The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $7.5 million grant to the University of Connecticut and two other universities to find ways to analyze and upgrade security protection for ultra-tiny computer hardware.
UConn's Center for Hardware Assurance, Security and Engineering will anchor the so-called nanoscale initiative with the University of Maryland and Rice University.
Nanoscale devices, far smaller than the width of a human hair, are increasingly popular in microelectronics. Nanoscale chips are used for air traffic control, medical devices, cell phones and other technology.
Mark Tehranipoor, director of the UConn program and the project's lead investigator, said micro-computer processors and semiconductors have improved in size and performance with little attention to security.
He said security challenges and vulnerabilities of nanoscale devices must be identified and addressed.