Although chips themselves — sophisticated electronics — are inexpensive, there’s an issue on the battlefield where it’s difficult to track and recover every device, potentially leading to important technology or data falling into enemy hands.
The chip is printed on a glass substrate which is then brought to its breaking point by heat. The team was able to switch a circuit on, and when a resistor got hot enough, the glass shattered into thousands of pieces.
The self-destructing chip could be used to store encryption keys. So instead of wiping a hard drive, you could merely destroy the chip remotely and render the data useless.