Ah yes, the classic Mission Impossible ultimate message security — after verification and playing the message, poof — it’s gone. You could design explosives into your electronics to have the same effect… or you can use Xerox PARC’s new chip, which features a self-destruct mode.
Wait, what? Yup — some engineer at Xerox decided to develop a chip that can literally self-destruct. It was developed for DARPA’s vanishing programmable resources project, and well, it sounds pretty promising for the future of high-security applications.
The method of self-destruction is actually pretty simple. They’ve printed the chip on a piece of Gorilla Glass that has been ion-exchanged to temper it, which increases the stresses inside the glass. Then, when you want to get rid of the evidence, a small resistor built into the chip starts to heat up. This causes the glass (and circuit) to shatter into a thousand pieces — and since the whole piece of glass was stressed, it continues to break into smaller and smaller pieces, for up to 10 seconds afterwards!
There’s a clip embedded below that shows the glass PCB exploding. Don’t miss it! And for more self-destructing projects, don’t forget to check out This Tape Will Self-Destruct!