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Computer Chips Exploding for Science

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the signal-nine-is-so-much-more-appropriate-now dept.

Technology 183

Judebert writes "While some may argue that any modern processor without a heat sink already exhibits this behavior, UCSD chemists have discovered that properly doped computer chips are actually explosive. Standard techniques are used, and they function just like normal computer chips. Better yet, they burn clean, making them ideal for chemical analysis. The article sites other uses, such as micromachine propulsion and military explosives, but I imagine this woudl make for the ultimate in copy protection, as well: "Unauthorized copy detected. This system will self-destruct in 10... 9..." Science Daily also has a copy."

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PK! I am your master! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827153)

you know it, bitch!

I am your master! <-- WRONG!! Gaping Asshole!! (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827396)

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g g
o / \ \ / \ o
a \ a
t `. : t
s` \ s
e \ / / \\\ -- \\ : e
x \ \/ --~~ ~-- \ x
* \ \-~ ~-\ *
g \ \ .--------.___\ g
o \ \// ((> \ o
a \ . C ) ((> / a
t /\ C )/ \ (> / t
s / /\ C)UCSD (> / \ s
e ( C__)\___/ // _/ / \ e
x \ \\// (/ x
* \ \) `---- --' *
g \ \ / / g
o / \ o
a / \ \ a
t / / \ t
s / / \/\/ s
e / e
x x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Watch out for that pentium bug! (4, Funny)

tunah (530328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827155)

This system will self-destruct in 10... 9... 8...

7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... 0.00000000198

Copy protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827164)

I didnt know they put chips on harddrives and blank cds...

Re:Copy protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827207)

Look on the bottom of your hard drive. Unless it's some magical holographic cube, it's got come control circuitry on it. I think the author was referring to your CPU though. Can't copy mp3s very well when your CPU keeps blowing up, can you?

Re:Copy protection (-1)

Hillary Clinton (320928) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827275)

Look you sarcastic asshole, the parent comment was dead-on. You are such an ignorant fucking twat that you could not realize the truth if you wanted to.

go to hell.

smug (-1)

Cryptopotamus (460702) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827165)

I won't buy anything that runs on batteries that won't make me coffee. I love my joe.

Troll Association

Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of THOSE! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827172)

while true ; do
echo boom > /dev/cpu &
done

Re:Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of THOSE! (5, Funny)

e1en0r (529063) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827249)

That gives a whole new meaning to the term "cluster bomb".

heatsinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827173)

Chips just keep getting hotter & hotter....

time for everyone to go out and get their golden orbs & peltiers.... maybe wanna look into water cooling too.

So... (1)

God Takeru (409424) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827175)

Has Microsoft made a bid for the technology yet?

Computer Manufacturers (2, Funny)

The Great Wakka (319389) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827178)

*boof*
Customer: My computer exploded!
Tech Support: Guess you have to get a new one.
Customer: Yeah! Here's $1000 for a new one!

Unethical computer manufacturers could get a lot of money out of this. And 1337 HAX0rZ can blow up people's computers. :D I bet that this is a farily silly technology anyway!

Re:Computer Manufacturers (-1)

HBD (450014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827312)

hehe..anyone who would use the term "1337 HAX0rZ" is not one, probably closer to a script kiddy if even that intelligent(yes i consider scriptkiddies to be smarter than the average little kid, even if heavily deluded)

Eeesh (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827180)

Reminds me of the time my phone line got hit by lightning.. I'd like to also state that all the little chips on modems tend to explode quite nicely too.

Re:Eeesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827197)

Surge protectors are your friend. Especially the ones with phone jacks (if you're stuck with dialup).

Re:Eeesh (2)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827365)

Especially the ones with phone jacks (if you're stuck with dialup).

It's not just for dialup, DSL comes over phone lines thus surge protecting that stuff is also a good idea. If you have cable modem, then you can also surge protect that [whe.org] (probably a good idea to surge protect your cable TV line even if you don't have a cable modem). Plus, you should surge protect ethernet (BP280s [apcc.com] as well as others have this) around servers and if you're sharing a LAN maybe with a neighbor or something like that.

