Smart packaging solution for trustworthy electronics

April 29, 2021

Fraunhofer IZM and its partners on the VE-SAFE project are exploring the potential of innovative multi-sensor technology for shielding electronic systems from malicious attacks. With more than €2 million in funding sup-port from the Ministry of Education and Research, the IZM team at the Institute’s Cottbus campus are develop-ing a novel solution for hardware protection: Package-integrated high-frequency sensors and a dedicated mi-crocontroller work together in a clever hierarchical monitoring system to guard the integrity of the protected electronics.

image - Dr. Michael Meister, Parlamentarischer Staatssekretär bei der Bundesministerin für Bildung und Forschung, bei der Übergabe der Fördermittel-Urkunde in der Halbleiter-Test & Vertriebs-GmbH in Bensheim
Dr Michael Meister, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Resarch, hands over the funding documents at the Halbleiter-Test & Vertriebs-GmbH in Bensheim

The smart packaging solution is supported by a non-destructive testing system to check the integrity of the protection mechanism. Whenever the system detects any tampering or manipulation, a protection mechanism springs into action, locks other system components, and can even delete sensitive data. Fraunhofer IZM already has a patent pending for this novel hierarchical sensor system to prevent attacks.

The protected electronics themselves do not need to be modified to accommodate this safeguard system, which can slot in easily with any critical application circuits. This cost-efficient and versatile approach makes the solution a commercially viable choice for even smaller production runs.

The project is set to pursue its work from March 2021 to February 2024 under the careful guidance of HTV Halbleiter-Test & Vertriebs-GmbH and with the contributions of Jenaer Leiterplatten GmbH and the Fraunhofer IZM Cottbus campus.