Malicious circuitry detection using thermal conditioning

Sheng Wei, Saro Meguerdichian, Miodrag Potkonjak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Gate-level characterization (GLC) is the process of quantifying physical and manifestational properties for each gate of an integrated circuit (IC). It is a key step in many IC applications that target cryptography, security, digital rights management, low power, and yield optimization. However, GLC is a challenging task due to the size and structure of modern circuits and insufficient controllability of a subset of gates in the circuit. We have developed a new approach for GLC that employs thermal conditioning to calculate the scaling factors of all the gates by solving a system of linear equations using linear programming (LP). Therefore, the procedure captures the complete impact of process variation (PV). In order to resolve the correlations in the system of linear equations, we expose different gates to different temperatures and thus change their corresponding linear coefficients in the linear equations. We further improve the accuracy of GLC by applying statistical methods in the LP formulation as well as the post-processing steps. In order to enable non-destructive hardware Trojan horse (HTH) detection, we generalize our generic GLC procedure by manipulating the constraint of each linear equation. Furthermore, we ensure the scalability of the approaches for GLC and HTH detection using iterative IC segmentation. We evaluate our approach on a set of ISCAS and ITC benchmarks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5772002
Pages (from-to)1136-1145
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number3 PART 2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Gate-level characterization (GLC)
  • hardware Trojans
  • process variation

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