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Inclusion of unique DNA markers in semiconductor packaging to authenticate originality and exclude counterfeits from the supply chain.
Keywords: counterfeit, DNA, DLA
Counterfeit electronic components pose a serious threat to industry and government. In recent years, the global supply chain has diversified and the outsourcing web has opened many opportunities for influx of misrepresented materials. Today, a clever counterfeit chip can easily pass visual and other inspections, even if functionally it has no relationship to its labeled identity. The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2012 Section 818 requires the government and contractors to establish “. . . policies and procedures to eliminate counterfeit electronic parts from the defense supply chain” and, “. . . mechanisms to enable traceability of parts.” The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has proactively been investigating the feasibility of marking electronic components with a secure DNA marker as part of the manufacturing process. Inclusion of unique DNA markers in semiconductor packaging to authenticate originality and exclude counterfeits from the supply chain provides a novel level of security to improve yield and traceability. Under this concept, a unique DNA marker is bound to a quick read nanoparticle fluorescing at specific wavelengths when excited. Broad ranges of industries are successfully using this approach. In one example, components are marked with SigNature ® DNA-inoculated ink during the existing manufacturing process. Government agencies have determined the technology’s effectiveness and courts have accepted the forensic results in other industries. The DLA DNA marking project is one innovative method of assuring product authenticity. Some industry leaders are examining this approach as a means of meeting the mandates of Section 818. This paper will present an advanced technique, how unique DNA markers can be applied to electronics, and discuss a pilot demonstration that is underway on behalf of the DoD’s Defense Logistics Agency.
Alex Tran, Project Engineer
Applied DNA Sciences
Stony Brook, NY

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