Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2017/1176

Cyclic Locking and Memristor-based Obfuscation Against CycSAT and Inside Foundry Attacks

Amin Rezaei and Yuanqi Shen and Shuyu Kong and Jie Gu and Hai Zhou

Abstract: The high cost of IC design has made chip protection one of the first priorities of the semiconductor industry. Although there is a common impression that combinational circuits must be designed without any cycles, circuits with cycles can be combinational as well. Such cyclic circuits can be used to reliably lock ICs. Moreover, since memristor is compatible with CMOS structure, it is possible to efficiently obfuscate cyclic circuits using polymorphic memristor-CMOS gates. In this case, the layouts of the circuits with different functionalities look exactly identical, making it impossible even for an inside foundry attacker to distinguish the defined functionality of an IC by looking at its layout. In this paper, we propose a comprehensive chip protection method based on cyclic locking and polymorphic memristor-CMOS obfuscation. The robustness against state-of-the-art key-pruning attacks is demonstrated and the overhead of the polymorphic gates is investigated.

Category / Keywords: cyclic circuit, logic encryption, circuit obfuscation, memristor

Date: received 30 Nov 2017

Contact author: haizhou at northwestern edu

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Version: 20171208:175132 (All versions of this report)

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