Marking of Components for Avoidance of Counterfeit Parts

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0147-13-C-7310
Agency Tracking Number: B122-026-0180
Amount: $149,991.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA12-026
Solicitation Number: 2012.2
Small Business Information
180 N Vinedo Ave, Pasadena, CA, -
DUNS: 168312028
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Purnell
 Research Scientist
 (626) 381-9974
Business Contact
 Naresh Menon
Title: CEO
Phone: (626) 381-9974
Research Institution
Counterfeit parts, by definition are substandard, which compromises long life-cycle systems overseen by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Recent investigations by the Senate Armed Services Committee uncovered 1800 cases of suspected counterfeit electronic parts, with the total number of counterfeit parts exceeding 1,000,000. Putative solutions to the counterfeit electronics problem include both inspection technologies and authentication solutions, but these stop short of providing 100% assurance of authenticity, and often require extensive operator expertise and training. Authentication solutions which involve application of a taggant material and enrollment into secure database are available, with 13 different tags on the market. However, no secure tagging solution has been widely adopted in the electronics industry. This is attributed primarily to lack of flexibility for different microelectronic product types and processes, and a lack of consensus from end users on authentication solutions,. Furthermore, none of the existing authentication solutions are capable of identifying used products fraudulently represented as new. To address this need, the Quantitative Optical Tracking system performs rapid, inexpensive, nondestructive two factor authentication based on two identifying markers: 1) intrinsic micron-scale optical surface characteristics of electronic components, and 2) an applied taggant pattern which is permanent, cost-effective, and suitable for DoD production hardware.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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