So what happens if there's a bug? (1)

qurob (543434) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827181)

Microsoft would love to get this to work with XP's copy protection

Re:So what happens if there's a bug? (1)

The FooMiester (466716) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827265)

You must mean a FEATURE, since you and I both know that MS doesn't send out buggy software.

Re:So what happens if there's a bug? (1)

Y B MCSE (469234) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827495)

...BOOM!!!

Duh

Geeks must be terrorists (3, Funny)

yahwey (167049) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827182)

As if airline restrictions weren't bad enough already, now my laptop will surely be considered a bomb!

Better watch out... (0)

Daniel Wood (531906) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827183)

The article sites other uses, such as micromachine propulsion and military explosives, but I imagine this woudl make for the ultimate in copy protection, as well: "Unauthorized copy detected. This system will self-destruct in 10... 9..." Science Daily also has a copy."

You might use caution when using Science Daily's copy of this article, you never know what might pop up.

flying (2, Interesting)

10e 999 (128948) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827184)

Great. Now we're going to have to comletely dismantle laptops, game boys, and talking Barney dolls before we are allowed to board flights.

Seriously, what are the possibilities of using this to cause life threatening explosions?

Re:flying (2, Funny)

nurightshu (517038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827222)

Well, on its own the chip's explosion would almost certainly not be life-threatening. However, you could theoretically use this as a catalyst to detonate a high-order explosive.

Your laptops should be safe on airlines, folks. Pretty much the only way to make this dangerous would be to wrap a brick of Semtex around it (which the airports already have sniffer-dogs to detect), or build a chip so large that it releases enough energy to do serious damage. Explaining a laptop the size of a blackboard would be difficult, I think.

"No really, it's for doing some serious number-crunching..."

Re:flying (2, Funny)

Colin Bayer (313849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827245)

Explaining a laptop the size of a blackboard would be difficult, I think.

"I swear, officer, it's my [slashdot.org]
iBook with 14' screen!"

none you fucktard (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827240)

How much force do you expect to get from a microscopic piece of silicon?

Correction (1)

evilmrhenry (542138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827185)

All they did is find out that silicon combined with other materials is explosive. They have not made exploding chips yet. Still that would be a useful tool if They could control it and avoid the lawsuits. (and viruses. Think of a I Love You virus designed to destroy computer chips)

damn! (2, Funny)

Phexro (9814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827186)

and i thought this [stileproject.com] was just bad trashy journalism.

so... when does slashdot get a bat boy [weeklyworldnews.com] story icon?

Re:damn! -Porno popup (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827442)

So what's the porno popup got to do with this topic??

Planes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827187)

Great, now laptops will be banned in planes now.

Overclocking (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827190)

Imagine overclocking these :D

Been there... (1)

Sivar (316343) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827191)

I once made a microchip explode in lab when it came into contact with the contacts from a 560W DC power supply.
A corner of the chip 'chipped' off and left a mark in the desk when it he. Good thing I wasn't in the way.

Re:Been there... (3, Interesting)

tjb (226873) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827297)

Heh. Done that before.

I had to remove a flash chip from a socket, but couldn't find the right tool, so I grabbed an 8 inch soldering pick (the kind that look like dentists tools) and proceeded to lift the flash. Unbeknownst to me, I bridged the tool to the unrectified (110V AC) power supply exposed at the switch of my dev board.

Zap! Flash! Bang!

Tossed my sorry ass about three feet backwards while the flash chip burst into flames and jumped about a foot into the air :) After recovering, I took a look at the chip and the packaging was completely gutted in the middle where (presumably) the (ex-)die was.

Oops :)

Tim

AMD (1)

MonMotha (514624) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827192)

I thought AMD already discovered this... --MonMotha

Survey method biased (2)

tunah (530328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827195)

"Most people are familiar with silicon as the material that's used in computer chips for circuits"

What, judging by the fact that intel.com gets more hits than baywatch.com?

