Academic Centers

Employing X-Ray Tomography for Security: A Hardware Security Symposium with Michael Sutherland

On Thursday October 18th, 2018, the Potomac Institute's VITAL Center hosted Mr. Mike Sutherland of Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA), who discussed the current state of X-Ray tomography, and its current use cases for imaging the internal structure of integrated circuits in 3 dimensions using a transmission X-Ray microscope. Mr. Sutherland presented data from both lab and synchrotron-based system approaches to demonstrate many of the benefits and limitations of using X-Ray tomography. Mr. Sutherland also discussed the emerging research and development efforts in the field.

Mr. Mike Sutherland has worked as a computer scientist at DMEA since 2014. He is currently the lead researcher there working on X-Ray microscope hardware and software to image the internal nature of integrated circuits. In addition to his work on X-Ray tomography, Mr. Sutherland also works on image analysis and machine learning efforts to analyze integrated circuits for reverse engineering purposes

About the Hardware Security Symposium Speaker Series

Microelectronics are key components in our defense systems, and assuring that they are both readily available and secure is critical for US national security. Hardware-based threats can have serious impacts on military or critical infrastructure, and hardware vulnerabilities include malicious insertions, Trojan horses, counterfeit parts, and rapid obsolescence. While the USG has made large investments in software-focused cybersecurity, hardware-based approaches have not received as much attention. The Hardware Security Symposium Speaker Series brings together leading experts in Trusted microelectronics from academia, government, and Industry, to discuss hardware security threats, and ways to mitigate them.