Startup Chiplytics has fake semiconductors in its sights

A brand new hardware security company – Chiplytics – has been launched with the objective of bringing a semiconductor authentication technology to market.

The Albuquerque-based startup – co-founded by semiconductor industry veterans Stephen DiBartolomeo Steven Dourmashkin and Matthew Skeels – has emerged out of the Scout Ventures incubator.

Chiplytics' first device, the Chiplytics One, can be used to fight counterfeiting, and ensure the safety and compliance of semiconductor components as they move through commerce channels, according to the company.

It claims the unit is the first inspection platform that combines electrical and optical testing to build data sets to detect small differences to identify clones, counterfeits or damaged chips, screening them before they are installed into systems. The first devices are now being road-tested with potential customers.

DiBartolomeo built and launched Chiplytics through a collaboration with the National Nuclear Security Administration and Sandia National Labs, where the technology behind Chiplytics One was originally invented.

"Working with Scout Ventures to launch Chiplytics has allowed my co-founders and I to execute on our shared vision for a robust and trusted microelectronics supply chain, utilising the resources and intellectual heft of our nation’s top scientists to commercialize technology that will have an immediate impact on national security and global collaboration," said DiBartolomeo.

"At present, the global chip shortage and lack of compliance in the industry at large poses a massive risk for companies and governments worldwide," he added.

"Our mission is to protect critical infrastructure, military equipment, automobiles, and other high-reliability systems from counterfeit or unauthentic chips, where failure could result in serious damage or casualties."

Counterfeit semiconductors pose an estimated $200bn risk per year to the global electronics supply chain, and the current global chip shortage makes this risk even greater.

Recent estimates from the International Anti-Counterfeit Coalition suggest a 57 per cent increase in the global counterfeit market since the pandemic began, with microelectronics being one of the sectors on the rise.

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