Re:Survey method biased (2, Informative)

jorbettis (113413) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827382)

That's silicone, the polymer, not silicon, the metalloid.

Laptops on airplanes (1)

DarkenWood (71618) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827199)

So much for laptops and electrical devices on airplanes.

No, No, Don't Let Them Hear You! (2)

billstewart (78916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827293)

Shhhh, be vewwwwwy quiet!


Over the years we've had to have laptops sent through the Xray machines in our bags, taken out of our bags and sent through on the conveyor by themselves, back in the bags but vertical so they don't mask other things, taken out and turned on, taken out and explained that this model doesn't use batteries so you can only turn it on if you can plug it in, and to do that you'll need to unplug their X-Ray machine because there aren't any outlets nearby, and they're making you take off your hats, coats, pagers, cellphones, radios, palmpilots, shoes, eyeglasses, belts, piercings, bluejeans with copper rivets in them, artificial hip joints, metal-braced lingerie, car keys, buttons with comments about government harassment, and shiny things in general.

I've had people at San Jose Airport ask me if my bag had a laptop in it - like DUUHHHH - this is San Jose, is there anybody here carrying a bag that *doesn't* have a laptop in it? If they want to ask if I've got an interesting laptop, fine :-) They don't seem to have figured out laser pointers yet... But if they even HEAR about exploding microprocessors, it won't be possible to travel at all.


At least I didn't have a laptop with me the time I was bringing my nephews a KG of Silly Putty in clear baggies with 500g each :-)

Just like Inspector Gadget ... (1)

e1en0r (529063) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827203)

"Other possible security or military applications of this explosive might be the construction of information-collecting devices that self-destruct ..." Let's just hope this doesn't happen until after Dubya gets out of the White House. "How long until it self-destruc..." *BOOM*

Star Trekkin... (4, Funny)

e5z8652 (528912) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827204)

Science finally explains all those years of exploding consoles in Star Trek!

Re:Star Trekkin... (2, Funny)

minusthink (218231) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827286)

but it makes the question of why data's head never exploded all the more mysterious.

New level of tamper resistance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827206)

This could be interesting in a secure smartcard type application. Any attempts to find out whats inside and it destroys itself.

This of course assumes that normal levels of static electricty won't set it off.

Re:New level of tamper resistance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827356)

Nope.... Ibutton was already tere 3 years ago...

f you open an Ibutton Can the chip does a super rapid self zeroization based on the change in pressure and release of the chemical gas inside.

Smartcards are crap and stupid to use.... Ibuttons (www.ibutton.com) are the only smart choice for ID, money and other storage.

besides, it's cool that I log into websotes,my computer and open my front door with the one in my ring! try that with a smartcard.

Re:New level of tamper resistance (1)

nurightshu (517038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827426)

it's cool that I log into websotes,my computer and open my front door with the one in my ring!

One Ring to login to them all,
One Ring to unlock them,
One Ring to vaporize them all,
And with the explosion shock them.

Copy protection? That will never happen. (0)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827208)

No matter how illegal my computer uses are, no one has the right to put an explosive device in my computer. There are still courts in this country, and it is up to those to decide if I did something illegal or not. Besides...

What if some weird random crash triggers it?
What if my CPU overheating triggered it?
What if me messing around with my hardware triggered it?

It would make a very cool anti-theft device, though.If someone stole my laptop when I wasnt looking I would very much rather blow it up than let the thief re-sell it.

Of course such an explosive would have to be very mild and not hurt anyone. I wouldnt like to become a murderer. But if it packed some ink, like money bags, it would help find the thief.

Re:Copy protection? That will never happen. (1)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827373)

It would make a very cool anti-theft device...

Check out this device [stickdeath.com] .

I've had a chip explode (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827219)

I was using a Harddrive that was just sitting on the desk. Stupid me set a paperclip or something on it, not thinking, and I was hit with hot shards of Silicon. It left a nasty little prick on my face for a while. THankgod it didn;t hit my eye.

you sicko (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827269)

"a nasty little prick on my face" What the hell is wrong with you? That fag Micheal might be interested.

