No it’s not a story from a fiction or an action flick! It’s the reality- the self destructing chip. The self destructing chip can in reality destroy itself thus protecting the integrity of its containing information forever. Engineers at the XEROX PARC are carrying out this project as a part of DARPA’s project of making Vanishing Programmable Resources. The self destructing chips will explode like a suicide bomb if it detects any alarming danger that might violate the integrity of the data.
The self destructing chips are made of Gorilla Glass which is one of the toughest glass found these days and are often used as display screens on smartphones. This type of hard glass is used because they can be stressed by ion exchange tempering. Since the Gorilla glass is under tremendous stress, a small trigger can burst out the entire chip into tiny fragmentsin just 10 secs. “The applications we are interested in are data security and things like that,” said Gregory Whiting, a senior scientist at PARC in Palo Alto, California. “We really wanted to come up with a system that was very rapid and compatible with commercial electronics.”
The chip opens a new path for computer security and the technology is simply amazing. As the demonstration showed, the Corning Gorilla glass chip which has been ion exchanged tempered to extreme stress was taken to the breaking point by heating. A switching circuit was fitted which, when turned on, aided a small resistor to heat up the glass whicj then exploded! The immensely high stress which was conserved in the glass then passed on from fragments to fragments breaking them into more and more tiny pieces and the entire chip completely destroyed within ten seconds.
Such a self destructing chip can be of immense utility in computer’s encryption. You can check the demo video below:
The self destructing circuit of the chip was triggered by a photo-diode which in turn switched on the circuit when a bright light fell on it.