The Secure and Robust Electronics Center (SURE) seeks to meet an urgent cybersecurity need: electronics hardware safety. Cybersecurity systems require both hardware and software assurance to be effective. Without either one, security may be compromised no matter how reliable or invulnerable the other appears to be.

Complexity Breeds Vulnerability

SURE is a unit of the Information Sciences Institute (ISI), part of the University of Southern California’s highly ranked Viterbi School of Engineering. ISI has pioneered computing and communications hardware and software for more than 40 years, including seminal contributions to the Internet.

SURE seeks to investigate and address state-of-the-art manufacturing complexities that significantly have compromised four key aspects of chip production: trust, security, resilience and reliability. As experienced industry collaborators, we also aim to accelerate the scale, pace and impact of hardware robustness and security technology development.

Governmental supporters currently include DARPA, IARPA, NASA, the Army Research Office, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Xilinx Inc. and Altera Corporation are among our disclosable industry partners. Higher education research partners include Stanford, Virginia Tech, Brigham Young and Arizona State Universities; and the University of North Carolina.

Defining Fabless Foundries

ISI pioneered fabless foundries with its launch of MOSIS service in 1981, and continues to be integral to academic, corporate and national security chip design and prototyping. MOSIS has delivered more than 50,000 chip designs to customers ranging from research groups to Fortune 500 corporations. We also draw on other ISI areas of expertise, including the Center for Computer Systems Security; high-performance and cloud computing; and Internet and networked systems, along with the Viterbi School.

ISI is headquartered in Marina del Rey, California. SURE operates in the Marina and in Arlington, Virginia.