Re:I've had a chip explode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827385)

That would be the potting blowing off, not the silicon.

Great... just great... (1, Redundant)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827221)

Now I will not even get to take a laptop on an airline anymore...

Explosion? (3, Insightful)

alleria (144919) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827229)

The article says that the explosion might be useful for analysing chemicals in-field, which I can see, even if explosions are fairly uncontrolled, but what's this with 'as a power source?'

I agree that things like modern engines work by having mini explosions that push pistons up/down etc., but *in general* explosions are not a very efficient way to power things. Witness the fact that the human body does not burn/explode glucose, but rather goes through aerobic respiration to oxidize it.

So, um, how exactly does this stuff get used in controlled explosions as a continuous power source?

Re:Explosion? (1)

Colin Bayer (313849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827258)

So, um, how exactly does this stuff get used in controlled explosions as a continuous power source?

Some engineering school or another designed micro-thrusters that sat on a chip, ideal for microsatellites. The basic premise was that some of the chip junctions would burn through at a controlled time, allowing for a tiny little burst of propulsion. Perhaps it's one of these?

Re:Explosion? (2, Funny)

savage_panda (201493) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827450)

if only we can harness the power of intestinal gases within the human body. It could be a renewable source of energy. It could power our cars and homes, and make green house gas a thing of the past..

You too can do your part to save the environment by eating a can of beans a night.

Re:Explosion? (1)

Arandir (19206) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827504)

A can a week is all we ask...

Can you imagine... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827237)

Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of-

Nooooo!!!... NOT THE POWER BUTTON!!!!! RUN!!!!!

Terrorist threat? (2)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827238)

You know, with more and more pocket PCs out there, airplanes are at risk.

Two pen taps and the plane would go boom.

I think the government should regulate everything from Cell phones to Computers. Make it so everytime you go buy electronics, you must show your ID in order to purchase it; then interrogate the person if they don't have their card on them. :)

Re:Terrorist threat? (1)

racerx509 (204322) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827276)

Umm gee, I don't think so. While this does sound like a good idea in terms of security, this sounds a lot like the SSSCA. Just simply replace "piracy" with "terrorism" and you have your new law.

Re:Terrorist threat? (1)

sshore (50665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827281)

I think the government should regulate everything from Cell phones to Computers. Make it so everytime you go buy electronics, you must show your ID in order to purchase it; then interrogate the person if they don't have their card on them.

"Those who express random thoughts to legislative committees are often surprised and appalled to find themselves the instigators of law." -- Mark B. Cohen

Re:Terrorist threat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827332)

Yes. Of course they would put explosive chips in consumer electronics.

practical uses (2, Informative)

xah (448501) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827239)

Military agencies can put a "blasting cap" on microchips that will be going into hostile territory. For example, a computer on board an attack airplane. If the airplane is ever downed in enemy territory, a remote electronic signal can be transmitted to light up all the silicon on the plane. As long as there is enough back-up battery charge to send the right voltage, there would be no need to send in a second plane or commando group to destroy the sensitive, grounded plane.

Energy source? The article said it produced a clean burning flame. Could the reaction be slowed down? Could we produce cheap energy from plentiful silicon?

Re:practical uses (1)

dumpster_d (536427) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827318)

Dr. Strangelove

Sorry, sir, the CRM114 was damaged in the explosion and blew itself up.

Re:(im)practical uses (2)

Ldir (411548) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827358)

Wonder if this might also be used as a cyber-warfare mechanism. Ever hear the rumors/myths about the backdoor in printers, computers, whatever, exported to foreign countries? The story goes that the U.S. military can send a special code, a virus of sorts, that activates the backdoor and disables the equipment.

Now imagine building silicon explosives into export equipment. Some fellow sitting back at CIA HQ launches Son of SirCam - within 12 hours, desktops all over Iraq are blowing up.

The ultimate Denial of Service attack.

