Smart Anti-Tamper Conformal Coating

Period of Performance: 12/04/2013 - 06/04/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator


To address the Navy need for innovative conformal coating for integrated circuits that achieves a higher level of antitamper (AT) protection without compromising circuit performance, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Smart Antitamper Conformal Coating (SMATCOC). This proposed coating is based on a multiple-layer architecture combining smart, novel materials, which encapsulate printed circuit boards (PCBs) of critical technology (CT) components. This innovative design will enable the SMATCOC to inform, in real time, a signal-monitoring field-programmable gate array (FPGA) of direct and indirect attempts to reverse-engineer CT. The SMATCOC will not obstruct normal operation of electronic components; moreover it will improve their performance due to higher heat dissipation. As a result, this coating offers antitampering protection for CTs, which currently does not exist, and correspondingly directly addresses the PEO IWS 1.0 requirements. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of SMATCOC by computer simulation and experiments with selected materials. In Phase II, POC plans to develop prototypes for evaluation of their performance against reverse engineering attacks.