San Jose, Calif., September 6, 2017—Kilopass Technology Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor logic embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) intellectual property (IP), today announced that a tiny 0.01-mm2 advanced silicon processor, developed by Northrop Grumman, contains a patented ultra-low power Kilopass OTP NVM for encryption key storage. The advanced silicon processors are developed under a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) project to prevent counterfeit devices from entering the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain. Kilopass’ OTP NVM uses 10 microwatts of power and is less than 0.003 mm2 in size, which is equivalent to 1/30th the size of a grain of salt. Each advanced silicon processor is referred to as a dielet. The 320-bit OTP NVM contains the dielet’s identification and encryption key, allowing authentication of the dielet’s host component, as being from a known trusted supply source.
The dielet is part of a larger system that Northrop Grumman developed as part of a four-year program for DARPA called Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense (SHIELD). DARPA initiated the SHIELD program to prevent cloned or recycled components from counterfeiters being sold to the U.S. government or commercial companies.
The system includes the Northrop Grumman developed dielet, a near field reader and specialized software supplied by a third-party source. Stored in the Kilopass OTP NVM on the dielet is an encryption key that will confirm the product’s authenticity. The dielet also contains a temperature sensor that will be used to detect whether components have been exposed to solder reflow temperatures that could be indicative of a recycled component.
“We are thrilled with the design win inside the Northrop Grumman dielet,” said Vice President and General Manager of Kilopass OTP Division, Linh Hong. “The dielet’s extreme design constraints pushed our design team to develop a unique memory array for Northrop Grumman that had not been done before. The extremely low power budget and ultra-small die area meant that our memory had to operate on microwatts of power and had to take up less than a quarter of the silicon footprint. Our design team was up to the challenge and in the end came up with a patented design that met Northrop Grumman’s need. We’re proud that our innovation is playing a role in securing the supply chain that the SHIELD program aimed to protect.”
To provide some scale as to the size of the market for replacement parts in avionics alone, the Aircraft Electronics Association reported that in the first three months of 2017, total worldwide business and general aviation avionics sales amounted to more than $566 million, putting the annual total at over $2 billion. Such a large available market makes it a tempting target for counterfeits.
In 2018, the SHIELD program enters the final phase of development which will demonstrate the deployment of the SHIELD concept of operations with participating Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).
About Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit news.northropgrumman.com and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.
About Kilopass Technology, Inc.
Kilopass Technology, Inc., a leading supplier of embedded NVM intellectual property using standard logic CMOS processes to deliver one-time programmable (OTP) and few-time programmable (FTP) memory. With more than 60 patents granted or pending and more than 3,000,000 wafers shipped from a dozen foundries and Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs), Kilopass has 150 customers in applications ranging from storage of firmware and security codes to calibration data and other application-critical information. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. For more information, visit www.kilopass.com or email