They already do that. (2, Interesting)

El Camino SS (264212) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827380)


I am a news photographer... one afternoon when a B-1 bomber went down in a Kentucky cow field, the plane exploded into tiny, tiny shreds. Thankfully, the pilot and the crew ejected and were unharmed. Unfortunately, several cows didn't make it.

One of the most interesting moments that followed in the media cavalcade happened a day later. A man drove out of the woods with a pickup and dropped off a large, man-sized bent piece of metal, which according to the DoD was the larest piece of the plane left. It was the heavy steel dash of the cockpit that holds the hundreds of tiny dials the pilots read. No dials, but a lot of steel.
...other than that, I looked for probably 45 minutes with a pair of binoculars at the impact point, and the largest piece I ever saw was a tire. The B-1 is one helluva big plane. It blows up automatically in a crash... no external signal necessary.

Trust me, the DoD does its homework when it comes to keeping its avionics secret.

I have no doubt in my mind that our plane that got captured in China revealed as little as possible to the Chinese Gov't. I realistically believe that they learned very little from taking that plane apart. They certainly didn't get any software to run the equipment, that is for sure. And the software is the real heart of any surveilance system.

In answer to making microchips explode, I would believe there are much better, more certain ways of destroying microprocessors and leave no readable trace.

Your idea has good merit for tiny processors or espionage equipment, that isn't practical for carrying its own destruct. Its also a great idea for sabotage.

Magic? (0)

meggito (516763) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827243)

If it seems offtopic, you just don't understand.

I remember hearing a story about a switch. It seemed you turn this switch to either magic or more magic. This odd little switch had only one wire so it seemed odd that it could do anything. Yet, when it was switched down to magic the computer ran into some odd little problems. It never was explained (though a possible solution came out later) why this switch could work on only one wire. It was however, left in the more magic position.

Re:Magic? (3, Funny)

mselmeci (468501) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827319)

You are correct; this does exist. It can be found in the Jargon File, Appendix A (blockquoted here, you're welcome).
A Story About `Magic'

Some years ago, I (GLS) was snooping around in the cabinets that housed the MIT AI Lab's PDP-10, and noticed a little switch glued to the frame of one cabinet. It was obviously a homebrew job, added by one of the lab's hardware hackers (no one knows who).

You don't touch an unknown switch on a computer without knowing what it does, because you might crash the computer. The switch was labeled in a most unhelpful way. It had two positions, and scrawled in pencil on the metal switch body were the words `magic' and `more magic'. The switch was in the `more magic' position.

I called another hacker over to look at it. He had never seen the switch before either. Closer examination revealed that the switch had only one wire running to it! The other end of the wire did disappear into the maze of wires inside the computer, but it's a basic fact of electricity that a switch can't do anything unless there are two wires connected to it. This switch had a wire connected on one side and no wire on its other side.

It was clear that this switch was someone's idea of a silly joke. Convinced by our reasoning that the switch was inoperative, we flipped it. The computer instantly crashed.

Imagine our utter astonishment. We wrote it off as coincidence, but nevertheless restored the switch to the `more magic' position before reviving the computer.

A year later, I told this story to yet another hacker, David Moon as I recall. He clearly doubted my sanity, or suspected me of a supernatural belief in the power of this switch, or perhaps thought I was fooling him with a bogus saga. To prove it to him, I showed him the very switch, still glued to the cabinet frame with only one wire connected to it, still in the `more magic' position. We scrutinized the switch and its lone connection, and found that the other end of the wire, though connected to the computer wiring, was connected to a ground pin. That clearly made the switch doubly useless: not only was it electrically nonoperative, but it was connected to a place that couldn't affect anything anyway. So we flipped the switch.

The computer promptly crashed.

This time we ran for Richard Greenblatt, a long-time MIT hacker, who was close at hand. He had never noticed the switch before, either. He inspected it, concluded it was useless, got some diagonal cutters and diked it out. We then revived the computer and it has run fine ever since.

We still don't know how the switch crashed the machine. There is a theory that some circuit near the ground pin was marginal, and flipping the switch changed the electrical capacitance enough to upset the circuit as millionth-of-a-second pulses went through it. But we'll never know for sure; all we can really say is that the switch was magic.

