Forget Supersonics Jets, the Military Needs an Odometer for Computer Chips

September 26, 2014

Consider U.S. airstrikes over Syria hitting a civilian hospital instead of an oil refinery powering Islamic State operations. According to the computer chip industry, that scenario could become reality with the risk of corrupted semiconductors — the circuits underpinning all computers — behaving in unexpected ways. Critics of U.S. customs procedures and new federal defense acquisition regulations say those controls won’t do much to keep out Chinese counterfeit or tainted chips from military systems, including drone controllers. But a federally funded odometer in the works at Carnegie Mellon University might.

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