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Microchip MEMS Iron Maiden

Award Information

Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Nanohmics, Inc
6201 East Oltorf St. Suite 400 Austin, TX 78741-7511
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Microchip MEMS Iron Maiden
Agency / Branch: DOD / OSD
Contract: W31P4Q-06-C-0358
Award Amount: $99,991.00


As a last resort, self-destruct technologies must be employed to protect sensitive electronic data. Squib-induced pyrotechnics and low energy electro-explosives that provide a controlled explosive force can be effective in the destruction of the silicon microchip. However, explosives and chemical reactants packaged with electronic devices pose safety, storage and disposal hazards even if the detonation mechanism is reliably safe. Likewise, electronic self-destruct methods require high power and homogenous field distribution to be effective at data disruption and run the risk of leaving the microcircuitry intact for visual inspection by an adversarial reverse engineer. As an alternative, Nanohmics proposed to develop a novel method to physically destroy the silicon microcircuity using a method of micromechanical pulverization. In this regard, a package-level MEMS device will be driven into the circuit side of a silicon microchip (e.g. microprocessor, memory, sensors). In the event of a triggered mechanical actuation , the MEMS device will impact the silicon surface resulting in massive fragmentation of the frangible silicon microchip. Physical fragmentation will render the microchip (e.g. microprocessor, flash memory, sensor) irrecoverably inoperable and the electronic content as well as the physical chip architecture untraceable.

Principal Investigator:

Don Patterson
Principal Scientist

Business Contact:

Keith Jamison
Small Business Information at Submission:

6201 East Oltorf St., Suite 400 Austin, TX 78741

EIN/Tax ID: 743072245
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No