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Applied DNA Sciences begins DNA marking of microchips for U.S. Government agency

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. and an agency of the U.S. Government have launched a pilot program to show the logistic facility of DNA marking to block counterfeit microchips in mission-critical government supply chains.

Applied DNA Sciences, a provider of DNA-based anti-counterfeiting technology and product authentication solutions, is marking microchips with botanical SigNature DNA taggants to ensure authenticity and guard against counterfeiting. The science of DNA authentication has been reviewed by the U.S. Department of Energy and several foreign governments who have independently found that DNA taggants cannot be counterfeited and provide forensic proof of provenance. Technical efficacy has already been proven in commercial supply.

DNA authentication: The only forensic anti-counterfeit program

Fact: No adequate solution to prevent the invasion of counterfeit microchips into the supply chains has arisen before APDN’s DNA taggants.

“There is a significant opportunity for APDN to address secure parts standards across the entire semiconductor industry,” stated Dr. James Hayward, APDN’s CEO and president.

Wide impact of anti-counterfeiting measures

The spread of counterfeit products of all types is a problem of global proportion, requiring enhanced solutions and anti-counterfeiting safeguards, says a news release issued by the company.

“I feel that DNA marking provides the basis of a universal, forensic solution to any diverse supply chain,” stated retired Vice Admiral Edward Straw. “While this first, electronics focused pilot program is designed to safeguard microchips, the versatility of this technology allows for easy transferability to other commodity areas ranging from fasteners and o-rings to textiles and pharmaceuticals.”

This process has been used extensively in other industries for brand protection, counterfeit prevention, and, in the case of cash-in-transit, criminal prosecution and the deterrence of violent crime. It is a proven, unique law enforcement technology.

“DNA marking has been validated and proven to be logistically easy to implement in the commercial semiconductor industry and APDN is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the government to showcase its versatility in support of the War Fighters,” stated Dr. Hayward. “DNA marking is the premiere forensic anti-counterfeiting platform, and by implementing this program the U.S. Government is taking a major step toward adding a powerful tool for future counterfeit detection and prevention and reducing the risk of procuring sub-standard parts,” continued Dr. Hayward.

Secure microchips

With burgeoning growth, the microchip industry has become a target for profiteering counterfeiters and diversion schemes. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), America’s critical semiconductor industry employs 185,000 people in the U.S. and provides the enabling technology for America's $1.1 trillion high-tech industries with a U.S. workforce of nearly 6 million people.

"Despite continuing macroeconomic uncertainty, the semiconductor industry is slated to close the year at record sales levels with year-over-year growth rates not experienced in nearly a decade," said SIA President Brian Toohey. "The application of advanced technologies continues to further the proliferation of semiconductor content into a wider range of end products including media tablets, smart phones, eReaders, and automobiles, resulting in impressive semiconductor sales in 2010," Toohey noted.

The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (an independent, non-profit organization of 64 semiconductor companies representing more than 70 percent of the world semiconductor market) forecasts the semiconductor market to grow by 4.5 percent to $313.8 billion in 2011, following an estimated 32.7 percent increase to $300.4 billion in 2010.


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