IN3 investments in trusted microelectronics research paying off for Indiana and the nation

Oct 29, 2020

Bloomington, Ind. (Oct. 29, 2020) – IN3’s (Indiana Innovation Institute) research investments in Indiana for the development of trusted microelectronics are seeing a big return on investment at the state’s top research universities. The security and integrity of our electronics are under increasing hardware and software-based attacks, which put large portions of our economy and national security at risk. Technologies being developed at Indiana’s research universities are helping to counter these attacks, increase resistance to counterfeiting, and are providing new designs with more inherently secure operations.

The ASSURE (Achieving Scientifically Secured User Reassurance in Microelectronics) program was initially funded by IN3 as an applied research project bringing together IN3, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue University, Indiana University, the University of Notre Dame, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The program was executed under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).

Since 2018, IN3 has invested $2.6 million in 12 different microelectronics research projects at the universities. As a result, the following metrics have been achieved:  

  • The associated universities have secured additional extramural research funding in trusted microelectronics totaling $15 million, of which NSWC Crane contributed more than $9 million
  • The return on the initial $2.6 million investment: over 6:1
  • Number of new institutional partnerships: 10
  • Number of new students trained:
    • Undergraduates: 45
    • Graduates: 12

“IN3 understands the research in trusted microelectronics happening at our research universities in Indiana and is helping bring together researchers who may not have worked together before in this important area,” said Stephen E. Kelly, president and CEO, IN3. “By bringing together our academic and government partners, we have helped advance an area of research vital to national security.”

The principal investigators leading the ASSURE program are Dr. Peter Bermel, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, and Dr. David Crandall, associate professor and director of graduate studies for computer science at Indiana University. IN3, NSWC Crane, and the universities have partnered to combine their complementary strengths in science, engineering, and mission focus to address cybersecurity capability gaps.

Through the 12 ASSURE projects, researchers have been able to develop the following:

  • Tools that can detect counterfeit electronics
  • Tools that can help to predict how long an electronic device will last before it fails, and detect signs of incipient failure
  • Tools to determine if a semiconductor (or chip) has already been used or recycled, but is being sold as new
  • New designs and materials for electronic devices with inherently secure features

“The success of ASSURE exceeded even my original expectations,” said Dr. Peter Bermel, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. “The dozens of peer-reviewed journal papers and millions of dollars in new grants coming out of the projects can be credited to the deep knowledge, commitment, and leadership of the principal investigators, students, and postdocs on our team. Furthermore, the marked increase in collaboration between the Indiana research universities, NSWC Crane, and local companies was aided by IN3’s efforts to bring everyone together through a combination of generous funding and regular interactions via live and online forums. The outcomes of this research have already launched many exciting follow-up collaborations, and I expect many more in the future.” 

“In addition to the significant technical achievements, I think one of the most important outcomes of this project has been to establish new and lasting interdisciplinary collaborations across IU, Purdue, NSWC Crane and Notre Dame,” said Dr. David Crandall, director of graduate studies for computer science at Indiana University. “Our institutions have complementary strengths and expertise, and by working together we’re able to address bigger and bolder challenges than we could independently.”

Programs like ASSURE further IN3’s mission of working with academia, industry, and government to help solve critical defense priorities, while creating a hub of national security innovation.

About IN3

IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute) works with academia, industry, and government to create a hub of national security innovation that helps solve critical defense priorities. IN3 connects regional, state, and national partners through a variety of means including convening research and business teams to solve emerging technical challenges for the Department of Defense. IN3 is focused on hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics, artificial intelligence, and 5G. Learn more at www.in3indiana.com and follow us on Twitter @IN3indiana and LinkedIn