K. Vaidyanathan, R. Liu, H. E. Sumbul, Qiuling Zhu, Franz Franchetti and Lawrence Pileggi (Proc. IEEE International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust (HOST), 2014)
Efficient and Secure Intellectual Property (IP) Design for Split Fabrication
Published paper (link to publisher)

Split fabrication, the process of splitting an IC into an untrusted and trusted tier, facilitates access to the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities available in the world without requiring disclosure of design intent. While researchers have investigated the security of logic blocks in the context of split fabrication, the security of IP blocks, another key component of an SoC, has not been examined. Our security analysis of IP block designs, specifically embedded memory and analog components, shows that they are vulnerable to “recognition attacks” at the untrusted foundry due to the use of standardized floorplans and leaf cell layouts. We propose methodologies to design these blocks efficiently and securely, and demonstrate their effectiveness using 130nm split fabricated test chips.

Split fabrication, Security, Intellectual Property (IP), Design