Big Development in Electronic IDs Market as Researchers Create a New Method to Identify Counterfeit Electronic Devices

Posted On September 21, 2021     

The interconnection between digital electronics, wireless technologies, and micromechanical electronic has grown over the decade. However, with the growing ease also comes the question of security. The Internet of Things is exceptionally vulnerable to forgeries and external tampering, leading to complete telecommunication networks failure. In 2017, counterfeit devices sold from pharmaceuticals to electronics comprised $1.2 Trillion (approx.) worldwide. As a result, improved security measures or solutions that can assist consumers in distinguishing between counterfeit and genuine products are urgently needed.
 
Researchers have unveiled a new method that could help avert counterfeit computer chips and other technologies from saturating the market. The approach demonstrated can authenticate products prior to their shipment from the factors electronically. The method has the potential to be a massive contribution to the Electronic Ids Market as it facilitates unique identifications of components in a way that is unalterable, inexpensive, and secure.
 
To develop the method, the team employed a popular technique referred to as ‘doping.’ The process involves the implantation of tiny clusters of “foreign” atoms (differentiated from the elements present in the device) beneath the surface. The atoms so implanted work towards altering the electrical properties of the device’s topmost layer without causing any harm. Thus, a unique label is created as a result that can be read-only through an electrical scanner.
 
Doping as a tool for creating electronic tags for the device is not a particularly novel idea. However, the present technique gets the edge as it uses the sharp tip of an AFM (Atomic Force Microscope) to probe the implant atoms. This makes the procedure cost-efficient and straightforward while also reducing the need for sophisticated equipment than the techniques that employ lasers or beams of ions. Further, the process is also comparatively less damaging.
 
The team narrated that a sticker is embedded in every device wherein each is electronic and unique due to the different amounts and forms of dopant present in atoms. Every dopant-modified lattice has novel impedance according to type and amount of dopant. This results in the production of a lattice that can work as a differentiated electronic label like a nanometer-scale version of a QR code. Whenever a beam of radio waves from the scanner is directed towards the device, the electrically altered lattice will respond by producing a unique radiofrequency matching their impedance. In this manner, counterfeit devices can be easily recognized as they would never respond to the scanner like the original ones.

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