DOD to research self-destructing computer chips

2/7/2014

DOD to research self-destructing computer chips

The U.S. military could soon be one step closer to making "Mission Impossible" a reality

The Pentagon and the Defense Advance Projects Agency announced in January that they have chosen technology firm IBM to produce processes that would render the mobile technologies used by soldiers in the field useless after the operational length of missions - or if they fell into the wrong hands, Military.com reported. Modern troops use mobile technologies in a wide variety of applications, such as GPS devices, smartphones and health monitoring devices. DARPA has titled the initiative the "Vanishing Programmable Resources" program.

"These electronics have become necessary for operations, but it is almost impossible to track and recover every device," DARPA officials said in a statement. "At the end of operations, these electronics are often found scattered across the battlefield and might be captured by the enemy and repurposed or studied to compromise DOD's strategic technological advantage."

The exact manner of how the electronics would be destroyed is still indeterminate, but DARPA's website lists a number of ways in which technology firms could go about it. Whether the device components are ecoresorbable (naturally decomposing into the environment) or implanted health devices that are bioresorbable (reintegration into the body) remains to be seen.

IBM was awarded $3.4 million for the VAPR contract.

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