DoD Uses DNA for Chip Identification

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. has successfully completed a program to DNA mark microchips for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Used systematically, it is hoped that DNA marking could help prevent the entry of counterfeit and possibly defective microchips into DoD’s supply chain.

Based on the initial results, APDN has been awarded a follow-on contract of almost $1 million to fully engage one of the government’s microchip supply chains. With interim deliverables that must be met, this final phase will include several Original Chip Manufacturers (OCMs), distributors, board builders, system integrators and the Armed Forces. By including the various supply chain participants, APDN believes it can better partner with government and industry to build a forensically secure supply chain from the source to the end user.

Once marked with forensic, botanical signature DNA taggants, each microchip carries a “built-in” certificate of conformance to ensure authenticity and guard against counterfeiting. In the initial marking program, an OCM marked 100% of its production for a period of two months. The microchips themselves were scanned at the OCM facility and the DNA-marked outer packaging was scanned at a distributor.

In a blind sampling, where both marked and unmarked chips were sampled, forensic analysis confirmed the authenticity of products DNA-marked as genuine. As a result, 100% distinction was made between DNA-marked and unmarked product and packaging. The production process did not need to be altered.

“Securing the complete supply chain for a ubiquitous technology like microchips generates an immediate return on investment in business-to-business relationships with the OCMs, the electronic distributors and the builders of circuit boards,” said APDN CEO James Hayward. “When it comes to protecting our government and military supply chains, this is an ROI measured not just in dollars, but in American lives saved.”

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