Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (APDN) announced on Wednesday that it had developed a method to thwart counterfeiters and the "growing deluge of millions of counterfeit chips posing peril to the U.S. military and the general public." The announcement arrived just after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's estimate that the global market for counterfeit electronics may have reached $10 billion.
According to the company, the new method uses a technology that utilizes botanical DNA to forensically ID microelectronics. "DNA-marking protects the consumer, the government, our service men and women," APDN said. "The manufacturers can ensure that only properly screened, original product goes to users. The same DNA marking can then protect the manufacturers themselves in the form of returned product which they must replace or repair. Broadly applicable, DNA marking could be disseminated as industry best practices and military standards."
Current methods of microchip verification include paperwork reviews, visual inspections, and reliability testing. APDN argues that paperwork is often fraudulent, visual inspections are superficial, and reliability testing is expensive and demanding. DNA markers can forensically protect any electronic device including routers, PCBs, semiconductors and more.
"The military and circuit integrators can not be blamed for the poisoning of supply chains when chip manufacture is available in abundance by countries intent on stealing IP and riding the coattails of other marketing investments," said APDN's President and CEO, Dr. James Hayward. "But DNA is an opportunity to draw a line in the sand, to stop the progress of this problem today."