DARPA has announced a new program on hardware assurance; here is the DARPA press release. The SAE AS5553A standard, which we have discussed before in this blog, defines documentation procedures used to keep track of hardware provenance. SHIELD is a much more automated approach to this problem.
The SHIELD program aims at designing a small chip that can be affixed on components. A handheld device can then be used interrogate the device and verify that the tag identifies the proper device. The device is designed to be cheap---less than a penny---and to be resistant to tampering.
DARPA lists several thread models that are of interest to them: recycled components sold as new; unauthorized overproduction of authorized components; substandard components sold as new; parts remarked with higher reliability or newer manufacturing dates; out-and-out copies; parts that are repackaged and destined for unauthorized applications.