Detection of Electrical, Physical, and Radiation Defects in Flash Memory Chips

uah p 20028 30

Docket: UAH-P-20028, UAH-P-20029, UAH-P-20030


Detecting damage and defects in integrated circuit (IC) chips for flash memory is challenging because memory with defects remains largely functional. Currently, there are a few approaches to discovering these defects. Expensive physical and electrical tests can identify anomalies that are typically only present in recycled ICs, external aging sensors can measure frequency degradation to distinguish an aged chip from a fresh one, or one can maintain a huge database to trace the chip back to its manufacturer.

Researchers at UAH have developed a technology that can quickly detect defects in flash memory chips without the use of a large database. It does this by examining characteristics that are representative of the specific sort of damage the chip may have sustained, whether it be electrical, physical, or radiation damage. For example, this technology evaluates block erase time and bit error rate to find electrical defects. Similarly, it analyzes power requirements to find radiation damage, and it analyzes functional failure and power dissipation to recognize physical damage.

Infiltration of defective flash memory chips into the global supply chain (typically through recycling or counterfeiting) has incredible consequences. These consequences include economic loss, national security risk, and consumer safety concerns. This technology has far-reaching benefits in the detection of damaged flash memory chips and the preservation of quality in global electronics.




  • Flash memory chips
  • Defense
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Consumer electronics


  • Non-intrusive
  • Cost effective
  • Limited test time
  • No database requirement
  • Applicable to unmodified flash chips


  • State of Development: Prototype
  • Licensing Status: Available for Licensing
  • Patent Status: Patent Pending

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