RAVEN to swoop on fake ICs

A tool to identify fake chips is being developed by BAe Systems with backing from IARPA – the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.


The project, named RAVEN, aims to develop a prototype analysis tool for acquiring images from all layers in a 1 cm2 area of a 14 nm integrated circuit, within 25 days.

The programme goals include:

1) Minimum 10 nm spatial resolution.
2) Nondestructive image acquisition using a single test sample; or
3) Destructive image acquisition using at most 5 test samples.
4) Twenty-five (25) days total to acquire the images from the sample(s).
5) Real-time checking during the acquisition process to eliminate the need for re-scans.

RAVEN is anticipated to be a three-phase program. The resolution and acquisition speed performance will be initially demonstrated in a laboratory test bench.

The programme outcome is expected to be a fully automated prototype tool capable of rapid image acquisition from an individual chip.

Given the acquisition speed requirements, computing and graphical analysis capabilities are an important aspect of the tool development.

The system, costing several million dollars, should fit on a ‘large tabletop’ and it will be offered to industry and universities.

See alsoIt’s time to tackle fake components

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