Researchers at the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland, and Rice University have won a $7.5 million grant via an Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) MURI to address the topic “Security Theory for Nano-Scale Devices.” Ten researchers across the three institutions will collaborate to analyze and upgrade security protections for nano-scale computer hardware. Their goal is to develop Universal Security Theory for the evaluation and design of nano-scale devices. Nano-scale devices, many thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair, are increasingly implemented by the electronics industry to perform vital functions supporting national security, commerce, energy, and transportation. Nano-scale chips are used in a wide variety of applications from air traffic control computers to medical devices to personal cell phones and the nation’s electric grid and banking system. Maryland's contributions to the research will leverage their past work and expertise in hardware security, digital watermarking and fingerprinting for VLSI design, circuit and design obfuscation, design and implementation of physical unclonable functions, 3-D integrated circuit integration and manufacture-aware design.