

February 8, 2017

The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been awarded a $7,045,544 cost contract for advanced processing of electronics components research and development. Contractor will conduct research and development, to include, but not limited to, seeking innovative techniques towards advancing the state-of-the-art technologies for investigating new semiconductor material systems grown essentially defect free, using standard semiconductor growth techniques. Work will be performed at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be complete by February 6, 2022. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with four offers received.

January 22, 2013
George I. Seffers