Technology Update (March 2016)

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RFID chip that cannot be hacked

A research team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed an RFID chip that it claims is virtually impossible to hack. To combat the issue of security, researchers came up with a two-point solution; an on-chip power supply whose connection to the chip circuitry would be nearly impossible to cut and a set of non-volatile memory cells that can store whatever data the chip is working on in case a power failure begins to take place.

To make this high-end chip, exclusive ferroelectric crystals were used. As a crystal, ferroelectric material contains a 3D lattice of molecules, where equal and opposite charges produce electrical polarisation due to a separation between these, replicating the dynamics of a capacitor. When an electric field is applied, cells’ polarisation can be aligned in two ways depending on the direction of the field. This represents the two possible values of a bit of information that the chip stores.

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