USC’s Information Sciences Institute, a division of its Viterbi Engineering School, received a roughly $40 million contract this week from Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, a federal government agency.

The school will lead a team of institutions, including Northwestern University and Stanford University, to develop research and technology that will ensure the manufacturing integrity of computer chips related to advanced information processing, computer, and communications technologies.

“The tools and research we and our partners are going to develop will be used in ensuring that electronic chips are free of manufacturing defects,” said John Damoulakis, a senior director for advanced electronics at the Information Sciences Institute, who will lead the team over the next five years.

Damoulakis added that there is no existing nondestructive technology to scan objects smaller than the size of a human hair, which is what the institute is planning on developing.

“We are thrilled that the award will allow USC ISI to provide commercial, academic, and government entities with reliable and economical access to electronics that are free of manufacturing defects in today’s globally distributed supply chain,” said Premkumar Natarajan, executive director of the Information Sciences Institute.

Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at snarayan@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.