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Electronics Supply Chain Integrity Enabled by Blockchain



Xiaolin Xu, Fahim Rahman, Bicky Shakya, Apostol Vassilev, Domenic Forte, Mark Tehranipoor


Electronic systems are ubiquitous today, playing an irreplaceable role in our personal lives as well as in critical infrastructures such as power grid, satellite communication, and public transportation. In the past few decades, the security of software running on these systems has received significant attention. However, hardware has been assumed to be trustworthy and reliable "by default" without really analyzing the vulnerabilities in the electronics supply chain. With the rapid globalization of the semiconductor industry, it has become challenging to ensure the integrity and security of hardware. In this paper, we discuss the integrity concerns associated with a globalized electronics supply chain. More specifically, we divide the supply chain into six distinct entities: IP owner/foundry (OCM), distributor, assembler, integrator, end user, and electronics recycler, and analyze the vulnerabilities and threats associated with each stage. To address the concerns of the supply chain integrity, we propose a blockchain-based certificate authority framework that can be used to manage critical chip information such as electronic chip identification (ECID), chip grade, transaction time, etc. The decentralized nature of the proposed framework can mitigate most threats of the electronics supply chain, such as recycling, remarking, cloning, and overproduction.
ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems


Blockchain, Electronics Supply Chain, Trust, Integrity


Xu, X. , Rahman, F. , Shakya, B. , Vassilev, A. , Forte, D. and Tehranipoor, M. (2019), Electronics Supply Chain Integrity Enabled by Blockchain, ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems, [online],, (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created May 31, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021