I still have that switch in my basement. Maybe I'm silly, but I usually keep it set on `more magic'.

1994: Another explanation of this story has since been offered. Note that the switch body was metal. Suppose that the non-connected side of the switch was connected to the switch body (usually the body is connected to a separate earth lug, but there are exceptions). The body is connected to the computer case, which is, presumably, grounded. Now the circuit ground within the machine isn't necessarily at the same potential as the case ground, so flipping the switch connected the circuit ground to the case ground, causing a voltage drop/jump which reset the machine. This was probably discovered by someone who found out the hard way that there was a potential difference between the two, and who then wired in the switch as a joke.

Hurrah! (1)

TACD (514008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827252)

Hey, so they found a use for the Pentium 4!

(Uh oh, here comes the modstick...)

How about... (1)

RC514 (546181) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827253)

Planned obsoletion? You could always say the cooling failed, so the chip caught fire and sorry, it's out of warranty.

Burning fast = explosive (1)

dackroyd (468778) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827257)

Doesn't AMD have a patent on silicon burning really fast [tomshardware.com] ...

ducks...

this is so (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827268)

gay. gay. gay. gay. gay. gay.

that makes sense (1)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827271)

&gt chemists have discovered that properly doped computer chips are actually explosive.

And all this time I thought Sadam just liked playing video games

New? (1)

datawar (200705) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827277)

My friends and I have been doing experiments like this for years!

Finally modern science has decided to catch up :-)

Actually... (2)

gnovos (447128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827280)

I COULD see somone shipping a new media device that burns itself after being played X times... This *is* the ultimate copy protection scheme.

Ouch (3, Funny)

EggplantMan (549708) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827282)

This gives a whole new meaning to 'fatal error'.

What effect will this have on shareware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827283)

"Your free evaluation period has expired. Register now or we'll make your PC explode."

Hmm... (1)

phyberop (535162) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827288)

I'm sure if this ever was put into normal CPUs, (which would be dumb) many a teenager would have some great after school fun by running into computer shops and seeing who can explode the most PCs.
Also, what kind of hsf would you have to use so it doesn't overheat and self-destruct ?

Question...? (1)

KILNA (536949) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827291)

Can you gear the chips to explode only after going through a certain set of logic gates? I mean, how useful is a self-destructing chip if it self destructs before its even used?

At any rate, I can definitely see this as incentive for me to get my password right within three tries./p>

It isn't that bad.... (4, Informative)

necama (10131) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827305)

The silicon that they're talking about here is porous silicon, which has properties that are massively different than the bulk crystal. Current study on the material has found that it is an excellent emitter of both light and electrons.

The primary problem with this material is nobody understands it either chemically or physically. We have a list of stuff you can do with it, but no model to predict other effects.

This is pretty cool, though....

other explosives in chip manufacture (1)

crystalplague (547876) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827308)

XeF4 is routinely used in the etching process. It sometimes forms XeF6 though, which is a contact explosive.

Intel is tha bomb! (1)

racerx509 (204322) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827310)

Now when Intel launches they're latest bomb, it will really be true!

WOW!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827320)


Now McGuiver has lots of new things available to make his home-made bombs!!!

-xZaK0x-

READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE (5, Funny)

Have Blue (616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827337)

This is not about exploding computer chips. This is about using the microlithography techniques and materials (silicon) from the chip industry to make electronically controlled micro-explosives. There is nothing here about making existing chips explode.

Re:READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827485)

yeah, but how much fun is the truth!

;-)

Sounds like a bad '80's movie... (1)

zjbs14 (549864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827344)

Just don't let Gene Simmons have them...

Runaway (1984) [imdb.com]

military uses (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827347)

What a perfect thing for the military....

abandon the helicopter,aircraft,tank,spy vehicle? on the way out hit the destruct button... first the eeproms and all circuts explode then the vehicle leaving nothing behind for the enemy to reverse engineer...

Or better yet... instead of the musical greeting card.... the maiming greeting card.... for your ex's and last employer....

