The counterfeiting of semiconductor components is escalating at an unprecedented rate. With increasingly sophisticated methods, counterfeit components are produced in many areas of the world and distributed globally. Additionally, unauthorized distributors render genuine parts substandard through improper handling. To make matters worse, semiconductors are being altered through a practice known as "malicious insertion" to cause damage or failure to the parts in which they are installed, or to gather intelligence.
Testing and validating new technology libraries and sophisticated devices has become an increasing challenge as the need for more advanced and complex radiation-hardened semiconductors rises. And diagnosing Single Event Effects (SEEs) can present further dilemmas, especially when Boeing went to test its Radiation Hardened by Design technology on the IBM 90nm process. To the rescue: DAFCA, which provided embedded instrumentation to help in real-time observation and analysis of previously inaccessible device confines.