IBM has signed a contract with the US government to create devices that self destruct on command. The US government has given clearance to move forward with the project last month to create a “new class of electronics.”
The deal was given to IBM by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) that was announced last year. The contract come in the wake of DARPA’s plans to introduce transient devices in battlefield as off-the shelf gadgets could be a source of intelligence for the enemy.
The aim of the contract is to develop a device that could destruct completely or partly when triggered remotely. The company has proposed that it would use radio-frequency (RF) based trigger to shatter glass coatings used on displays turning silicon chips to dust. IBM mentioned that it plans to use properties of strained glass substrates to shatter as the driving force to cut attached CMOS chips into Si and SiO2 (silicon and silicon dioxide powder).
The technology is likely to get used in remote sensors, phones, radios or gadgets that might end up in the battlefield and would end up in enemy hands. DARPA also seeks to include sensors for monitoring health, larger areas including diagnosis and treatment in the battlefield.
“Large-area distributed networks of sensors that can decompose in the natural environment (ecoresorbable) may give critical data for a specified duration, but no longer. Alternatively devices that reabsorb into the body (bioresorbable) may aid in continuous health monitoring and treatment in the field,” said DARPA.