SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  OSD10-A09 (OSD)
Title:  Zero Power/Ultra Low Power Tamper Detection Sensors
Research & Technical Areas:  Materials/Processes, Sensors

Acquisition Program:  
 The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.
  Objective:  Develop zero power/ultra low power tampering/reverse engineering sensor technology for use at the printed circuit board level, or integrated circuit level.
  Description:  Recent developments in nanotechnology sensors, and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) offer opportunities for creating ultra low power sensors to detect tampering and reverse engineering. The purpose of this SBIR is to develop tampering/reverse engineering sensors for the printed circuit board, or integrated circuit level that require zero power or near zero power (in the 0.1 to 1 microwatt range). Energy harvesting technologies may also be beneficial for ultra low power sensor technologies. We are not interested in materials that require visual inspection for tamper detection. We are not interested in material coatings for printed circuit boards or integrated circuits. Participation in this SBIR is limited to US citizens.

  PHASE I: Research the feasibility of developing zero power/ultra low power sensors ( < 1 microwatt continuous power consumption) for tamper detection and reverse engineering detection. We are not interested in low duty cycle sensors to reduce power consumption (e.g. 1 % duty cycle at 0.1 milliwatts gives 1 microwatt average power consumption). To demonstrate the feasibility of zero power/ultra low power sensors, simulations, simple prototypes, and/or models may be developed. Estimate the power consumption of the proposed sensor technology and estimate its sensitivity to detecting a tamper event. Provide a phase I final report to the government point of contact.
  PHASE II: Based on the phase I research, develop a prototype zero power or ultra low power tamper sensor. For ultra low power tamper sensor development, research and develop methods to further decrease power consumption. An independent lab is to test and evaluate the zero power/ultra low power tamper sensor technology. A copy of the test report is to be provided to the government point of contact. The test and evaluation is a potential opportunity for future commercialization. Deliver to the government point of contact, two tamper sensor evaluation boards and all required software tools. At the government’s facility, an on site two day sensor system seminar is to be provided. Provide a phase II final report to the government point of contact.

  PHASE III-DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Department of Defense Directive (DOD) 5000.2R provides instructions on identifying critical technologies and on defining methods to protect them. Commercialization opportunities exist throughout the Defense Department and within the government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and Intelligence Community for technologies to protect critical technologies. A commercial version of the technology could be used to protect hardware/software intellectual property (IP).

  References:   [1] K. Greene: “Memristors Make Chips Cheaper: The first hybrid memristor-transistor chip could be cheaper and more energy efficient,” 25 Nov. 2008. http://www.technologyreview.com/alt-thinking/hp_feature_article.aspx?id=21710&pg=1 [2] M. Hirose: "Challenge for future semiconductor development," IEEE International Microprocesses and Nanotechnology, pp. 2-3, Nov. 2002. [3] C. Fung and W. Li: "Ultra-low-power polymer thin film encapsulated carbon nanotube thermal sensors," IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology, pp. 158 - 160, Aug. 2004. [4] S. Shanbhag: "CMOS integrated circuit for sensing applications," IEEE VLSI Design, p. 4, Jan. 2006. [5] K. Najafi: "Low-power micromachined microsystems," ACM Proceedings of the 2000 International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design, p. 1-8, 2000. [6] Y. Yao, et al.: "Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensors and its Application," The 1st International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering, pp. 1043 - 1046, July 2007. [7] K. Bourzac: "TR10: Nanopiezoelectronics," Technology Review, MIT, March/April 2009. http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22118/ [8] R. Adam, et al.: "Current induced switching of magnetic tunnel junctions," IEEE International Magnetics Conference, p. GD - 06, March/April 2003. [9] C. Lo and Y. Huang: "High performance bipolar spin transistor," IEEE International Conference on Solid-State and Integrated Circuits Technology, Vol. 1, pp. 746 - 751, Oct. 2004.

Keywords:  MEMS, nanotechnology, magnetic, sensor, ultra low power, integrated circuit, piezoelectric, nanomaterials, thin film, plasmon, memristor, photonics, tamper resistant, reverse engineering, anti-tamper

Questions and Answers:
Q: Is the interest here to prevent Gray Market parts from being accepted as genuine, or is it that you wish to know that a specific assembly has been compromised?
A: A: "...prevent Gray Market parts from being accepted as genuine," and "...wish to know that a specific assembly has been compromised," are possible applications for Zero Power/Ultra Low Power Tamper Detection Sensors. The topic asks to develop zero power and/or ultra low power tamper detection sensors. You may propose a sensor to detect a specific tamper event.
Q: 1. If the concern is some form of compromise detection, what range of probing do you wish to address?

2. Are you interested in whether the device has been altered, or whether its technology has been examined, as in x-ray, photgraphs, etc.?
A: 1. Yes. You may propose a range of probing that you sensor will detect.

2. The listed items are potential applications for "Zero Power/Ultra Low Power Tamper Detection Sensors."

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