Oh wait... that's illegal... nevermind.

NeXT Cube Owners (1)

guttentag (313541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827349)

Anyone out there have one of the magnesium-cased NeXT cubes? I hope the fan never quits on you...

BOOM!!!

Of course, NeXTWORLD Editor Simson Garfinkel's quasi-sick obsession [simson.net] proved that it's not easy to light one of these cases up, but he hadn't reckoned with the awesome power of an exploding processor.

Vaporware (2, Funny)

BigBadVoodooDaddy (444631) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827354)

This is the first vaporware product that is literal!

Could this . . (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827366)

. . . be a trend? First Batteries [slashdot.org] that catch on fire, and now exploding cpus? What will be exploding in the future?

Re:Could this . . (2)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827418)

Well, the next threat is not fire or explosions but actually spinning objects spinning at speeds up to 10,000 RPM.

Hard Drives could become a dangerous issue if we find out they can actually go off their motor and fly out of their casing towards unsuspecting objects, creatures, or people.

Viruses (1)

BlueOtto (519047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827381)

I'm afraid of what this could mean for future virii...

Sounds like a recall waiting to happen... (1)

prof187 (235849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827384)

What happens when they put this kind of thing in consumer electronics to make it so that only a professional can repair something as simple as a game controller and then they just magically start going off for no reason? Can you say fire hazard?

Virus potential (1)

glastonbur (447067) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827390)

Think about it. A virus, spreading through Outlook (of course!) infects a computer. It spreads itself on, and then it destroys the CPU. It's beautiful...

Its not for computer chips (1)

geders (206556) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827391)

Trust me, I've done research in the field of Porous Silicon. This explains quite a few mini-explosions that happened with my experiments though.

ALSO, it takes chilling the porous silicon down to LIQUID OXYGEN temperatures...yeah, so liquid oxygen is dangerous enough!

Other Silicon Devices? (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827416)

Okay, so it can blow up a CPU, but what about RAM, other chips on the motherboard, and hard disks?

Hard disks not so likely I guess.

Re:Other Silicon Devices? Actually... (1)

nuclearsnake (257605) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827494)

I had a friend that said that his computer was smoking just before he wasnt able to get it to boot up again. I didnt believe him, cuz, well what does he know. Probally just dust. When I took a look at the hardware I noticed that the HardDrive wasnt being detected on any computer I installed it on. Turns out that one of the chips on the bottem of it was scorched.
Strange stuff if you ask me.

Ive seen this before, well almost..... (2)

CDWert (450988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827425)

Thats funny.

When I was about 12(81 or so) my dad brought me slews of stuff from work to scrap parts off of, LONG story short he took all the lithium batteries on the boards I was given, several had them, their engineer had to pick shards of PCB ut of his arm after he shorted one, (This was beore they had an internal "breaker") ,

A couple of years ago I was short on cash so, I decided to sell my IMSAI , well I went to power it up to test it so I could say, "Working Condition"
Well shit started blowing everywhere, caps going off like firecrackers, kinda makes me wonder whats going to happen when I fire up my 386 in 20 years to show my son :)

S/N (-1)

paraducks (532180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827431)

Signal to noise approaches infinity

Lends a whole new meaning... (2, Funny)

AJWM (19027) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827438)

...to the fabled HCF -- Halt and Catch Fire -- opcode.

The incident with the CPU. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2827447)


When I "properly dope" my penis I can make it explode too!!!

Martian Technology! (5, Funny)

farrellj (563) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827467)

Finally, we pitiful earthlings can build the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator!

Lookout Marvin!

ttyl
Farrell

Original Paper (2, Informative)

diegoq (149586) | more than 12 years ago | (#2827486)

You can read the original paper in Jan 2002 Advanced Materials.

The abstract is online: Scroll down to 38-41: Explosive Nanocrystalline Porous Silicon and Its Use in Atomic Emission Spectroscopy [wiley.com] .
Can't read the full article tho', unless you subscribe...visit your local library and ask for it.
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