Reply to post: Anyone care to enlighten us all about what 'miltiary grade' chips are?

Engineer found guilty of smuggling military-grade chips from the US to China

martinusher Silver badge

Anyone care to enlighten us all about what 'miltiary grade' chips are?

It all sounds convincing but in reality 'military grade' parts are typically parts that are capable of operating in a wider temperature range than commercial or consumer parts. They may also be in a different type of package -- ceramic rather than plastic, for example. Other than that military parts tend to be older technology -- state of the art stuff isn't robust enough for war fighting -- and otherwise characterized by a complete lack of interest in how much the parts cost.

The ITAR regulations and the disclaimer you have to check to affirm that you're not exporting parts or information or using it for military purposes is a common hurdle when you want to download information from a manufacturer's website. I frequently come across it when getting information from Texas Instruments. Its a bit like those Terms and Conditions that are thrown at you that few, if any, of us actually read -- they only become important when things go wrong. In normal times you wouldn't think twice about this, after all what could go wrong? But we don't live in normal times, and checking that box could put you in legal jeopardy with the Feds (especially if you're Chinese these days...).

For those of us who don't work with this kind of sensitive technology the parts I'm looking at are used for motor control. This kind of technology is multipurpose, it could be used for military vehicle control but its also more likely to end up in mass produced products like washing machines. It could be hyped up by a Federal prosecutor, its their job, but the reality is that really sensitive technology never turns up on manufacturer's websites (I met an infrared image sensor years ago that produced a high resolution image using starlight and could see through fog and clouds -- in contrast FLIR is like using a Baird televisor. I've never seen anything remotely like this offered for sale.)

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