The Self Destructing Chips Developed By Xerox PARC Turns Science Fiction Into Reality

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How many of you are the fans of the Mission Impossible movies or spy movies? If you are a fan of such movies or TV shows where the any device containing secret information explodes after its use, like in Mission Impossible movies, then you would love reading his news. You can live out those fantasies with the self destructing chips developed by Xerox PARC.

self destructing chips developed by Xerox PARC
Image Source: IDG Video

As part of DARPA’s Vanishing Programmable Resources project, the engineers of Xerox PARC have developed a chip that can self destruct on command into little pieces. These chips have been designed to guarantee that no one is able to piece it back together and read what was on it.

How does the self destructing chips developed by Xerox PARC work?

To make chips that can explode into a million pieces on command the engineers have used a material that’s best known for shattering i.e. glass. They started with Corning Gorilla Glass (found in many smartphones), but at last they modified it to become tempered glass under extreme stress.

At a recent DARPA event held in St. Louis, the researchers demonstrated the mechanism of the self destructing chips developed by Xerox PARC in which they use a small resistor at the bottom of the chip. When the small resistor is heated by a laser, the entire chip will shatter due to all the invisible stress on the surface of the chip. Even after the glass broke up, stress remained in the fragments and they continued breaking into smaller pieces for some seconds afterwards.

Gregory Whiting, a senior scientist at PARC, said:

“The applications we are interested in are data security and things like that. We really wanted to come up with a system that was very rapid and compatible with commercial electronics.”

Benefits of this technology:

The self destructing chips developed by Xerox PARC will be helpful in industries where security is the prime concern, like in the military. This technology can be used to protect sensitive information like any key which can be destroyed after its use and for many other purposes.

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