On Measurable Side-Channel Leaks Inside ASIC Design Primitives

  • Takeshi Sugawara
  • Daisuke Suzuki
  • Minoru Saeki
  • Mitsuru Shiozaki
  • Takeshi Fujino
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8086)

Abstract

Leaks inside semi-custom ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) design primitives are rigorously investigated. The study is conducted by measuring a dedicated TEG (Test Element Group) chip with a small magnetic-field probe on the chip surface. Measurement targets are standard cells and a memory macro cell. Leaks inside the primitives are focused as many of conventional countermeasures place measurability boundaries on these primitives. Firstly, it is shown that current-path leak: a leak based on input-dependent active current path within a standard cell [1] is measurable. Major gate-level countermeasures (RSL, MDPL, and WDDL) become vulnerable if the current-path leak is considered. Secondly, it is shown that internal-gate leak: a leak based on non-linear sub-circuit within a XOR cell is measurable. It can be exploited to bias the distribution of the random mask. Thirdly, it is shown that geometric leak: a leak based on geometric layout of the memory matrix structure is measurable. It is a leak correlated to integer representation of the memory address. We also show that a ROM-based countermeasure (Dual-rail RSL memory [10]) becomes vulnerable with the geometric leak. A general transistor-level design method to counteract the current-path and internal-gate leaks is also shown.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeshi Sugawara
    • 1
  • Daisuke Suzuki
    • 1
  • Minoru Saeki
    • 1
  • Mitsuru Shiozaki
    • 2
  • Takeshi Fujino
    • 2
  1. 1.Mitsubishi Electric CorporationJapan
  2. 2.Ritsumeikan UniversityJapan

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