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Proceedings Paper

A MEMS-based, wireless, biometric-like security system
Author(s): Joshua D. Cross; John L. Schneiter; Grant A. Leiby; Steven McCarter; Jeremiah Smith; Thomas P. Budka
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Paper Abstract

We present a system for secure identification applications that is based upon biometric-like MEMS chips. The MEMS chips have unique frequency signatures resulting from fabrication process variations. The MEMS chips possess something analogous to a "voiceprint". The chips are vacuum encapsulated, rugged, and suitable for low-cost, highvolume mass production. Furthermore, the fabrication process is fully integrated with standard CMOS fabrication methods. One is able to operate the MEMS-based identification system similarly to a conventional RFID system: the reader (essentially a custom network analyzer) detects the power reflected across a frequency spectrum from a MEMS chip in its vicinity. We demonstrate prototype "tags" - MEMS chips placed on a credit card-like substrate - to show how the system could be used in standard identification or authentication applications. We have integrated power scavenging to provide DC bias for the MEMS chips through the use of a 915 MHz source in the reader and a RF-DC conversion circuit on the tag. The system enables a high level of protection against typical RFID hacking attacks. There is no need for signal encryption, so back-end infrastructure is minimal. We believe this system would make a viable low-cost, high-security system for a variety of identification and authentication applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7679, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications II, 76791U (5 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.848964
Show Author Affiliations
Joshua D. Cross, Veratag, LLC (United States)
John L. Schneiter, Veratag, LLC (United States)
Grant A. Leiby, RF Diagnostics, LLC (United States)
Steven McCarter, RF Diagnostics, LLC (United States)
Jeremiah Smith, RF Diagnostics, LLC (United States)
Thomas P. Budka, RF Diagnostics, LLC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7679:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications II
Thomas George; M. Saif Islam; Achyut Kumar Dutta, Editor(s)

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