Reply to post: Re: 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

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

I don't think there is a US do not export list.

What there is are the USML (anything on this list is covered by ITAR) and the EAR, which is way more hazy; in fact many have said that the EAR is becoming the new ITAR.

Unless an item is EAR 99 (no restrictions except to people or companies on the entity list) then a list of countries to which an item may not be exported to will apply; that list varies by technology.

To understand just how crazy some of these regulations can be, I can give a specific example that happened to me a few years ago.

Numerous companies make DC / DC supply bricks and modules and these are usually EAR99 or otherwise do not have particularly onerous restrictions. I was told however, that if I needed a different output voltage (which would involve changing 3 passive parts at most) it would then be classified under ITAR.

In this particular case, it was if the output was changed to about 6V (which is apparently very popular within missiles). The idiocy here is that I might buy such an item for convenience (cheaper to buy the dozen required than design, build and qualify a dozen for avionics) it is not a complete bar to someone designing such an item with things that are not particularly controlled.

All microprocessors that implement most forms of encryption are covered by EAR (which is amusing as Dutch researchers invented AES although the prize for being the winner was provided by DARPA).

The bottom line though is that virtually everything needs an export license from the USA to be exported (the UK is not quite there but it is not that far off either).

Military grade can refer to either extended temperature range (-55C to +125C) or sometimes to radhard devices (which are generally on the USML) and they can cost a lot more than either the automotive or industrial grade parts.

Violations of export controls in most countries carries rather heavy penalties. ITT was selling night vision kit to (I think) Iran a few years ago and had to pay a $100M fine ($50M of that was to be used for research to get better NVGs).

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