A computer chip that destroys itself in case of attack

This new chip composed of silicon wafers and a piece of tempered glass breaks into small pieces when heated to a specific location (see thumbnail). And that could be remotely activated in the near future through WiFi or any radio signal mentions Gregory Whiting, Novel Electronics Group, which produced this chip at PARC, a Xerox company based in California.

What ensuring that data stored on a stolen device remains inaccessible. This new technology could also help to simplify the recycling of electronic devices

Researchers used tempered glass, safety glass also called resistant material to create this self destructive chip, Live Science explains. Normally, the glass is hardened by cooling the edges of the piece. The glass façade then shrinks, compressing the outside while inside the room, hotter, maintains a very high tensile stress. Although the glass is more resistant than normal glass, “if you break a piece of safety glass, it explodes and bursts into pieces” says Gregory Whiting.

An ion exchange system to innovate

As the glass is a low temperature conductor, the only heating system used initially worked with glass pieces less than 0.76 millimeter thick. The research team therefore used a different method called “ion exchange” to enable the operation of the technology. The researchers worked on a piece of glass rich in sodium ions, namely sodium atoms stripped of an electron.

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