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Amida Makes Moves to Combat Microelectronics Security Threats

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Tiny technological brains of the modern world (i.e. essential microelectronics) are under growing siege. These chips power everything from smartphones to power grids and face a constant barrage of threats from malicious actors.

And the consequences of a successful attack could be catastrophic, to say the least.

Disgruntled hackers could disrupt vital infrastructure, such as causing widespread power outages or manipulating financial systems. Nation-states could use compromised microelectronics for espionage or to cripple an adversary's military capabilities.

The globalized nature of the microelectronics supply chain further complicates the issue. Chips often change hands multiple times before reaching their final destination, which makes it difficult to track their origin and identify potential tampering. This lack of transparency creates fertile ground for attackers to inject malicious code or hardware implants at any point in the process.

To combat this growing threat, Amida Technology Solutions introduced a novel microelectronics security solution named Achilles. This technology identifies potential design flaws early in the development process, pinpointing their nature and suggesting mitigation strategies. Achilles leverages advanced graph transformation techniques to expose vulnerabilities that traditional methods might miss. Its unique topological analysis expands the attack surface view.

Developed with support from a Navy SBIR grant, Achilles utilizes patented innovations and a dedicated R&D team to bolster the security of microelectronics critical for national defense and safety-critical systems. In March 2023, Amida co-signed an open letter urging the White House CHIPS Implementation Steering Committee to prioritize device security, particularly for defense applications.

Achilles' unveiling aligns with the growing need for such solutions, especially within the Department of Defense. Backed by five patents, Achilles aims to address the escalating demand for robust microelectronics security.

"Microelectronics security is the last bastion of cyber-defense,” said Joe Costello, co-founder of Cadence and Amida board director. “Hardware is an expansive attack surface and is increasingly susceptible to malicious inclusions and in-field attacks. Unlike software, hardware cannot be easily patched, so it is essential to mitigate them before they happen and isolate them when they do.”

Amida also unveiled its Microelectronics Security business division. This new unit, which will be led by Margaret Schmitt, draws on the company’s expertise in semiconductors, cybersecurity and AI.

The purpose of the unit? To deliver a full suite of security solutions that spans the entire semiconductor lifecycle, from inception to system-wide deployment, ensuring unparalleled protection at every stage of development.

“Our commitment to innovation and security is at the forefront of this strategic expansion,” said Amida’s co-founder and CEO Peter L. Levin. “The creation of the Microelectronics Security business unit underscores our dedication to advancing cybersecurity measures that keep pace with the rapid advancements and increasing complexities of digital threats. By investing in a focused business unit for this technology, we can accelerate innovation, expand our offerings, and get this vital security capability into the hands of more customers in critical sectors like defense, aerospace, healthcare and energy.”




Edited by Alex Passett
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